Every semester has its own rhythm depending on the courses I teach, the committees I'm on and the research I'm engaged in. It's about the 3rd or 4th week of the semester when things begin to settle into a routine.
This week the juniors in my math/science class completed their second week of public school classroom experiences and were full of wonderful stories about working with their 2nd - 5th grade students. Many of them are working with students recently arrived from Asia, Africa and other countries around the world.
My sophomores begin their field experiences next Thursday so there will more stories and experiences to hear about. My classes really seem to come to life when we can talk about real children.
I also heard this week that I had been awarded $4200 from the vanderHeyden foundation to bring the 3 noted Irish musicians to campus for the Concert for St. Patrick in March. Liz Carroll, Mick Maloney, and Billy McComiskey really are icons in their field and should provide the community with a wonderful concert. The concert will be free so it will be quite a challenge limiting attendance to the 350 capacity of the McCarthy Performing Arts Center.
It was also a busy advising week with several of my advisees wondering if becoming a teacher was what they really wanted to do with their lives. After 90 minutes of difficult thought and reflection one of my sophomores made the brave decision that perhaps a career in teaching was not something she really wanted to embark upon right now. She decided to continue with the same major she had paired with her Education major so no time/credit or additional expense had been lost or incurred.
The other student, a junior was having a difficult time accommodating two completely different philosophical viewpoints of Education. I really like it when my students are faced with these dilemmas because they are authentic opportunities for learning. We resolved the issue by deciding that any viewpoint you hold and believe in is more valid if you have a good understanding of the opposite point of view.
And isn't that a cool mathematically challenged double decker bus from the world of Harry Potter?