Monday, February 21, 2005

Happy President's Day

One of the interesting aspects of going to school in the United States is my schedule being affected by American holidays. Today is President's Day and as such I have this week to take care of a great deal of school work that is all due a week from today.

This past week has been marked by the myriad conversations I've had regarding my experiences at D'Youville with friends and strangers alike. The one idea that continually came up was how wonderful it is to have this time—from a month ago until September most likely—to really consider with healthy naiveté and idealism what kind of teacher I want to be.

One thing that I most certainly failed to appreciate the first time around on the formal post-secondary education train was the amount of structured time there is to consider important ideas and how I can apply them to my day to day. Two degrees in philosophy have given me many tools and experiences that I wouldn't trade for the world, but this B.Ed. is the perfect combination of theory and practice. This fact is constantly emphasised by my professors. I have been introduced to a very wide array of approaches to teaching. These approaches have either been described and discussed at length or are being used by professors and fellow student every day. Each approach has substantial theory behind it and the study of these theories and how they are applied forms the foundation for my thoughts.

I find it particularly striking when I compare what my life was like this time last year. I was working a 70 hour work week, doing assembly work for permission email marketing for clients that are some of the largest producers of consumer goods in the world. I had no time to speak to friends and family, let alone think about what kind of person I want to be. The gift of time has made my life (and my family's) richer and more joyful that I could have ever imagined.

By the time May 2nd roles around, I need to have a coherent statement of belief and intent about teaching. I see real value in this exercise and I think that it is just right that this statement is due on the last day of school. I will be posting and commenting on it as it begins to come together.