professornana (professornana) wrote,
professornana
professornana

how i got here

A friend on Facebook asked me to blog about my journey from the middle school classroom to the university classroom. So, here is the story.

As I was nearing the final hours of my doctoral degree, I knew I needed to have more time to work on the dissertqation. Grabbing a few hours here and there would mean delaying the degree more. I asked my building principal if I coud arrange for a half time position. I offered to teach 4 of the 7 class periods during the day and even said I would do bus and lunch and hall duties regularly. I thought if I taught half of the day, I could use the other half for writing. Unfortunately, my principal could not make that happen (though now it is almost commonplace), so I tendered my resignation. I hated to leave the classroom, but I know there are lots of ABD (all but dissertation) folks out there. I wanted to finish.

I took a part time position for the summer at SHSU teaaching children's literature to the undergraduate students in teacher education. I applied for a full time position they had open. I did not get the position, so I took a half time position at the University of Houston teaching reading classes. Before the semester could get underway, SHSU called and offered me a temporary position since the person who had been offered the full time job had decided not to come after all (I am eternally grateful for this). So, I had a temporary job teaaching literature at SHSU.

I am, as a friend's husband notes, "relentless," and I campaigned for the job. I was hired as an Instructor until I could complete the dissertation. That was more than 26 years ago. Now I look back still and shake my head in wonder. I love my job. I love my colleagues.

Do I miss the kids? I do. For at least 10 years, I went into classrooms and libraries and spoke to thousands of kids each year about books and reading. My undergrad classes mentored middle school kids in person and on line. And I astill had FTF classes with students daily and then weekly.

Now that we are online, I feel the void more. I miss seeing students FTF regularly. There is a sort of energy boost I still get from them. I love seeing ideas take shapes. I love watching new learning emerge. But this job affords me so many other opportunities. Here I am in NYC for the next 3 days at the USBBY conference (well, I was when I scheduled this post. Now I am back home for 1 whole day before heading off to another PD in Pasadena, TX). I will have the chance to share ideas with colleagues from across the country. I have the chance to serve on more committees, to offer PD outside of Texas (and even the country sometimes). My schedule is more flexible.

I admire and appreciate those who work with kids still. But I think I can have more impact working with preservice and inservice teachers and school librarians at this point. As I near retirement, I think about all those in the claqssrooms at all levels who are impacting kids and teaching and books and reading. It makes me happy knowing the future looks bright.
Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 0 comments