This should come as no shocker, but grad school coursework has taken up even more of my time than I had anticipated. Who knew, right? If I haven’t mentioned this before, I’m getting my Master’s in Teaching with an added ESOL endorsement. Before I dive in to today’s post, I will mentioned one more thing–I’ve chosen this path more out of practicality rather than following my dreams. My hope is that by teaching, I get to assist young people while they find their path (and teach them about literature) and with all of those lovely breaks I can pursue some of my passions. With that being said, I am starting to become a little excited, even though the workload has been intense already.
Now to the point. One of our ongoing assignments are to keep weekly journals of ongoing discussions and thoughts, and I decided I would share them here as well to make sure I keep up with them. Today’s post is from last week (my first week of school) and tomorrow I will post this week’s to get all caught up. The journal question I responded to last week (each week I will answer one or more questions) was: In what ways do you see yourself belonging to and contributing to this learning community (our cohorts)? Here goes.
I will be honest, I have been apprehensive about the idea of a cohort and having to be open and present for yet another group of people (in addition to family, friends, students, coworkers, etc.). While I have always loved the idea of community and people coming together for a common goal, I at times struggle with the “newness” of a change and being in unfamiliar territory. Beyond that, I am an exceedingly independent learner. With that being said, I was pleasantly surprised with how our first class went and I was thrilled to find that my normal twinges of anxiety were barely present. I will attribute that to the fact that everyone is indeed here for a common goal–to educate and inspire young students–and also finally getting to know faces and personalities. It was inspiring (and relieving) to hear the ideas of others in the cohort and to at times be in complete sync with a few and at other times to be exposed to a new way of seeing something. I feel much more of a sense of belonging than I have admittedly felt up to this point. I believe that I am looking at the experience more openly that I have allowed myself to recently. It was so exciting to see everyone already building connections and full of encouragement and respect for each other. Basically, it is nice to know that I am not the only one with questions and concerns. I hope to grow with this little community and I plan to show up each week fully engaged and ready to collaborate and hold space for my fellow educators-in-training. What I don’t want to do is fall prey to self-doubt and comparison and hold myself back from contributing while closing myself off from ideas from others. I’m going to be a supportive and encouraging colleague and bring to discussions compassion and respect. It is comforting to know that no matter our backgrounds and levels of “life crazy” as I call it, we’re all in the same boat. In the words of the ever-immortal High School Musical Cast: “We’re All in this Together,” and I am finally starting to feel some excitement.