The main purpose of this blog is to fill my Educ 504 Teaching with Technology requirement. However, I have been interested in the idea of blogging ever since my Dad told me I should start one about two years ago. This class has finally "jump-started" my blogging career. (Sorry Dad!)

Sunday, August 5, 2012

My Last Posting (for now!)

Graduating in the onset of Michigan's economic disaster, I knew finding a job would be tough.  Throughout my adolescent years I was under the impression that everyone was guaranteed a secure nine-to-five job, with health benefits.  I even remember an in-class discussion in my first amendment rights course on whether or not a person had a right to a job in America.  After an entire hour and a half, we had anonymously concluded that no, jobs were not guaranteed (by legal mandates, anyway).

It wasn't until my junior and senior year of college that that panic attacks began and the anxiety associated with graduation about life after I received my diploma.  Add on top of that the rise of unemployment rates the summer I began applying for jobs.  I didn't even receive invitations for interviews and opportunities seemed sparse.  I ended up taking a job in retail, where I was promised prompt success and promotion to corporate within a short period of time.  Three years later, I truly re-evaluated my life and where I saw myself in five years.  I didn't see much of a change in my current "career" path, so I reverted back to my high school dream of becoming a teacher like Ms. Why, my English AC teacher, who opened my eyes to the world of literature.  (That, and my mother's intense interest for reading, and books in general, later led to one of my undergraduate majors: English Literature.)

I bring up this story because as one of our guest speakers described her journey from finding that nine-to-five job to going back to U of M to become a teacher, I saw a reflection of myself.  Even though she had found a job right after college, in a career field associated with her major, she still wasn't happy.  I wonder if this would have happened to me if conditions had been different when I graduated... I'm not a fan of the "what if"s but nevertheless I was somewhat jarred as I sat in class, listening to this woman's story.  Another aspect of her journey I found reassuring was when she told us all about how she ended up where she is in life today.  I believe she graduated the SMAC program around the same time I graduated from undergraduate school, but the terms were the same for her as they were for me.  She recalled being one of the top two candidates for fifteen different interviews, and she wasn't chosen.  Even as she was telling us this, she had  smile on her face.  She told us it was okay because she would never have found the program she is currently working for, and she loves where she is in life today!

I have always been a firm believer that "everything happens for a reason", whether it is through your doing or not.  Not to put a religious spin on this post but I don't really buy into the idea that everyone has a plan laid out for them to follow; manifest destiny, if you will.  On the other side of the same coin; however, I am not as critically pessimistic to not believe that we are here for a reason and that there are occurrences that are necessary for future opportunities to arise.  Basically, I believe that I am supposed to teach, and that most of the experiences I have had, so far, lead me to getting certified and to be a teacher!

And back to last Friday...

There was an uncomfortable moment shared among our guest speakers when Jeff asked how they use technology in their classrooms.  They became somewhat hesitant and bashful, and some even looked ashamed that they didn't use technology as much as they (or Jeff) would have liked.  It was like our class was watching five protegees letting their master down!  I felt for them.  Especially after our in-class argument (I would say discussion, but no) over accepting increased amounts of technology in schools.  There is a reform occurring in school systems across the nation - but it's taking time and varies among different schools and their classrooms.  It's not going to occur overnight and suddenly every single chalkboard is going to be replaced by a smartboard.  No.  It is a slow process - another theme I have found in the world of education (the first being time).  BUT, as educators, I believe it is very important, as well as essential, to be knowledgeable in the forms of technology that may, or may not, randomly show up in our classrooms one day.  We will be expected to perform because it will be our responsibility, our job, as educators to teach others through the use of technology.



  1. I think we are on the same page regarding the class discussion/argument. I like the way you put it in your comment on my blog when you said that arguing about the inevitability of change is pointless. I agree.

    I also graduated from Michigan undergrad at the height of this economic mess. I graduated in '09 and at graduation, Mary Sue basically told us that the only other graduating class to face such a grim future was a class to graduate during the depression. The dismal economy was continually brought up by every speaker throughout the ceremony. I was waiting for someone to say "stand if you're moving back home!"

    I was scared. I had a job at the time, but it wasn't permanent. I had just decided that I no longer wanted to be on the med school track, but I had no idea what I wanted to do instead, although teaching was always at the back of my mind. After that job ended, I was unemployed for some time before officially turning my sights on teaching. I began working on completing coursework for this program and here I am! I also believe in some sort of master plan, and I know that this is where I'm supposed to be as well!

    Thank you for your post. It really hit home for me too!

    1. I wonder if we were at the same graduation ceremony! I too had similar speeches made about how hard it was going to be to find a job, and that the last time Michigan was in an economic crisis as devastating as this was during the Great Depression! (I graduated UM in May 2009... you?) I remember sitting in the stadium thinking back to my sophomore advising appointment, when I declared one of my majors in English Literature. I felt empowered by his constant assurances that I would find a job with a degree in English. My parents were not as optimistic: they told me to get a "real" degree in math or science. I wasn't inclined to stay more than four years in college so I supplemented my first degree with another in Communication Studies, thinking it as a perfect dynamic duo. Nope. Even though my academic adviser wasn't incorrect in telling me that I would find a job, I didn't find a "good" job in my parents eyes. It had nothing to do with English or the media and I'm pretty sure I was going nowhere in that career path.

      I'm not sorry for the three years I spent in my previous "career" especially after hearing from our guest speakers last Friday how difficult it was for them finding a job back then, even though they graduated from the 4th highest ranking teacher education program! But now that the economy is (hopefully) in a consistent progression towards lowering the unemployment rate, I am confident that every single one of us will be able to find a "good" job in the teaching field where we are happy, (and maybe our parents will approve too!)

  2. I've said it before and I'll say it again: We have to use the tools we have to their greatest potential. (I haven't said it exactly like that before but, oh well.) Whatever technology we have in our classrooms can be used to some degree. If what you've got isn't working, fix it, modify it, or bring in something better. The fact that the technology in your classroom doesn't do what you need it to can lead to a productive discussion with your students. Incorporate them into your problem solving. Find out how they use the technology in their lives, what works, what doesn't, and how they'd modify it. Lots of material there. When talking about an ELA classroom, there are tons of opportunities to either incorporate or discuss technology. I remember talking to this guy about his guitar. He must have been about 70 years old and one of the most talented guitarists I'd ever met. His guitar was missing two strings. I asked him why he didn't replace them and he told me "I can play all the notes I need to on these." Wow, talk about using what you've got to its full potential.

    1. But what if that same old man was capable of finding new and improved guitar strings that allowed him to play the most amazing pieces of instrumental beauty ever heard? In this question I am actually asking about how people may benefit for not only using every innate ability they have for teaching and their behaviors/attitudes towards teaching, but what if we were able to successfully add onto those wonderful characteristics the positive benefits of technology?