My dining room table is cluttered with books, notebooks, a homeschool lesson planner, reading glasses, a Solo cup filled with writing implements, a leftover Christmas candle, and maybe a few muffin crumbs left behind after this morning's breakfast. I'll get them later. This is my life now. And I love it.
In August of 2017, we pulled our youngest out of public school, just in time for high school. Middle school was a nightmare for all of us, and we wanted to give him a more positive education experience for high school. Our new school situation was a big adjustment for the whole family, but especially student and teacher. But now we are in the swing of it, and he loves learning again. We do most of the work in the morning, both being morning people, and we are done with most assignments by noon. This leaves time for other activities, appointments, etc.
When I am not teaching or lesson planning I have my own assignments to work on. That's right; I am back in school. In January of 2018 I started the program for a MA in TESOL at Wheaton. This is sometimes called ESL or EFL. When I finish my studies and practicum, I will be qualified to teach English to speakers of other languages in public schools, community colleges, or other community programs, even in other parts of the world. This is something I have had interest in for at least two decades. But the time was never right to pursue it. I had little kids, so I just thought, "someday." Well, it seems that someday has arrived.
Now most of my teaching experience thus far has focused on children and adolescents, but in recent years I've felt a shift in where my heart truly is. It's as if God has nudged me in the direction of adult literacy: helping people who have come to this country for a better life. Actually helping by teaching a skill that will be most valuable as they make their way in this country.
I have begun this journey by taking only one course so far. Only one, but it is intense. A full semester condensed down to one quarter, much reading, writing papers, and projects. In fact there are no exams. It is all project-based. We meet once a week and my last class is this coming Wednesday, the 28th. My final project, a 12 page paper, is due on March 3.
And so I will leave you here because, obviously, I have a paper to write! I invite you to visit this website and blog as it grows.