Wednesday, April 20, 2016

All Good Things

Post Written By: Abi Nixon
Year: Senior
Major(s): Middle Childhood-Early Adolescent Education
Minor(s): General Science

As my time being a UWL student comes to an end, I have been reflecting on all the amazing opportunities and memories I have of being apart of the student body.  It is weird to think that three years ago (yes, I will be graduating in three years), I was a high school senior who was just trying to figure out which college to attend.  There are so many options for college out there, and I am just thankful that I took my time and truly chose the right choice for me.

During my time at UWL, I was able to meet great professors who really cared about me as a learner and a growing professional.  They taught me everything there is to know about the world of education and helped prepare me to be the best teacher I can be.  One pivotal memory I have from my first semester at La Crosse happened in EDS 303 (Fundamentals of Education) with Dr. Thomas.  This class is one of the very first education classes you take as an education major.  One assignment for this class was to write your educational philosophy.  In the paper I wrote, "I hope to be a facilitator of learning and teach my students through discovery.  I want to equip my students with the skills they need to go out and discover the things that they want to learn about."  Looking back at this paper, I can see that these are pure thoughts.  As I graduate and look forward to my future, I want to remember that what I wrote in that first paper is still possible.  Yes, you do have to follow a curriculum and yes, some days are harder than others.  But as a teacher, you have to remember that initial hope you had for your future classrooms and how you truly wanted to educate your future students even from the very beginning of your journey into the profession.  

UWL has also allowed me to participate in many unique opportunities during my time as a student.  I was able to go to WEA meetings and learn about the education world with my peers.  UWL also prepared me to be ready for unique internship opportunities such as working with Breakthrough Twin Cities over the summer and as a WIP Student Teaching Intern.  These experiences in combination with the in-depth coursework I completed while at UWL, shaped me into the educator I am today.

Recently, my student teaching seminar teacher brought up the point that half of new teachers leave the classroom within the first five years.  This may be true, and it is a hard reality that you may get burned out as a teacher.  However, whatever time you spend in a classroom whether it be as a field student, student teacher, or full-fledged teacher is precious to the learners you interact with.  In even a small amount of time, a teacher can have a tremendous impact on their students' lives.  I think this is really what we have to remember.  I am so thankful that UWL was the place were I decided to start my path into the education world, and I look forward to seeing what the future holds!