Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Year Two of Grad School -- Over!

Some course materials ... except for The Great Gatsby. Had time to sneak it into my reading. :-)

I can breathe! Returned from my back-to-back trips to Hispanicize and a much needed family vacation to the end of my second year of graduate school. Can't believe I just typed those words. They look bizarre on the page: second year of graduate school. I've survived it all! Presentations, role-playing, writing and reading assignments. This week sees the end of my 100-hour practicum at the middle school, then a short breather before summer school starts next month.

Meetings, Meetings and More Meetings

I've been exposed to A LOT at the middle school: initial and three year IEP meetings, transition from middle school to high school meetings, 504 meetings, parent-teacher meetings, administration-guidance meetings, student group meetings, counseling sessions with students. In short, I've gotten a broader glimpse into what the job of a school guidance counselor entails. How they're able to cram so much into their days, know the names of the over two hundred students they're assigned, and keep it all straight -- I don't know! Often they don't eat lunch, run from one meeting to the next, when they're not on the phone with parents, community services, or filling out the reams of paperwork that mandated. A good amount of endurance and a healthy sense of humor are required.

Being a parent myself and having the experience of going through the IEP process has helped me to appreciate being on both sides of the table.

Tim Wise: White Privilege, Racism, White Denial & The Cost of Inequality

Multicultural Counseling Weekend

One of the best experiences I had this semester took place over several weekends, both Saturdays and Sundays, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Crazy, right? Truth is I couldn't wait to get to  Multicultural Counseling for Children and Adolescents. We tackled some pretty heavy-duty material that made some uncomfortable, while reaffirming the experiences of others. Racism, stereotypes, micro-aggressions, a close inspection of our own biases and assumptions, and advocacy for underserved populations were just a few of the topics we covered.

What I didn't know before starting this program at Cambridge College is that the role of the school guidance counselor is evolving into one of being an agent of social change. Be ready to make yourself heard.

Microagressions and Stereotypes Matching Lesson

Here's an interesting classroom lesson ... matching microagressions to their corresponding stereotypes ... the class did a pretty good job of identifying the pairs. Encouraging to know that educators entering the profession have a high-level of awareness that will help all of us effectively advocate for students and their families.

Micro-agressions and Stereotypes Matching Lesson

This colorful class project has been hanging on one of the walls of our building since I started school. The bright colors, symbols and energy depicted in it make me smile every time I walk by it. Yup, even adults do art projects in school. :-)

I'm anticipating the future and am already thinking about looking for a job in the spring. I cannot wait for either school or the internship to start in the fall. In the meantime, my husband and son are happy to have my undivided attention and I'm happy to just "be."

Feeling blessed.