Thursday, April 18, 2013

That one time I graduated from college

April 12, 2013 I graduated!  I can hardly believe it, I don't have to go to anymore schooling (if I don't want to) I even finished out the semester with a 3.9 (I only had 1 A- and it was just barely below an A  :( booo).  It's a really weird feeling to graduate, I am all on my own now.  I don't have my teachers there guiding me and helping me out, I now have to put what I learned into action.  I wish I could take classes everyday (without the homework and tests of course) but I love learning about children, behavior techniques, different stages, teaching, etc...  It's sad to think I will never teach at BYU-I again I have learned so much here.  I am so thankful for the spirit of this campus and for the many relationships I have gained here. I had to write a reflection paper on my experience in the PPE program and I thought I would share that with you (feel free to skip right past it to the pictures, thats the good stuff anyway.)

           When I was little I always new I wanted to be a teacher, just like my dad.  When I got to college this was still my dream so I majored in Elementary Education.  While in one of my child development classes a girl came into our class to present on the Professional Preschool program.  I always knew I wanted to work with young children but I thought that the only to do that was to become an elementary teacher.  As soon as she finished her presentation I knew that was what I wanted to do.  I had such peace and was so excited to change my major and do something I really loved.  I went right after my class was out to officially change my major, and what a difference it has made. 
            My first semester in the PPE program was so exciting but also so scary and frustrating at times.  I will admit I have learned how to fake my way through school, but I couldn’t do this in our preschool classes.  I had to work my hardest to get everything ready on time; I had to be creative, independent, hard working, and self-efficient. I couldn’t just fake my way through a lesson plan and expect my day to go smooth, I had to put everything I had into them, not just for me but for the children I was teaching.  I really tried to become the best that I could be.  I often got frustrated and confused by the amount of things we had to do with little explanation.  It was hard at first getting used to having multiple teachers and different teaching strategies from all of them.  I had to learn how to become flexible, follow multiple teaching strategies, and learn in different ways. 
            I remember getting to know the other girls in our class really well and spending so much time together.  I am so thankful for those relationships and for the lasting friendships I have made.  I feel like we have all grown so much together, we have been through so much together and I am blessed to work so closely with those amazing girls.   I thought I finally had the system down and that I was getting in the hang of everything I had to do.  I knew where everything was located, I thought I was pretty good at writing lesson plans, and I was getting better at thinking out of the box.  But like I said earlier I had to learn to be flexible when I started my Lead semester.
            When I walked into class for the first time my lead semester I felt like I was prepared and ready for the semester ahead.  I was excited to see my friends again, even though there were only three of us in the class.  That’s when I found out almost everything had changed.  Our lesson plans were different, classes were changing, and even our resources were being moved around.  I think the teachers did a great job at helping us understand the new system.  The first few days we took the majority of our class time asking questions and learning about the new system. I glad to understand the new lesson plans now then when I was a supervisor.  My first semester I remember being so nervous to meet a new team, I thought that a few of them hated me even though we got along.  I was also nervous for this my lead semester but I was so blessed to get the team that I did.  We got along from the very beginning became very close. 
            I really enjoyed being the lead because I felt like I understood more and knew what I was doing.  I hope I wasn’t a “know it all”, even though I am sure I was at one time or another.  I had to become a supervisor early when Clarissa went into labor.  But I loved the challenge and our team really stepped up and worked together to get everything done.  This is when I felt like we were the closest.  This semester I also worked hard to do thing I had not done before. One of my favorite lesson plans was during my lead week.  I talked about light and dark the last day we had a glow in the dark day.  The children decorated shirts and I decorated the room in glow in the dark stars, black lights, and everything I could think of that would glow.  Looking back now there is so much more I would have done but I still remember this lesson and the fun it was.  Not only was it fun but also I felt like the children had caught on to what I was trying to teach that whole week.  We did a review of different types of lights and the difference between oblique, transparent, and translucent.  I don’t think that they would be able to remember the words but they knew what each was and helped me by grouping each of them.
            My supervisor year has been one of my most challenging and hardest but also one of the most rewarding.  This is when I felt like I really implemented what I had learned in all of my other classes.  I loved feeling in charge, but hated some of the responsibility that came with it.  I have a hard time with confrontation and it scared me to have to be the “boss” of six other girls who were all looking up to me to teach them what they had to know.  I also have a hard time delegating so this semester taught me a lot on sharing responsibility.  I stated to get burned out early on by all of the things I was trying to do.  I had to put my trust in my team to make the right choices and to also learn on their own.  This was frustrating for me though because they are all so different and have their own ideas as well.  Being the leader I had to learn to implement everyone’s ideas and learn that not everything as to be my way. 
            It was really hard for me to have some of the girls in my lab that I did.  I got frustrated really easily with some of the girls when they would choose to ignore my suggestions and things that I might have told them would work better.  I felt like I had to fix a lot of problems that didn’t need to happen if they would have just trusted me.  But that just goes back to having me step back and let them learn on their own.  I also wished that I could understand some of the thing they were thinking.  Being a non-confrontational person I felt like I let things slide a lot more because I was trying to be more of the friend then a leader.  If I had any advice for a future supervisor it would be to still have friendships but don’t be afraid to take charge.
            I have really enjoyed being in this program, the things I have learned, friendships gained, and for the time spent with all of the children I got to teach.  I have grown so much over the semesters and feel like I am a stronger and better person because of it.  I love going home and teaching my husband about the things I have learned and talking about teaching strategies that we want to implement in our own home with our own children.  I love seeing things that I was taught work on the children like, validating feelings. I love understanding about children more and the stages they go through.  I love teaching others about the things I am learning even if I talk about it all of the time.  It is so hard for me to not try to “parent” my sibling’s children and tell them why the strategies they are using might not be working.  I love teaching my family about different techniques to use on children, but I have to be careful not to tell them what to do and just teach them about what I have learned. I am scared to move on and forget the things that I have learned or how to use them.   I wish everyone had to learn the things I have, I feel like so many thing would be different if they had.
            I am so blessed to be in this major and learn from amazing teacher, and from the sweet children I in my classes.  This was exactly what I have always wanted to do and I am so thankful for the girl that came in to my class to teach me about it so that I could finally love what I do.  I am thankful for the classes I have had.  I was talking to someone the other day that said they hate school and can’t wait to be finished.  As hard as it was I wish I could always be taking classes and learning more.  I love learning about children and how to apply it, I feel like they are not just subjects that I have to take but they are more classes I want to learn more about.  It is so easy to go to school when you love what you do.  I am so sad to be moving away from BYU-I, this program, and the relationships I have made.  But I feel finally feel ready to go on my own and try to change the world one child at a time. 

The sun was in a bad place for picture taking...

So I just turned the sign around :)

 Sorry for the picture over load but there you have it, I am now a college graduate! Yahooo now on to the rest of my life! :)

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