You know when you’re driving on a highway and everything is just flying by? That’s my life..

Hello again! I would like to dedicate this week’s blog to the (attempt at juggling) craziness of summer classes, jobs, and life. To give people an idea of what this craziness looks like, here is a picture of my June schedule.

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Not to mention this schedule just discusses times of each job, when I have class, and what classroom I am substituting in (if that information is given to me beforehand. It also shows the craziness of my weekends in June, packed with weddings.

And to make it even more chaotic, it is very unlikely that this will stay this way. I will likely have to switch shifts at the coffee shop or switch lifeguarding shifts, or I could have been originally scheduled to substitute in a social studies room, but with my luck I will get switched to a middle school English classroom.

A couple pieces of advice that I wish to share in the hopes that someone reading with a similar crazy life can be guided by:

  • Only look ahead to tomorrow, no farther than that.
    1. This is because you will totally get overwhelmed if you were to see what the rest of your week entails, but you don’t want to get yourself too far behind by not looking a day ahead.
  • Be flexible and don’t stress.
    1. There is no point in stressing over things you can not control, whether that is an abrupt shift change or a last minute assignment due in 2 days. You can use the energy that you would waste in worrying towards finishing that assignment or rearranging your schedule to fit all of your appointments and shifts.
  • Thank your significant other/family/friends/pets.
    1. Lets face it, they help you through a lot, and during this crazy point in your life theres no way you would have any hair left if it wasn’t for that person/animal. So thank them, hug your dog (or in my case, chinchilla) a little longer, spend a couple extra minutes with them, and then get back to grinding!

To conclude, just stay as positive as you can, there’s no reason to waste the energy on being negative. And just keep pushing through!

turn right NOW!

Hey everyone!

If i could direct your attention to the class blog for this week, you can catch up on everything we’ve been doing this week! Enjoy!

The week of May 31st

GUATE!!

Hello all!

As some of you may know, this week I was participating in class remotely from Guatemala! My best friend is living down here teaching English and tutoring adults and young adults, so I figured I would spend some time with her and experience my first trip out of the country with her.

Of course I have too many pictures to share, but the ones I am most excited to share are pictures from our VOLCANO hike! We hiked Pacaya, which is a volcano about 45 minutes away from Antigua.

This experience has shown me the opportunities that are available with a little bit of searching. It also makes me realize that some of my students may never get to experience these things that I have had the awesome opportunity to, and so taking pictures and recording all of the things that I have done and seen is extremely important to be sure that they understand all of the opportunities that await them, hoping that wanderlust strikes them with time too!

With nothing else to say, enjoy the pictures! Until next time!

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Initial thoughts of Summer classes? Not as bad as you think..

Question: What are you initial thoughts about science, scientific literacy, literacy practices?

Hello again! Long time no see! We are here again discussing my initial thoughts about science, scientific literacy and literacy practices for our first class! Woohooooooo! So this is kind of a strange question for me, because I am at the end of this program, so my thoughts about these topics are far from initial, but are definitely still growing. Science for me is something that is always growing, that is full of creativity and imagination. Science is also a space where cooperation and collaboration is essential in order for successful learning and growing.

Scientific literacy has always been difficult for me to explain. Like yes I understand that scientific literacy has to do with the scientific language and how students and other members of the scientific community use those terms, but I still struggle with the idea of teaching scientific literacy. I think this struggle comes from the lack of science literacy teaching I experienced in high school and even in my undergraduate studies. I am looking forward to learning more about what science literacy and how to teach science literacy in high school science classrooms.

Well, that’s all for today, I will update my blog next week from GUATEMALA! I’ll be sure to attach pictures of the adventures, which include a chicken bus ride, city exploring, and volcano hiking! Stay tuned!

Blogging about Get Real!

Hello Again!

So as an update for all of my faithful readers, I am currently in my final stretch of graduate classes, one of which started on Tuesday! There are familiar faces and new faces in our class and I can’t wait to learn and grow together!

On Tuesday, we got to know each other a little more, learning about each others’ backgrounds and passions. What we all have in common (which is why we’re in this class) is our passion for teaching science. And so our conversations moved into the content for the class. One strong point that we talked about was the idea of science blogging, which (I guess) my blog is considered, even though I go on tangents occasionally…

Blogging is such a huge part of this masters program, and is growing in popularity in academia. To learn a little more about blogging, we were all given a copy of Science Blogging: The Essential Guide which is edited by Christie Wilcox, Bethany Brookshire, and Jason Goldman. At first, to be totally honest, I was a little apprehensive about reading this book. While I absolutely LOVE reading, I tend to stick with murder mysteries and the Harry Potter Series (which for the record I have read beginning to end three times). So as I was waiting for my pizza to be cooked, I decided to give it a try, and six chapters later I didn’t want to stop to pick up my pizza.

