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Education

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I received a flyer in my mailbox at school this morning for the University of Missouri’s online Master’s degree programs. One of the programs quickly grabbed my attention: Educational Technology. This is something I’ve really been interested in the past few years. I’m always looking at new tools that may be useful in the classroom, whether they be historical map overlays for Google Earth, timeline creators, or webquests. There are so many tools out there that would be great in the classroom. It motivates students in ways that standard lectures and worksheets can’t. So, after doing some research on MU’s site, I’ve decided this is definitely what I think my Master’s degree should be in. Now I just have to figure out how I’m going to pay for it.

At what point in your life do you develop common sense because it sure isn’t in middle school. Three things happened today, each with a different kid, that made me come to this conclusion and oddly enough they all happened at lunch time. Maybe low blood sugar is to blame.

The first incident is as we were leaving the room to grab our lunches a kid starts walking in the opposite direction of the cafeteria. Now, this is February 29th. This kid has been at this school all year. He knows where the cafeteria is. He’s even been in my class before. Yet for a moment he forgot where the cafeteria was.

The second was a kid getting his lunch. The choices today were pizza, ham and cheese sandwich, pasta, or fish sticks. This kid was dumbfounded by fish sticks. He looked at the lunch lady like she was an alien. He then asked her if they had chicken inside. Yes, they are called fish sticks because chicken is inside. Talk about a Jessica Simpson moment.

The last incident was a kid dropped his pasta all over the floor. He just stood there staring at it. He then asks what he should do and of course the answer was to clean it up. That confused him even more. When you drop something, you clean it up. Get some napkins and wipe up the mess, then go get another lunch.

Kids are funny. Days like these bring a smile to my face.

I am so ready for winter break. I’m getting burnt out by these kids. The other day I had five kids enter on the same day. They have all been bouncing up and down on my last nerve. They are just as anxious to get out for winter break as I am. What makes it worse is these are middle schoolers. Middle schoolers don’t know how to control themselves (yes, that’s a sweeping generalization but it’s one that is true, for the most part, of every middle school-aged child).

I don’t really have plans for winter break. Maybe I’ll finish up Super Mario Galaxy, finish a couple books I’m reading, and probably sleep a lot and wish I didn’t have to come back. Ok, maybe not that last part, but right now, that’s what is on my mind. I really can’t wait for tonight’s happy hour and then my sister’s Christmas party. They should be fun and a good way to relax and let off a little steam.

I am really beginning to wonder what happened to discipline. Every day I deal with kids who don’t care. That’s not unusual. Kids don’t want to work, they want to play. I was like that too, but I always did my work anyway. Why? Because my I knew my parents would not be happy if I didn’t do my work. It doesn’t seem that parents care anymore. I already get the kids after they’ve gotten in trouble. You’d think they wouldn’t want to get in trouble any more than they already have, but many don’t care because there are no consequences for their actions at home. I’m not saying that all parents are apathetic towards their kids’ schoolwork, but many are. It amazes me how they just don’t care. Of course, when their kid fails or when they say their kid doesn’t learn anything, they blame the schools. Well, maybe if you would actually pay attention and care about what your kid does, they wouldn’t be having troubles. Why don’t parents discipline their kids anymore? Are they afraid to? Are too many of them trying to be the cool parents and trying to be friends of their kids? I have no idea. I’m not a parent so I can’t answer any of these. I will say one thing though, my kids will have discipline. If they get in trouble, they will know there will be consequences.

I don’t plan on starting any time soon. I won’t start until I can afford to start, which means once I get a full-time teaching position with a school. I’ve been thinking of what I want to get my degree in. Some of the possibilities would include Education, Reading, Administration, and History. I would really love to teach at the university level some day, so I’d have to get my Masters in History in order to even be a lecturer at most universities, then PhD to be a professor. PhD will cost a lot of money and take a long time, especially if I’m teaching while going to school. I don’t think that is a realistic possibility right now. If I ever want to be a principal, I would get it in Administration, but I’m not too sure if I’d ever want to do that. What I would really like to do is find a program for Educational Technology, or something along those lines. I would like to help develop curriculum that incorporates technology use in the classroom. It would be awesome to show other teachers how you can incorporate Google Earth, Smart Boards, Wikis, and all the other wonderful new things in technology into their current lesson plans. I really think with all the technology that the kids use these days, teachers are falling behind. Kids see and do things in totally different ways than they did 5 or 10 years ago. They learn differently, research differently, become engaged differently. It’s important that we adapt our methodology to support the students. If anyone knows a university that offers something like this, I’d be very interested in knowing about it.