Wow. Just wow. I am not exactly sure where to begin explaining my experience within this wondrous journey that I embarked on to stimulate my mind as writer. One thing ‘s for certain is that this class and group of individuals will hold A special place in my memories. Coming into this course, I was expecting just as I said, a “course”. A professor standing in front of us lecturing about the proper techniques of how to become a better academic writer, oh how I was wrong. Within this writreat I was able to discover a better sense of self, a better sense of my passions as a future global educator. Through each morning write into the day (I hope my fellow academics caught the word pun) my mind opened to ideas that I could have not that of the previous day. My biggest takeaway from this course is to listen to myself and write where the heart takes me. Of course I have standby the proper procedures of my designated project, but every word I wrote came straight from the heart. Being able so also share my writing and passion with my fellow classmates made the feeling even more surreal. Having others enjoy what I have to say is what made me want to keep writing, coming up with new ideas, falling in love with the process of writing.
Going forward in my academic and professional career, what I will take away from this writreat is building connections. Through the connects I made with my classmates, I was able to get a different perspective from others. Being able to work in a space full of working minds made me want to work harder. Surrounding myself with other passionate individual reawakened my writing skills as an academic. Yesterday was my final day of the course and I am excited to see the rest of Master’s journey.leave a commentedit”self – assesment: last blog as a writreater”
“The Hustle Never Stops”
– Patricia D.
Entering into day seven of the writreat, there is a sense of satisfaction that I am curently experiencing. Being able to get the second drafts done for two very important essays in my current academic career has been nothing but a great relief. Reflecting back on my first week of my first ever graduate class, I honestly did not think I would see this much growth in such a short amount of time. Starting from just focusing on one essay, finishing a draft for a second essay, creating a new form of educational communication, planning out potential workshops, and even figuring out myself as an academic, educator, and artist; I believe I got a bang for my buck from this course. Today’s class has been another one on self reflection and how I truly plan to put my passion and ambitions into place. During the time of writing up my potential workshops to get kids more involved in learning in a different space, I began to question about everything I am and planning to do, and whether or not it is too far fetch. Being an English major and artist, I tend to overthink most times. But looking back at my past experiences, especially the bad ones, I see why I started to think in the mind frame I do today. I realized that I am a complex individual and that sometimes needs to take a step back and evaluate herself. Growing up, I did not have another outlet to learn or express myself. Nor did I have a person to ask a thousands questions to my outrageous but curious young mind. Putting myself back into those small shoes and remembering what I did not have makes me even more motivated to give to other young minds. My passions and desires is to go above and beyond to make the next generation of leaders, educators, civil leaders, presidents, and any other dream they wish to fulfill. My hustle as an English major had brought me here to this point of my life so far, and I can not wait to see where the hustle keeps pushing me!
From these past couple of days within the writing retreat, not only have I been able to get some AMAZING work done, but I also had the opportunity to meeting some even more amazing academics. So far in all of my blogs, I have been gradually introducing my steps and process in editing my Statement of Grant Purpose. All of this process could have not been possible if I was not able to openly express my passions and goals with my fellow classmates and professor. From their reactions, comments, and very flattering compliments on my writing, I fell back all over again in both what I want to do with this writing and the overall process of being a writer. The energy that I put out into this paper is come back in abundance of positivity. Either in the class in “Author’s Chair” or enjoying a nice break togther at Starbucks, there is always something exciting to learn within this group! As this writreat is coming to and end, I was able to get much more than I thought I was able to get done. So for a special treat today, I will give another snippet of my Statement of Grant Purpose alongside with a snippet of my Personal Statement portion of the Fulbright application. This process had been nothing but easy, but I can say it is definitely fun and exciting to see where my brain lands me next!
Statement of Grant Purpose:
From being a SOAR tutor for 5th grade students in ELA and basic math; teaching chess to beginning chess players; and working as a Reading Coach, I have been able to work with all age of students on different learning platforms. Even with these experiences, I still find myself in situation where I learn from the students on what is the best way for them to learn. I am constantly a student of different pedagogy. I also work with students in an extracurricular bases through art. Partnering with The Sisters of Charity of New Jersey and the non-profit community outreach program Dear Diary, we came together with the community service project: Art with a Heart. I will be teaching students how to create the art on cotton bags to be filled with beauty and health essentials for people in Haiti. It is a small start to greater things. My goal is to take this same passion and ambition to other communities and countries all over the world, including my host country. I not only want to educate students in the classroom but to get them involved in their community.
“Make a difference about something other than yourself.”