This is the point in the blog where there are some spoilers for the first six chapters, and if you plan on reading the book (WHICH I HIGHLY RECOMMEND) then I would suggest skipping down to the next portion of the post!

So the book is set up by chapter, where each chapter is written by a different author on a different subset of blogging, and let me tell you, it is one of the easiest reads for a topic that isn’t something that I would instinctively pick up a book for. Let me give you my understanding of each chapter and my big take aways through chapter 6.

The first chapter was about why someone should blog, and gave their opinions from an altruistic perspective and a narcissistic perspective. Blogging, according to Christie Wilcox, is a total win-win. Through blogging Christie explains that the blogger can get exposure, instant feedback, can gain new connections, and can help the community by sharing ideas and findings through blogging. The second chapter was about Carl Zimmer’s personal experience going from written journalism to online blogging. Zimmer’s experience gives him the belief that we are given this platform that can connect many minds from all around the world, and we should take advantage of it whenever we can. The third chapter is about the logistics of setting up a blog. Khalil Cassimally uses this space to share he experience and understanding of all the different blogging softwares and which is the best for what each blogger is trying to do. Cassimally explained that blogging is an opportunity to share and network, and each blogger must choose the network that works bests for what you are trying to do. The fourth chapter was by Glendon Mellow and discusses the importance of visuals in science blogging. He emphasizes that we are visual learners, and we need to break the stigma that science is all about equations and formulas. The fifth chapter was authored by Ed Yong, and discussed the importance of an audience to your blog. Yong explains that the audience is there for you, so be sure that you are being yourself, and writing how you feel is the best portrayal of yourself and your work. Yong also emphasized the importance of investing time and effort into your blogs, which will draw in an audience. The sixth chapter discusses the ethical implications of blogging. Janet Stemwedel explains the extreme importance of ethics when putting information on the Internet. Blogging is a space where information, once published, will be on the Internet, and Stemwedel, mentions that we as bloggers must always be thinking about what you post and how that information will impact its’ readers.

With that being said, we are out for now! Thanks for checking in!

Interviewing Frenzy!

What a great experience this week, we had a handful of administration from local schools to do mock interviews with us. This was a great experience because not only was it an interview, but each administrator gave us feedback on what they liked about our interview style and what we could work on. This was super informative because we are all getting to the point in our careers where interviews are going to dominate our lives, looking for our dream jobs!

When interviewing in the real world, whether it is for a teaching job or a construction job, there are a couple of essential things to keep in mind and do no matter what:

  1. Smile! Smiling is contagious, and so is negativity.
  2. Please, thank you, Ma’am and Sir are always good conversation additives.
  3. Be yourself, they should know who they are hiring, not who you think they want to hire.
  4. Try to relate as many of your answers to real experiences.

There are so many resources to look into when beginning the interview process. I personally own the book called “Steal the Show: From Speeches to Job Interviews to Deal-Closing Pitches, How to Guarantee a Standing Ovation for All the Performances in Your Life” by Michael Port which is a great reference. It gives you tips for interviewing, giving speeches and everything in between. Here is an audio version of the book via Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Steal-Show-Interviews-Deal-Closing-Performances/dp/B014X33YCU/ref=zg_bs_2578_4

When looking more specifically at science teaching interviews, a couple guidelines and things to remember:

  1. Reference teaching moments in your answers as much as possible.
  2. Bring samples of student work, authentic labs, innovative assessments, and observation notes if you have them.
  3. Mention the importance of safety in your classroom.
  4. Stress the importance of identity and authenticity in your science classroom.

With the upcoming school year getting closer and closer, the teaching jobs will begin to pop up, so read up on the school you are applying to, understand the values of the school and the students you would be working with, and remember to have fun!

That being said, check out this website/video on tips to a successful interview:

http://jobsearch.about.com/cs/interviews/a/jobinterviewtip.htm

An update as of 6/27, I HAVE AN INTERVIEW! As an (almost) GRS graduate, there are many experiences that I can use in my interview to put me a step ahead of the rest of the pack. As I’ve explained in past and future posts, I am unapologetically passionate about helping my students. I am passionate about helping students foster their identity through the lens of a scientist. This identity includes their appreciation of the process and creativity that fosters itself in science. This identity also includes their lives outside of my classroom. I am passionate about helping my students the best they can be, and giving them the safe space in my class to speak freely and honestly without fear of judgment.

This is a topic that I will incorporate into my interview answers, making sure to reference specific experiences at every chance I can. As a GRS member, we have countless experience with middle school students, where we have changed the students’ lives on a day to day basis, so why not use those experiences?!

