So the other day I received an email from academic advising that started with “Dear Rising Senior: It’s time to start planning your senior year!” I kind of panicked, and might have shed a tear or two… just kidding. But I really don’t know how the time has passed by so quickly. What have I done for the past 3 years?! I’ve gone through finals week 6 times now. Wow, I really can’t believe it. So now is the time I should really start figuring out what I want to do….
I came into UNC majoring in biology… what a joke! I took Bio 101 and knew that had to change immediately. I changed majors to EXSS (not sure where that came from) and thought I wanted to be an occupational therapist. Then, I finally found my niche. I took Psyc 101 and hated it, but then I took a Psychology of the Infant Mind course and it just clicked. I decided that psychology was the route for me. I’ve taken so many psyc classes by now: social, child development, neuroscience, research methods, clinical, health, abnormal, and the list goes on. However, I know I don’t want to go to graduate school for psychology. And, unfortunately, it’s really tough to get a job with a BA in Psychology. So what now?
I decided to explore some other areas. I am minoring in Anthropology, which has provided me with a wide range of classes and knowledge. I’ve taken an anthropology of foods course, genetics, folklore, and this summer I’m studying the Anthropology of Food in Greece! This minor choice was kind of random, but I have thoroughly enjoyed every anthropology class I have taken.
The other path I chose was a minor in Education. This class, The Politics of Reading, is a course option for education minors. When I saw this class on Connect Carolina, I thought “Wow that sounds interesting I can learn how to be a more effective tutor!” However, this class has taken a completely different route than I first expected; and I have been pleasantly surprised.
I have honestly never taken a more integrative, free flowing, stimulating course. (and that is not an exaggeration) Being a psychology major, most of my classes are large lectures. The assessment of learning is solely multiple-choice exams, and a lot of papers. Textbook reading takes up a lot of time in psychology courses as well. However, this class took a totally different approach to teaching and learning.
- Blogging: I have never been a blogger. A lot of my classes require forum postings, which do not really compel you to think about the material or the readings deeply. However, this blog on WordPress has made me think about the topics in this class in much more depth. I have loved blogging about the issues with education policy and my experiences with reading so much that I have started my own blog on WordPress! (except I’ll be talking about my adventures in Greece)
- Grades and assignments: Most of my classes are set up such that multiple-choice tests are so heavily weighted that it places so much stress on memorizing, and not really learning. In this class, we were graded on our completion and understanding of assignments and course material so differently. We were able to read the readings, come up with our own questions and talk about our individual approaches to the material. We were to complete a final project on any topic related to education. I have loved it all.
- Guest speakers: We were able to Skype with so many guest speakers and learn about their personal experiences with common core, NCLB, literature in the classroom, etc. This was a great way to get first hand information. In most classes, everything is taken directly from textbook examples, and not augmented with real life experiences.
- The importance and influence of social media: This class has really opened my eyes to how to use social media in the classroom and with learning, as well as the actual influence and importance of social media in every day life. This blog has been widely spread and read by many people across the world. When I shared one of my posts on Facebook, I got so much feedback and praise on what I had written. I never imagined my Facebook friends would actually read, and enjoy my blog posts on social justice that much! One day we went around and asked people their opinions on standardized testing and tweeted the responses. The hashtag is really a crazy invention. Other than these sites, we have used so many other sites online to spread the word and collaborate our ideas.
All of these components and more have really come together and created an awesome course. I am leaving this class knowing so much more about educational policy, issues in the education system, what the internet truly has to offer, the fun in blogging, the truth behind ELL programs, NCLB, Common Core, and even the organization I work for (America Reads).
In all, I’m really sad about being a senior, but also really excited for a new stage in life. Although I still don’t know exactly what I want to do after school, I have narrowed it down to two options: school counseling and social work. This class could really play into both of these options. I guess time will only tell which path I take!!
Either way, I’m really, really glad I took this class. Leigh, I looked on ConnectCarolina to see if you were teaching any Educ classes next semester but it looks like they’re all upper level 😦 Thanks to my classmates, the guest speakers, and Leigh for making this the most fun class I’ve taken. I’ll miss y’all!