Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Some Background on Me

Post Written By: Elyse Bley
Year: Sophomore
Major(s): Early Childhood - Middle Childhood
Minor(s): Spanish

My name is Elyse Bley, and I am a sophomore here at UWL. I grew up in Delafield, Wisconsin, which is about twenty minutes from Waukesha. This is my first ever post for UWL’s School of Education, so, without getting too corny, here’s a little bit about myself: tacos are my favorite food, I’m pretty sure I have a caffeine addiction, dolls freak me out, I worked as a Teacher’s Assistant to K-3 students this summer, and have been a receptionist at a hair salon since I was sixteen. Most importantly, I’m majoring in Early Childhood - Middle Childhood Education with a Spanish minor.

Teaching is the only realistically attainable profession I have ever considered. Before I realized my true calling, I dreamed of being a princess or a superstar, though both would have been ideal. It wasn’t until I was ten-years-old that I really knew what I was meant to do. I went into fifth grade wondering how anyone could possibly choose to go to school for the rest of their life, and left planning which of my teacher’s methods I would carry into my future classroom. So, what changed? I guess I just had a really rocking time in fifth grade! I got straight A’s for the first time in my life, I had some really great friends, and a teacher I revered. Soon, I realized it wasn’t just fifth grade that was wonderful, it was my entire educational career up until that point. One night, in an attempt to spread my appreciation for learning, I sat on my kitchen floor forcing reading lessons upon my younger neighbor. My mom, who had been watching me as she made dinner, later came up to me and suggested the idea of becoming a reading specialist. While I didn’t find that specific path too exciting, it was at that moment that it occurred to me that just like school, teaching wasn't so lame either. Passing years only solidified my future in education. Regular babysitting and working in both a second and fifth grade classroom were not enough to scare me away, but instead fueled the fire.

When the time came to begin applying to universities, I was absolutely terrified of adulthood and responsibilities, and I had no idea what I was doing. I waited until the very last minute before I began blindly applying to schools. I still don’t know what drove me to include UW - La Crosse in my list, but it ended up as one of my top two choices due to its great reputation in the UW System, its location, and impressive education program. After visiting La Crosse, I knew it was the right fit; everyone is so friendly and active, the scenery is breathtaking, and there is no shortage of fun things to do. Between the small class sizes, easy communication with faculty, textbook rental, and so many other resources, it’s clear the school puts a lot into student care. The group of instructors in the School of Education are quick to communicate with one another and their students. I am not a number; my education is individualized, and my career is important.

I am really thankful for all of the opportunities and experiences that have been presented to me in my short time here. Since starting college in the fall of 2015 I have learned a lot about myself and my place in the world. I’ve done loads of volunteering, made some really great friends, and tutored and taught sixth graders after school. I am so proud to be an Eagle (I promise I’m not being forced to say this, I just really love it here) and while I have a long way to go and a lot more to accomplish, I’m so excited to continue studying education and to continue my journey with you all!     

A Little Bit About Me

Post Written By: Elizabeth Greene
Year: Sophomore
Major(s): Middle Childhood-Early Adolescent Education
Minor(s): Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

Hi everyone! This is my first time blogging for the school of education so I will start out with a little introduction. My name is Elizabeth Greene, but most people call me Izzy. I am a sophomore here at UW-L and a middle childhood-early adolescence major with a teaching English to speakers of other languages minor (TESOL). I am from Brookfield, Wisconsin which is a suburb of Milwaukee. I chose to come to school here for many reasons. For me it was a perfect school. My dad grew up around here, so I have a lot of family in the area, and it is also a good distance from home. The school of education also has a great reputation, and I knew coming into school that that was what I had wanted to go into.

I have always loved being around kids. I regularly babysat, volunteered at schools, and I worked as a nanny so choosing the school of education was an easy choice for me. I have wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember, and starting classes here just reinforced that. I have had an incredible experience in the program so far. Last year I was involved in a few different activities through the School of Education. One was through Logan Middle School here in La Crosse. A group of students from one of my classes would plan mini lessons based on what the students were learning and we would spend time teaching and working with the students on their homework. This was a great opportunity for us to be teaching some already in our freshman year. I also had the opportunity to go to the Western Wisconsin Educators Conference. This was another great way for me to get involved in the teaching community early on in my studies. This year I will be tutoring again this time at Hamilton Elementary School, and I am so excited to work with students again. I have just recently applied to the School of Education, and I can’t wait to continue my journey through the program.

I am looking forward to continuing to post about my journey here throughout the semester. I hope that it helps you to learn a little bit more about what it’s like to be at this point in the MC-EA program here at UW-L.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Post Written By: Brett Pickarts
Year: Senior
Major(s): Middle Childhood-Early Adolescent Education
Minor(s): General Science
Hello everyone! This is my first time contributing to the School of Education Blog and I am very excited to share my experiences as a teacher candidate in student teaching. My name is Brett Pickarts and I am a fifth year senior studying Middle Childhood-Early Adolescence Education with a General Science Minor. I am originally from Janesville, Wisconsin which is about thirty miles south of Madison. Deciding on UW-L was an easy choice for me as it was the perfect distance away from home (not too far away to enjoy a home cooked meal), and the incredible reputation that the School of Education has across the UW System and school districts. The School of Education, along with the extraordinary and dedicated university staff, cooperating teachers and advisors, have prepared me to be successful and knowledgeable within many different disciplines and practices in today’s classroom. For that, I am very thankful to write for the School of Education Blog and represent UW-L in the Institute of Urban Education in Milwaukee Public Schools this semester.  
 My work experience with kiddos from Milwaukee at Camp Whitcomb/Mason, guidance from Dr. Ann Yehle, attending the American Middle Level Education Conference in Nashville, and my diverse field experiences, I became interested in becoming a teacher and contributing to urban education. At the first student teaching meeting, Cindy Duley discussed a unique opportunity to participate in a program in Milwaukee Public Schools. At the first chance, with excitement I might add, I applied and was accepted to participate in the program that is conducted by UW-Milwaukee and accepts applicants from the entire UW system. Milwaukee Public Schools is an extremely large district with tons of energy and enthusiasm to serve their students.  After the teacher pep rally at the BMO Harris Bradley Center (where the Bucks play), useful professional development, and meeting parents at an open house I am very enthusiastic on how much I can learn this semester being part of the Milwaukee Public School family. I am enjoying my time at Garland School (Pre K-8) and look forward to sharing more about my new life as a student teacher and a new resident of the great city of Milwaukee.