Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime. -Mark Twain
Well, crazy enough: The day has come! Adventure day! Currently, as I start this blog, I am writing this post on Microsoft word, as I fly (spirit airlines) to my first stop: Fort Lauderdale.
I must admit, even though I’m only about 20 minutes…it’s already been a whirlwind.
This is going to be a two-part blog,
First part: Leaving my first placement.
Second Part: Travel!
Those of you who are reading this to find out traveling information: go to the second part.
Leaving my First Placement:
Starting with this Thursday, I left my first placement. It was heartbreaking to leave the kiddos I had developed relationships with, but I was heartwarmingly surprised by the generosity of my kiddos who got me a gift and my CT who made me an awesome book about “what will you miss about Ms. McCormick.” (Trust me, the responses were AWESOME…some of the kiddos think that we do a lot of cleaning at Roosevelt Elementary?)
As I leave my first placement, I first off, am slightly saddened because I absolutely loved it. I almost asked to stay, but am so excited for this adventure, so, time to adventure on! However, the most important thing for me to reflect on is my personal views about three things:
Sidenote: I also could do a blog post about how I love “lists,” and how I need them to function, but that is a whole different conversation.
In my humble opinion, reflecting is a key aspect of being an educator. You have so many things to reflect on, that in my opinion, it is important to always be reflective. This is why; I believe that when I have my own classroom, I will have some tool in place to be able to reflect upon teaching. What went right, what went wrong, and how I can improve.
Building relationships is another essential part of the classroom. You know the reason that it was so hard to leave? Relationships. The conversations I had with students helped me be able to better instruct them and deal with a LOT less behavior difficulties. Not only did it help with behavior difficulties, it helped the students feel supported and that I care. I know in education, we have a lot of sh** to do. (Excuse my frankness) but, it is also important that students (this also can be just generalized to say people) need to know we care.
Think about this:
You’re having a conversation with someone. They seem non-interested. Do you want to continue having interacting with them? Chances are, probably not. By doing this, we are loosing an opportunity for growth and improvement because conversations help us learn and share information.
When, as educators, we act uninterested in students conversations, it increases that opportunity that students will not want to learn or share information with us…which just makes the classroom that much more difficult.
Simply put: I need to still work on my academic language and best ways of instruction. I’m making improvements, but this is still something that must be improved.
I was freaking out about leaving.
I know this is weird, but I LOVE packing. I think it’s fun to see how much stuff I can fit in such a small amount of space.
I think the mixture of having to pack up my apartment, finish my classes, leave a guy I just started dating, have my family drop me off, and my packing disaster (more on that in just a second) made this the most difficult pre-adventure I have yet faced.
However, I conquered it. And I’m now sitting peacefully on a plane reading to head onto my 3-month adventure of student teaching.
- I had to move out of my apartment before I flew out of Detroit.
My stuff is currently in Saginaw, MI and Milwaukee, WI.
- I had a new suitcase, which was in Saginaw, MI.
- At 12:38am March 13th, my airport into Costa Rica shut down for approximately 12 hours because of “volcanic activity.”
- I hadn’t slept a good nights rest in about 3-4 days.
- My suitcase had to be 40 pounds, not 50.
The joys of flying with spirit airline (which, by the way, so far do not hate however would not do again for a long term adventure)
- I had 8-16 pounds worth of posters for the school I am volunteering in, which drastically cut back on the amount of wiggle room I had for packing.
- My favorite backpack ripped right as it was finished being packed about 1 hour before we needed to leave. .
All of these factors together, caused me some unneeded stress, including tears and punching a bag. It was not a pretty sight.
(Reflecting time!) Ways I could have conquered this stress:
- Better organization.
- Asked for additional time. (Actually erase that, because I did ask for additional time. I should have demanded additional time and stood up for myself more!)
Therefore, Stritch students, I have my first “advice,” for you:
GIVE YOURSELF ENOUGH TIME TO HAVE AT LEAST 6 HOURS FOR PACKING, MENTALLY PREPRING, ETC.
Also, use all your resources and ask as many questions as possible. Lean on your family/friends for support. (Kudos to mine who didn’t freak out once while I was freaking out and instead remained calm, cool and collected)
Can’t wait till I can update everyone on what Costa Rica, my host family, and Cloud Forest!
Ps. I’m now officially sitting in the Fort Lauderdale airport! One flight left until I arrive!