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Teaching Practicum – Part 2 (+ a University Award!)

Things have been a bit crazy the last few days, what with grad school assessments and all. And yes, starting tomorrow, I'll be teaching full time again for six weeks.

Yep. That's right.

It's my second and final professional experience placement. I'll be teaching a Year 3-7 Special Education class in a local state school from Monday to Friday.

I'll be teaching a variety of subjects - from Literacy and Numeracy to ICT and Society and Environment, as well as Science and Art - to a variety of students with different learning abilities.  

And guess what? I'm not exactly a green thumb kind of girl (I love gardens but I haven't really shown great aptitude for it), but my mentor teacher is a keen gardener. So, I've been led towards that direction. Yes, I'm digging in and doing a unit on GARDENING. Heh.

I know it will all be quite a challenge. But, I'm looking forward to the learning experience.

Learning about teaching and teaching people to learn are two different things. And, I'm curious to see how this practicum experience will pan out.

Oh, and yes, I know some of you might have heard the story that I shared on Facebook, Twitter, etc a few weeks ago (Sorry. I'm just so excited, I can't shut up about it. ;-)). It's about that time when I've been given notice from the Australian Literacy Educators' Association about receiving an award. I was surprised because we've never heard of it at Uni. But apparently, ALEA gives out Annual Awards nationally and statewide to educators. ALEA-UniversityAward-blocked.jpg

One of ALEA's awards is the University Award. According to ALEA's latest AGM report, "Three university awards were presented as part of the SA Local Council AGM on 16 April 2010. Two awards were presented to [Uni A] graduates, one from the Primary Years and one from the Middle Years pre-service education courses, and one to an outstanding education student from [Uni B]."

My name was the one listed under the 2009 University Award recipient from Uni B. And yes, I got my certificate a couple of days ago (see scanned image).

I was floored. I couldn't believe it. I know it's just one subject, but I thought it was still pretty cool to know that I got the highest mark there (out of a hundred or so students, I think).

I know I'm doing okay with my subjects, but I didn't quite expect to get awards. After all, I still remember being all jittery and unsure when I decided to go back to graduate school just a little over a year ago.

You see, while I was an okay student in the past, I was never really the academic type who gets straight As and such (Though I did get some As, I was more of a B-type student). I've always preferred my learning to be self-directed and informal. I never really felt the need for high grades to prove anything. Consequently, I used to have teachers tut-tutting me for not trying hard enough in the past.

But, for some reason, going back to school last year really challenged me in such a way that I've never been challenged before in an academic setting. And, somehow, whatever drive I managed to muster for Uni has helped me to do better than I expected. The strange thing is that I'm even having fun while I'm at my nerdiest! Meh.

Now, let's see if I can get my gear on and finish my final practicum for this Masters' programme with flying colours. Please wish me luck. 🙂

About the Author Shai Coggins (MTeach, MSoc Sci App Psych)

Shai has been managing and blogging here at ShaiCoggins.com for 17 years. Here, she writes about creativity, productivity, and how to recharge for a better, happier lifestyle. She is the author of Today: Life Journal, Colour Bliss: Kaleidoscopes, and a little known children’s book.

A serial entrepreneur, Shai also currently runs Vervely.com, a boutique digital media agency offering online content, community, and conversion marketing services. Her blogging experience and digital work have been featured in various media, including being listed in Fast Company’s “Most Influential Women in Technology” list.

Originally from Manila, Shai lived in Singapore and the USA before moving to Australia with her British husband. They have two children, a pet bunny, and a rambunctious rescue Labrador.

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