- Toni Morrison
Born, raised, and educated in the city of Newark, NJ; we are the city known as having a chip on our shoulder. A city where you either thrive or try to survive. Where there is not always equal opportunities for all. Where the city as a whole is considered a statistic. Unlike many of my peers growing up, I had every opportunity to make it out of Newark, to be able to explore communities, cities, and countries outside of my own. Through playing sports, being apart of extracurricular educational experiences, and having a supporting family are just few of many components that has molded me into the individual I am today. My family, a high school diploma being the norm for education standards, pushed me to strive for more; to obtain all forms of education. “Go to college, go to trade school, learn more!” Their lack of higher education and worldly experiences, pushed me to gain enough for all of us. Enough that it would tear me apart from the statistics that is holding my city down. Even though I was able to break out of my city mentally, my heart would not leave it behind. I know in my mind, body, and soul that my city and other communities all over the world, needs someone to help it students thrive… that person needs to be me.
In today’s first half of class, I reintroduced myself into my Statement of Grant Purpose. The most exciting part of coming back to it was that I was able see it through a new pair of glasses of information! There is not too much to talk about with today’s blog but I do want to leave you guys with a little snippet of the paper. Please leave any comments, opinions, and thoughts on work my work. They are more than welcomed!
Combining my college disciplines of English and studio arts, I am attempting to develop a unique way for students to become excited about reading and writing! Working as an Americorp member, I have the platform to implement art to motivate my students. When my students go above on their reading levels, I recreate their favorite cartoon characters on shirts for them to wear. Using this method as a starting ground, I was able to develop a couple of “workshops” that would go hand in hand with South Korea’s Learning System. By implementing this learning style, I desire to bring another level of thinking and creativity.
As a future educator I am always looking for ways to improve my approach when working with different types of students. Through research I learned that South Korea is one of the highest-educated countries in the world and their students score very high on worldwide test. Being able to partake in that type of impact educational system will definitely help in my journey of getting students all over the world get to a level of learning like Korea. Going more in depth with my research, I was able to get a better understanding of Korea’s System Structure. To my fortunate surprise I discovered that in the six years of primary schooling, ages 6 – 12 years old, implementing creativity and learning through play is apart of the National school curriculum. The approach I am trying to bring to South Korea fits right into that category.
Diving into Day 3, how exciting! In today’s first half of class I started off the old fashion way (personally my favorite), which is just a pencil and a notebook. Going off from yesterday’s conference with Dr. Zamora, I have been working on three workshops that I plan on implementing into both my hopeful venture into South Korea and in my own classrooms here in America. Combing my idea of liberal, writing, and visual art, here are my three potential workshops:
“Murals & Public Art (Volunteer work)”, “Becoming an Author & Illustrator”, “Book/Art Club”.
Within my notebook I have the descriptions for each of the workshops along with the materials I would use, goals I wanted the students to meet, and also goals I would like to get out of the workshops from the students. When doing the goals, I came across a theme the continued to come up; Students goal: Learning through creativity, My goal: Learning about the students, their background, and their culture. Within this writing time in my notebook, I was able to spit all my ideas on to paper.
As far as research on Public Art in South Korea, I was unable to find anything recent, specially designated to children. So I think this idea of bring these ideas to South Korea would be very beneficial to their learning.
Time of silence, discussion, writing, meditation, and concreation produced from the #writreat has done wonders for me and newly found information. Tomorrow’s goal is set to go back into My Statement of Grant Purpose and Personal Statement. I can now revise it with a new pair lens and understanding.
With that being said, I think it is time to insert a corny quote made by yours truly. In the beginning of the school year with my second graders, I hand made them all bookmarks with a quote on the back: “The more you read, the more you know. The more you know, the more you grow.” – Love Ms. P (That’s me!). Between this mines amount of reading and research, I can definitely say I have grown.
#Side Note: I really miss all of my 45 second graders!
leave a commentedit”day 3: public art in south korea & designing workshops”
My goal for today was to challenge myself to tackle on two task: Exploring South Korean National Learning System & finding Visual/Writing Art techniques to aid with learning. My approach to getting closer to finishing my designated project, which is a Statement of Grant Purpose essay, during instructional time is first: Research. Today’s research is dedicated to learning and understanding South Korea’s learnings system. To my very fortane, I was able to do this within one site: http://ncee.org/what-we-do/center-on-international-education-benchmarking/top-performing-countries/south-korea-overview/south-korea-instructional-systems/ . Some key components I was able to take away from the site where the system structure of their learning, standards & Curriculum, and more importantly the creative and artistic aspect of how they learn. Knowing that this a factor that is already implemented in the student’s education makes my unique approach more open to being accepted. The age and grade group I am more focused on targeting is ages 6-12 years old, primary school. An
Another portion of research I was able to do was finding a fun, unique, and interpersonal way to connect to students through education,writing, and art is called an “Art Journal”. An art journal is a visual diary; it combines elements of writing, drawing, painting, collage, and even printmaking to express yourself. This includes your everyday life, as well as your bigger hopes, dreams, and fears. A single page will often fuse words and illustrations to offer a look at what’s going on inside your head.
