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The Experience Which is the 526 "Capstone"

ON THE CUSP OF A GRADUATE DEGREE:

Summer 2012

Here at the end of your graduate studies you find yourself in between: you are beginning to transition from being a graduate student obtaining your professional training to serving as a working professional in the public school system. It is a moment for reflection on where you come from, where you find yourself currently, and the plan you have for the next 3-5 years. As already discussed in class, EDUC 526 deals with no new material but provides plenty of time for reflection on what has been already learned in the APU EdTech Program. It is time to reflect on what you have learned, and on what will be your next step. What do you think?

So take a few moments in this blogsite posting at the beginning of EDUC 526 to reflect in general terms about your life journey at this time, what you hope to get out of this class, and what are some goals you might have for yourself in the near-, middle-, and long-term. These next nine weeks shall go quickly, so before we get too into the minutiae of your "capstone experience" take a moment please to examine the context of this class in the larger picture.

ON THE CUSP OF A GRADUATE DEGREE:

Comments

At this point, my journey is just beginning. I feel that I have had a great start, a few bumps on the road but nothing that hard work can’t fix. Before starting the Mater’s program in Digital Tech, I wasn’t really confident in my tech skills. Now that I am in Capstone I can look back to how much I have learned. I have not only learned to make learning fun for students using technology, but I have also learned how to use cognition, content and technology to the benefit of my students. I don’t think I would have ever thought that I would learn how to make, edit video and use various other kinds of software. Its amazing how any things there are out there that teachers can intergrade in the classroom to help students succeed.

When this class is over I am hopping to have learned how to put a unit lesson together!! One that is detailed, easy to follow and effective. I am already looking forward to creating my project. Most of all I want to gain knowledge and confidence in what I am doing.

One of goals is to not procrastinate!!!! It’s a big one for me. I want to take my time and do a good job. I also look forward to student teaching in the fall. Another goal is to sub after completing my multiple teaching credential. That way I can meet as many teachers and administrators as I can and get a job working in an elementary school. I would love to teach at Laguna Vista Elementary School.

To be very blunt I have no three to five year plan. I used to plan things ahead and get my hopes up. I quickly learned, for me, things are not going to go as planned. Every time I have a plan things take a very different turn. Therefore, I take things day by day and it reduces my anxiety of things going awry. I just know that I will eventually work in a classroom. When that time comes? I don't know, but it doesn't mean I am going to be sitting down and waiting for it. In the mean time, I will be working any school related job and trying to be pay off my loans and be the best dad I can be. Of course I hope once I am finished with it all that my kinder job is waiting for me. You never know.

However, I did learn many new things from the courses taken. I was pretty average when dealing with technology and now I can honestly say I am above average. I can truly school the teachers at my school on technology. It has been an incredible and fun experience so far and I will take my new found knowledge in the classroom. If December 21, 2012 allows it.

My three to five year plan is to have finished all of my classes and have already had a few years of teaching under my belt. I currently find myself stuck in a place of uncertainty, I am currently trying to finish classes while working full time as a librarian. I kind of feel as though I need to keep myself in a position that if I do not have a teaching job next year I can fall back on my other job.

In regards to my masters program I am debating if I should get a masters in History as well. This way I can also teach History at the Community college level. I am not quite sure where I am on this aspect of my life but I know that I need to get that portion of my life started as I feel at a standstill.

Education wise I know I started this program as someone who knew how to teach but not how to teach to all the MI's. I am leaving this program knowing that I can reach all of them through creative and innovative ways that I never knew were possible. So in essence I am leaving this program a better teacher and a better student for it.

My three to five year plan is to have my masters classes done, hopefully have a steady job "not" in retail, and hopefully be debt free from college loans. I still am working on clearing my credential, passing the RICA and my master's test and that needs to be done by the fall. I'm living at home and I plan on moving out in 3 years after my loans are paid off.

I'm hoping to just learn how to put together curriculum and use it in my future classrooms. Of course, I don't have a structured 3-5 year plan because it never goes according to plan but my hopes for the future are high. I'm looking forward to gaining some more information in this class.

I’ve never been a big planner, so this is difficult. Three years ago, I was working full time as a 6th grade teacher, renting a home and having some “issues”. Today, I’m a full time student, working part time in a job not related to children at all, a home owner and those “issues” worked themselves out very nicely. So in three to five years, things will probably be a lot different for me and from where I am today.

I hope to have a teaching job of some sort and to do that, I will have to have my credential and masters completed. I am seriously thinking about getting a single subject credential as well as the multiple subject credential to make myself more marketable, but that means more schooling and more money...

My time at APU has given me the opportunity to discover many new and free resources that exist and to learn how applicable technology is in curriculum. My 3 to 5 year plan has two parts. The first – is to gain all of the knowledge and experience I can to serve as a Catholic School administrator. I was fortunate enough to secure a position at St. Bonaventure High School for the 2012-2013 academic year – it is my hope that I will be able to help as much as possible, in the responsibilities of an administrator. The other part of my 3-5 year plan relates VERY MUCH to what I have learned in my program at APU. As I have said before in class, I am convinced that our students are in need of programs and good teachers that give our students the opportunity to develop leadership skills and character. I believe THAT MANY public schools have left behind the development of the “whole student” and replaced it with standards and benchmark based curriculum. As a result, I would like to put together a plan, a curriculum or program that COULD be marketed to districts/schools. This program would have a challenging but simple goal – to provide students with leadership training and character development. This would be accomplished by a series of workshop style conferences, class retreat experiences, and classroom debrief – etc. This program will utilize many of the educational tools I learned at APU including, multiple intelligence theory, blooms taxonomy, and of course, various technology integrations. To be honest, I don’t know if this idea will ever amount to anything, but I know I want/need to try!

At this point in my life, I am transitioning from a "fake adult" to a real adult. We all think that when we turn 18, or start college, or graduate college, or get a job, etc. that we will finally be an adult. I don't think this is true. I think that milestones cannot change a person overnight. Becoming a responsible and mature adult that is prepared for the future takes trial and error and lots of time. As I am finishing this program, signing my full time contract, and moving out of my parents' house (not for college), I find myself proud of the person I have become. I think that once you can be proud of yourself, you are successful.

So where to go from here. In three to five years, I still see myself teaching high school. I am hoping that my personal life will be a little more established by this time and perhaps even be ready to start a family. Right now, I am teaching more math than science (my true passion). If I am not teaching only science by this time, I will be very disappointed. I love the school and administration where I am teaching now and I do not see myself leaving. Later on down the road, I plan on getting my doctorate in science. Most likely in Genetics, or who knows... nutrition! (Health and nutrition have been a recent interest of mine) After achieving this goal, I will want to teach at a University.

What do I hope to get out of this program? I have already received so much benefit from this program. Being a young teacher, it seems as though everyone expects me to be tech savvy. Before this program I definitely was not! I feel like I have a step up on my competition, but I also can make my classroom more efficient and effective. I love the fact that a portfolio is created in this class because this will be my skills showcase that I can take to my boss or if I decide to switch schools, to an interview and do some major impressing!

So far I have accomplished some of my goals. One of them was to get my Master's and I'm almost done. It took me a while to realize what I was missing in my life. I have a degree in general ed but I didn't feel complete; I've always felt I was missing something.
I have to be honest though, that when I started the program I was not sure this is what I wanted 100% but my opinion changed when I did my student teaching. I felt in love with all the students and I felt comfortable and complete. I know that this is my calling and I know now that this is what I want to do, I want to make a difference in someone's life. And I know I will.