A calling ...

"We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims."

"Make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone."

- Buckminster Fuller

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

On the run

Today, I've been arranging field work opportunities that must be completed before the end of the current school year. Yikes! One of those field work experiences will involve a Curriculum Based Assessment project, where I'll be required to teach a single objective and assess over a period of 6-8 lessons, taught every other day, and assess at the end of every week -- it looks like I've lined up an opportunity to teach a learning objective to a 7th grade math student. Another will involve an interview with a Para-educator (Instructional Assistant) to observe and discuss co-teaching, collaboration, and other issues. I'm close to a Para-educator -- check!Another set of observations will concern different areas of reading development (phonics, phonemic awareness, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension), and various modes such as receptive (listening and reading), expressive (speaking and writing), and viewing (graphing and visualizing). My literacy observations will even include a pre-school student! Hopefully my old friends with whom I collaborated as a long-term sub will allow me to come in to do literacy observations. I've also been in contact with a former student's mom who happens to be a speech pathologist, about observing some assistive technology, her methods, how she plans, and other questions that I can come up with. One thing I already knew, but is being reinforced by the process, is the importance of establishing and maintaining strong personal relationships!

The program is extremely product-oriented, so we're writing lessons, solving collaboration issues, designing ways to make learning universally accessible, etc. One thing I never expected to have to do was to have to reach out to so many people that I know to gain the field experience that I need. Reaching out is turning out to be a good thing.

After a week, the toughest thing has been coming to the realization that the reading is, unfortunately, secondary to the product. A deep processor by nature, I'm having to set aside the highly detail-oriented style of learning I learned at Georgetown, to adopt a speed reading style. Adaptability and mental velocity are critical!