I have been in school now for over a month and decided it was time for an update. The first week was overwhelming. I got sick after 2 days of school because I think my body went into shock! I forgot what college was like. I felt like I was doing homework non-stop, and felt like I was never going to have a life again until the semester was over. But luckily I learned to get into a routine. I would have to say that is the hardest thing I had to learn: learning how to prioritize and balance school and home.
I am taking three classes this semester.
- The first class is Precalculus. I was a little worried initially because it has been so long since I had taken a math class. But I love math, so I jumped right in. I made sure to sit in the front row so I could ask questions if I needed to. I hate being the center of attention, and I knew that if I sat in the back I would never raise my hand because everyone would turn and look at me. Ya, I know it sounds silly, but for me, if I am in the front I cant see people looking at the back of my head. I was also glad to see that I wasn't the oldest one there. That made me feel good, like I belonged. I was amazed at how easily it all came to me. My teacher kept saying everything we were doing was review, but I didn't remember any of it. But I worked hard and understood everything that was being taught. When it came time for the test I was nervous because I wanted to do well. But I knew I would because I had studied. And I did. I got the highest grade in the class. I missed two little points for little errors. Which gave me a 98%. And because I set the curve, I got a 100%. I SET THE CURVE! Me, a thirty-one year old college drop out got the highest score among 20 year olds. And my teacher and I are like this *fingers crossed*. Okay, not really, but I do talk to her a lot after class. She was surprised that this was my first time taking this class and that I had not taken a math class in a log time. She encouraged me to go further in my math studies than I need to for my math endorsement for my elementary education degree. We will see.
- The second class I am taking is called Educational technology. This class I am taking online. It is basically a class that teaches you how to integrate technology into the classroom. It can be time consuming, but it is fun and I have learned a lot. We have a project every week. Some of the things we have done include creating a class blog and learning different ways to use a blog in the classroom, making a back to school brochure, creating a lesson plan that uses technology, and creating a WebQuest (an activity where students research something using only online resources and then create some kind of project with their group). This can be challenging because you have to pick a grade level and a subject, and make sure it is actually something that the students would learn at that grade level. We also created our own technology teaching portfolio website, where we can showcase all of our projects. So far I have a 100% in this class. I am having a lot of fun learning different ways I can use technology.
- The last class I am taking is Educational Psychology. I really like the professor. This class is on Monday nights from 6-9, so having a teacher who is interesting makes it a whole lot easier to want to come and not stay at home with my family. This class really opens my eyes to what kind of students I will have in my classroom, how they learn, how they develop, and how to handle each kind of behavior. My first test for this class was yesterday and I was really worried that I was going to have to struggle to get a B or C. But I studied really hard and I only missed 4 questions out of 66, which gives me a 94%. I am so pleased because I really worked hard.
The biggest thing I have learned this semester is that it is all about balance. I have learned that it is okay to take time to volunteer in my kids' classrooms every Tuesday, but I cant beat myself up for not being able to go on every field trip. And if I want to go out and have fun, that's okay too, as long as I make time for homework and studying. I know that it isn't always going to be easy, my grades may not always be this great, but as long as I have the support from my family, I am going to be able to get through this and accomplish a goal I have wanted to accomplish for a really long time.
I am not writing this blog to brag about my achievements, I am writing this to encourage anyone who is thinking about going to school, or doing something to better themselves to know that you can do it! I have had a couple people tell me that I have inspired them to go back to school. That is GREAT!!!It may not be as easy as it was before I had a family, but it is not impossible, and it is worth it!