Monthly Archives: May 2008

Well, it’s official–I have survived Spring semester, 2008. This has been the most challenging semester of my academic career so far, which *may* explain the recent lack of posting. Now that “summer semester” has come, I intend to mine this semester’s coursework for material to post on. So much learning, research, experimentation, networking, and observation has transpired, and now it’s time to reflect on it.

Here are some of my intended areas of discussion for the coming months:
*Reflections on my observation experiences at two very different institutions, Milwaukee’s Hartford University School for Urban Exploration and Saint Paul’s Cretin-Durham Hall.
*Gender issue concerns in teaching
*What is the “teacher identity”?
*Pedagogy: Art vs. Science
*White privilege and cultural sensitivity
*Curriculum and the Canon
*Teacher communities
*Motivation (for teachers AND students)
*More entries on the “books” page

I expect the next series of postings to flow at a rapid-fire rate, so be sure to visit again soon!

I was recently informed that I am the recipient of two scholarships awarded through UW-Milwaukee’s School of Education: the Cozette Krueger Scholarship, and another scholarship from an anonymous grant. The generous funding from these scholarships will assist in paying NEARLY ALL of my tuition for next year. I couldn’t be more ecstatic! Thus far, I’ve been working myself to the point of exhaustion just to pay for school. Thanks to my donors and Dean Thurman, I’ll be able to present a better-rested, better-focused, happier teacher to my student teaching classrooms. I owe him, and the School of Education at large, at least ten million thank you’s.

THANK YOU X 10,000,000!

In honor of this occasion, I thought I’d post my response to one of the scholarship prompts. As I now stand on the brink of my first urban teaching experience, I find it timely and relevant. Also, I offer this as a response to all those who recoil when I tell them I’ll be teaching in MPS:

What are your career goals? Be specific in how your goals demonstrate your commitment to urban education or the urban community.

I have a lifelong desire for diversity, equality, and tolerance. My biggest career goal is to be an excellent teacher to every single one of my students, regardless of race, socioeconomic status, gender, creed, orientation, or any other quality. I can only fulfill this goal if I am exposed to a variety of students from all of these categories, and I therefore embrace the challenge of an urban environment. It seems that everyone says that he or she wants to work for equality in our communities. I don’t want to be someone who writes those words down on this page and then walks away from them. I want to be part of a real change in a society that still does not exhibit true equality. I want to live this sentiment through how I treat my future students as well as the high standards that I will hold them to in my classroom.

I was raised with the idea that everyone has a social responsibility to show compassion for the poor, to respect those different from ourselves, and to give of ourselves in service of our community. I still cling fiercely to that ideal. I welcome an urban setting, where such values will thrive. My commitment to service is part of why I want to be a teacher.

Another major goal of mine, which is particular to my field, is to instill the idea that English is an invaluable subject area. Reading, writing, and interpreting text is necessary at nearly every level of every profession. I hope to show all of my students the skills to be superior readers and writers, to ensure that they can understand the world around them and express themselves with eloquence. It is my belief that those who can wield language can create and advocate for their own success. I want every student to have that chance, especially in an urban environment, where people seem to expect lower things. I want to help my students prove them wrong.