In an effort to utilize this time off in a way that is conducive to ensuring future employment, I decided to complete the 12 additional credits needed to complete my science endorsement. By May I will have the required 18 credits to teach middle school science, which is considered a high-need subject area in most areas of the country. Will it land me a job? Perhaps, and it will certainly give me an edge for certain positions.
So here I am: a student again. I entered the field of education because I love school and have a passion for learning new things and sharing knowledge with others, but I’m a little surprised to be back in the race so soon. I am taking the coursework online via Ivy Tech, an Indiana technical college, so my expectations for the requirements were fairly low in comparison to what I was managing a year ago: six graduate credits and a full-time teaching internship.
I was surprised to find myself completely overwhelmed this week after having several textbook ordering mishaps, trying to interpret vague and confusing syllabi, and a mid-quiz computer crash. Another element that I didn’t consider was the lab component to all of the classes, particularly Anatomy/Physiology. I will be forever wary of packages after I opened my “lab kit” to find a fetal pig and a sheep’s brain. Lovely.
So here I am, one week in. I’ve cycled through excitement, alarm, confusion, frustration, and emotional meltdown and landed somewhere between determined and thrilled.
I have spent about 7 hours on Anatomy/Physiology in the past 2 days and covered only 2 chapters. This subject has got to be the “meatiest” content I’ve ever tried to master. It’s really challenging; I don’t have much of a foundation for this level of science so I’m building as I go.
It’s rewarding… because I’ve needed an opportunity to push myself intellectually. It’s also rewarding because I’ve never had the opportunity to come up against a content area that was really a reach and find myself scaling the wall. Like many students, when I approached some higher level courses (ahem…math) and felt daunted, I shut down and/or walked away. Honestly, either learning has come naturally, not required effort, or provided just the right amount of challenge for the majority of my schooling. But when it didn’t, I retreated. I would never accept this behavior out of my students, so it feels good to put in the effort to conquer it in myself. It’s not easy, but as someone whose “potential” has been constantly recognized, it feels stellar to use up some energy and put things into motion!
So cheers to pushing the limits (and keeping a rosy outlook when things get tricky).
In case you’re curious, I’m also taking physical science, astronomy and earth science.