My second step involved me writing down important information that I thought would be of a great asset to me and my research. With the mentor ship and discussion with Dr. Zamora, I feel even more confident in what I am trying to accomplish! I am ready to dive into more research and narrow down my main idea. I think I smell a thesis paper in the burning!
Day 1: Is my proposal solid enough?
In today’s class, we are exploring the ideas of possible outcomes and projects us as scholars plan to get out of the retreat. As for myself, I came into the retreat having an already developed idea I would like to explore. My plan is to emphasize on my idea of engaging the liberal arts of reading/writing with visual arts to develop a new learning style for early childhood education development. Looking into becoming a English Teacher’s Assistant in South Korea as a Fulbrighter applicant, this retreat is to help me form my ideas completely to make a strong case. If I can help implement this idea in South Korea, it can also help in implementing it in American schools all over. With that being said, I am excited to see where the WRITreat leads me!
Today’s Goal: Findings articles for both American and Korean educational approach on teaching English reading and writing.
Also I wanted to leave a little inspiring story for all to read. It truly embodies the essences of a true educator and a kind heart:
As she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the very first day of school, she told the children an untruth. Like most teachers, she looked at her students and said that she loved them all the same. However, that was impossible, because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard. Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he did not play well with the other children, that his clothes were messy and that he constantly needed a bath. In addition, Teddy could be unpleasant. It got to the point where Mrs. Thompson would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X’s and then putting a big “F” at the top of his papers. At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to review each child’s past records and she put Teddy’s off until last. However, when she reviewed his file, she was in for a surprise. Teddy’s first grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is a bright child with a ready laugh. He does his work neatly and has good manners… he is a joy to be around..” His second grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is an excellent student, well liked by his classmates, but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle.” His third grade teacher wrote, “His mother’s death has been hard on him. He tries to do his best, but his father doesn’t show much interest and his home life will soon affect him if some steps aren’t taken.” Teddy’s fourth grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is withdrawn and doesn’t show much interest in school. He doesn’t have many friends and he sometimes sleeps in class.” By now, Mrs. Thompson realized the problem and she was ashamed of herself. She felt even worse when her students brought her Christmas presents, wrapped in beautiful ribbons and bright paper, except for Teddy’s. His present was clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown paper That he got from a grocery bag Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents. Some of the children started to laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing, and a bottle that was one-quarter full of perfume.. But she stifled the children’s laughter when she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on, and dabbing some of the perfume on her wrist. Teddy Stoddard stayed after school that day just long enough to say, “Mrs. Thompson, today you smelled just like my Mom used to.” After the children left, she cried for at least an hour. On that very day, she quit teaching reading, writing and arithmetic. Instead, she began to teach children. Mrs. Thompson paid particular attention to Teddy. As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive. The more she encouraged him, the faster he responded. By the end of the year, Teddy had become one of the smartest children in the class and, despite her lie that she would love all the children the same, Teddy became one of her “teacher’s pets..” A year later, she found a note under her door, from Teddy, telling* her that she was still the best teacher he ever had in his whole life. Six years went by before she got another note from Teddy. He then wrote that he had finished high school, third in his class, and she was still the best teacher he ever had in life. Four years after that, she got another letter, saying that while things had been tough at times, he’d stayed in school, had stuck with it, and would soon graduate from college with the highest of honors. He assured Mrs. Thompson that she was still the best and favorite teacher he had ever had in his whole life. Then four more years passed and yet another letter came. This time he explained that after he got his bachelor’s degree, he decided to go a little further. The letter explained that she was still the best and favorite teacher he ever had. But now his name was a little longer…. The letter was signed, Theodore F. Stoddard, MD. The story does not end there. You see, there was yet another letter that spring. Teddy said he had met this girl and was going to be married. He explained that his father had died a couple of years ago and he was wondering if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit at the wedding in the place that was usually reserved for the mother of the groom. Of course, Mrs. Thompson did. And guess what? She wore that bracelet, the one with several rhinestones missing. Moreover, she made sure she was wearing the perfume that Teddy remembered his mother wearing on their last Christmas together. They hugged each other, and Dr. Stoddard whispered in Mrs. Thompson’s ear, “Thank you Mrs. Thompson for* believing in me. Thank you so much for making me feel important and showing me that I could make a difference.” Mrs. Thompson, with tears in her eyes, whispered back. She said, “Teddy, you have it all wrong. You were the one who taught me that I could make a difference. I didn’t know how to teach until I met you.” (For you that don’t know, Teddy Stoddard is the Dr. at Iowa Methodist Hospital in Des Moines that has the Stoddard Cancer Wing.) Warm someone’s heart today. . . pass this along. I love this story so very much, I cry every time I read it. Just try to make a difference in someone’s life today? tomorrow? Just “do it”. Random acts of kindness, I think they call it?