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Time for the 526 "Capstone Experience"


Fall II 2012/2013

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.



When I was graduating from high school in 1997, I thought I wanted to be a teacher. Then, for some reason or another, I changed my mind and wanted to be a writer, then a photographer. After getting my B.A. in photography, I realized that wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life, and I ended up full circle, contemplating teaching again.
After getting my B.A. I didn’t think about getting my masters. I was feeling stubborn, and thought that a bachelors should be good enough. Here I am now, just like before, surprising myself by doing what I thought I didn’t want to do. As I sit here, on the brink of finishing (finally) my masters, I am very hopeful for the future… and a bit tired.
I hope to learn a new sense of organization from this class. I’ve never put together a portfolio of the size required in this course, and I am looking forward to the challenge. I also hope to feel more confident in my technological abilities. Compiling a technologically based curriculum and putting it together in book format will probably do the trick.
As far as goals go, in the near future, I will finish up my first year of teaching in the Santa Paula district. I’m already growing so much from this experience and I cherish every day. My middle-term goals consist of finding employment for the 2013-2014 school year (wherever I may be) and getting my preliminary credentials cleared. My long-term goal is to teach and love it. I am pretty easy going and flexible, so I know I would enjoy any type of teaching position I was able to land. Most of all, I want my life to be happy, and I want to be healthy, and have a positive outlook on life!

It has been a long, continuous journey. I find myself continuing to learn in a number of different settings. I have worked very hard these last 10 months on completing the requirements for my MA in SPED /Ed Tech. Through this I have learned a lot, not only about how I can apply these new skills to my teaching, but how I learn as well. My short term goals are to continue to implement what I am learning in my daily lesson plans. I think that I can make my classroom a rich environment for learning by incorporating more technology. My medium range goals are to begin consulting with other special education teachers or departments throughout the county on evolving special education issues. My long term goals are to one day teach at the community college or university level in the areas or special education and/or assistive technology.

Justin Schmidt

I hope this class will teach me that I can balance whatever is put on my plate. I am the type of person that will do as much ahead of time as possible to make things easier later. That has been beneficial to me in many ways, but has burdened me with getting ahead of myself in many other cases. This is the type of situation where I am going against my nature and holding off on starting the final assignment for this class. With IEPs, lesson plans, this class, and the holidays coming up, I want to get everything started and done NOW so I can have less to worry about as deadlines approach. I think I will enjoy my job and this class if I teach myself that starting slower and working at a steady pace has a healthier impact on my life. That does not mean I am going to wait until the last minute to start everything and hate the entire process.

In the long term, I hope I continue researching how to be better at my job and how to be a "Resource" for the teachers at my school. I will never stop learning, and with technology and policies changing, I will always have something to keep up on.