Today I received an A on a paper that I was terrified (literally was having nightmares) that I'd get a C on. I'm psyched because I consider it the first major grade of my graduate education. On the flip side is that, for that same class, I've basically stopped reading the assigned novels. And I think most of the class has, too. A novel a week (on top of all my other work, which includes other novels for other classes) is just too much -- at least in terms of the densely formatted 500-pagers the prof chose for the semester. The real shame is that the books are excellent and I'd really enjoy reading and speaking about them with a class.
Back to the upside, I have done a shitload of reading this semester in spite of slacking off for that one class. Textbooks, novels, graphic novels, class readers... It would be interesting to count just how many pages in total. Maybe I'll do that at the end of the semester.
Defeat: This blog entry is taking the place of sleep. By which I mean I can't sleep right now, even though I got up early (after little sleep) so I could observe classes at BOCES. I was really looking forward to hitting the sack early. But for some reason I'm wired. However, that leads me back to victory [the structure of this entry is way out the window]. I got to help some kids with math (of all subjects) today, and I realized I really like working with the "difficult" kids. (For those who don't know, BOCES is basically a place for nothing but "difficult" kids.) I'd gotten a sense of this while I was at Huntington Learning Center, but somehow being at BOCES really brought it into focus for me. So I am now seriously considering get dual certified for special ed. And one of my profs is working on navigating the TESOL minefield to see if she can find a shortcut for me to get certified in that, too. So that would be triple certification. Yikes! Unfortunately [this part falls under the category of defeat], I don't know if special ed kids respond to the kind of teaching methodology that I've been learning about in my classes. What I need to find out is, do "special" students require "special" methods, and, if so, how do those methods differ from the kind of teaching I want to do?
The BOCES kids are nuts (literally and figuratively), and there are times (more-so than in a regular classroom) when the teachers really are nothing more than babysitters. But how much of that is because of the students, and how much is because of the educational system? The nice thing [victory!] is that I should get to learn a lot about it next semester because BOCES is desperate to get me on their sub list. (I wish I could say this was because I'm such an amazing teacher, but really they're just desperate for subs, and as soon as they heard I had an interest in special ed they practically started offering me a signing bonus.) So, if that works out [defeat?], it would be pretty cool [victory!].