We not only have experiences to use in interviews, but the coursework of the GRS program includes many assignments, lesson plans, and unit plans that can be great examples of your ability to plan, to accommodate to every students’ needs while centering lessons on state and national standards.

Another assignment that is common in the GRS program and I’m sure many other programs is the process of reflection. This is a great artifact to bring to an interview to show your process of reflection as an essential part of modifying and adjusting lessons.

I hope all of this information helps not only my fellow GRS members but also others who are going through the same process as I am. P.S. send all the good vibes my way as I venture to one of many interviews!

Recruitment day!

Wow what an exciting (and chaotic) week! First, I was back in the classroom twice this week through substitute teaching. See students who I had last year is so great, and to see students come up to me that didn’t have me as a teacher but remember me is a great compliment.

This week was also Teacher Recruitment day, where teacher-candidates from all around the western New York Region gather with administration from schools around the area and from schools across the country, and what an eye-opening experience it was.

I had the opportunity to talk with so many people from the Rochester Area, and with schools around the country about opportunities that are out there for me. It was the first time that I truly felt like all of the work I had put in to get where I am today was paying off, seeing different administration from schools in Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Virginia, and New York all explain how essential I would be to their school.

One thing I took away from a full day (9:00-4:30) of interviews was where my heart truly lies, and it is shown when different interviewers asked “What does your perfect classroom look like?” When I was first asked this question, I didn’t know how to politely say it doesn’t matter. Because it truly doesn’t matter what my classroom looks like, its about what it feels like. Let me explain.

While I have my Earth Science and Special Education teaching certifications, I would have a classroom that is Earth Science, Special Education, Math, Reading, Technology, or Physical Education. The space in which I teach isn’t as important as the company I carry in that space. The most important part of teaching are the students I can help. The students drive my passion every single day, and that’s why it doesn’t matter what my classroom looks like, because my perfect classroom has students who I can help, end of story.

And on that note, have a fantastic week!

Detour

Woah! I’m going to direct your attention to the class blog for the week. Enjoy!

We’re getting towards the end folks!

Things are changing around here!

Hello again!

So many things have happened this week, so let me fill you all in, as I know each and every person reading this clings to their computer, waiting for an update on my life every Friday (ish).

So first of all, I am officially a substitute teacher again! Woohoo, this is such a sigh of relief, because it has been very weird for me to not be in a classroom for this long.
So not only am I a substitute teacher again, but I already have multiple days lined up to sub in an Earth Science classroom, which I couldn’t be happier about. And it is at a school where I am very familiar with the faculty and the students, so all around just a great way to start off my week.
Second, I got a summer job! Some of you (the few who keep up) should be like “uh don’t you already work in retail?” well props to you, because you are absolutely right. Because of taking summer classes, I had to step down from my previous position at Henderson Harbor Water Sports program as the head swimming and sea squirts 1 and 2 instructor. I taught little (and not so little) ones how to swim and how to sail 1-person Opti’s.
(This is me in my paradise, notice all of my kids in the background, thats what you call “classroom” management)
This was quite literally my dream job, being paid to hang out all day with little kids teaching them how to love the water as much as I do.
And this is what I left. So naturally, after having withdrawals of the sunshine and water, I figured it was time to find a summer job that had to do with the outdoors and the water, that I was comfortable with and had experience, and that led me to… lifeguarding!
I have been a lifeguard for.. oh goodness I don’t even know how long, and my apartment complex has a pool! Sooooo, no money needs to be spend on gas and I can spend every day outside? Sign me up! I am meeting with the pool director today to see if it will work, and if it does, SO LONG RETAIL!
Well, thats my life for this week, I hope you had as great of a week as I did.
So long for now!

 

 

best news I’ve gotten all week!

Hello again!

This post is uncharacteristically early for me, but its because I got some great news, I’m going to be teaching again! Well, let me rephrase that, I’ll be in a classroom again! Starting next Monday, I’ll be back at the school that I was a long-term substitute for as a day to day substitute! I am beyond excited, for a couple of reasons. First, I was told by my boss about a week and a half ago that I am no longer allowed to have more than 16 hours per week: thats about a $120.00 paycheck per week. Frankly, thats just not gonna cut it.

And secondly, I have been lost without having a classroom. Its amazing how quickly you can grow accustomed to having your own classroom with your own group of kids. Its also crazy how long that longing can continue even after your class disappears.

So that being said, I am so so excited to finally be in a classroom again, even if it’s not mine and I will be in different classrooms every day, hey its one step closer to the real thing!

Until next week, cheers!