Learning as I Go

When I read the instructions for this blog post, I instantly thought of a few key moments in my life that helped me become the learner I am today.

My Softball Career:  

2906576248_cd9589786d_nPhoto CC- By raghu19711

Every student athlete has stories and experiences to tell about their athletic career and most of them have some sort sentimental value. I learned many different skills throughout my four years of softball but the ones most important to me are the ones that I can carry with myself off the field. My coach always told us to never give up, whether it be on the field, our dreams, or other aspirations we may have in life. To some this may be a simple quote that most coaches/educators advise their athletes or students to follow in life but this three worded phrase has stuck with me in everything that I do. It especially helped me to learn to never quit on the field because if I did, I would be letting down my teammates and my coaches. It helped me in the classroom because there has been many times I’ve wanted to quit working on an assignment or not go to class but if I did, I would be giving up on myself and would not reach my full potential.

My Struggles with Math:

26127697865_9f0e2918b0_nPhoto CC-By backonthebus

I have never been exceptional at math. It is something that I have always struggled with and continue to struggle with to this day. I have taken numerous math classes in my life and they have all been so frustrating! Since I am an education major, I am required to take three math classes in order to get into my block semester. Fall 2015 was my first semester taking this math class and it made my semester even more difficult, to say the least. I heard about a tutor on campus that was phenomenal with math and everyone seemed to love him. After going to several tutor sessions, math concepts were finally starting to click for me. I even became comfortable enough to teach classmates about these concepts if they were confused. The best part about this tutor is that when I didn’t understand the concept one way he would teach it a different way until I understood it. This helped me as a learner because it taught me that when I become a teacher, some students aren’t going to understand it as easily as others and it is my job to try and teach them different ways until they master it.

College Professors:

1477899923_5fb736f33cPhoto CC- By Ben Russell

I have had several college professors that do not seem as professional as they should be. Some tend to be unorganized, non communicative, lazy, and unhelpful. This may seem harsh but it is the truth. At times, these experiences discouraged me from becoming a teacher because it was so hard to learn and keep positive about this profession. But then I realized that these examples were not what I wanted to be as a teacher. Without encountering these problems, I would have never learned the difference between a good and a bad teacher.

My Faith:  

12310036805_993575ed41_n Photo CC- By Art4TheGlryOfGod by Sharon

My faith is something that is very important and valuable to me in my life. It is the building block behind all of my decisions. At times, it is hard for me to trust that God has everything already planned out for me and everything He does is good. I recently had my faith tested. In Fall 2014, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. She already suffers from Multiple Sclerosis and this diagnoses just made it harder for her. I often asked questions like “why her?” or “what did she do to deserve this?” My faith, patience, and morals were tested during this. In February of 2015, my mom was pronounced cancer free. It was a long 6 months but I never lost faith in what God had in store for my family and I. I learned that I need to trust Him with every aspect in life and to not worry about anything.

Living on My Own:

8705332490_d5368ea52e_n Photo CC- By MartaZ*

This past year has been the first time living on my own and also my first time moving to Chadron, NE. At first it was hard because I didn’t know many people in Chadron and I was scared to live on my own! The first couple of months were honestly kind of depressing and I didn’t really do much. I went to class, did my homework, and came home. After Christmas break, things started to look up. I decorated my apartment to make it more “homey”, busied myself with schoolwork and staying healthy, and even adopted 2 kittens! The next 4 months flew by because I was actually enjoying living by myself and being independent, and I was having fun too! I learned that life is what you make it and it is all about perspective. I could have had the same routine and attitude after coming back from Christmas break, but I decided to have a positive attitude and make the best of my situation.

 

 

 

 

 

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6 thoughts on “Learning as I Go

  1. Tessa,
    I loved reading your blog! I really like the lesson that you learned from softball, to never give up. Giving up only lets those around us down and it does nothing for us personally, how can we move forward and succeed if we quit? I too have wanted to quit many things; sports when all I did was sit on the bench or stand along the wall through two hour practices, but I knew that if I did quit, I would never be able to live with that. It’s not who I am. I also totally understand about math. I had to study and study and study, on top of my other classes, in order to pass the math part of Praxis one. I studied for hours plus had to make sure to complete my homework and go to class. I too had a tutor from Chadron State and she helped me a lot, but it still wasn’t enough. Math was such a burden for me and I felt like a major failure every time I didn’t pass that test after spending endless hours of studying. Bringing your paragraph about faith into the conversation, I too had to come to terms that I couldn’t pass this test by myself, I needed to lean on God and trust in Him to help me through this difficult time and give me strength to try again. My dear fiancé was a sweetheart and super supportive through out the stressful months, and he too helped to tutor me. It got to the point where I was catching his mistakes and correcting his errors when he was trying to teach or show me how to work a math problem. And he is a civil engineer so he is super smart. Finally I did it! I passed that test! If I would have given up, to this day and for the rest of my life it would always be haunting me how I gave up and quit, and I would have never known if I could have done it. I also would have had to change my major which I absolutely did not want to do. I also like what you said about teachers. I agree that there are so many of them out there who just don’t seem to care. In high school I had so many of those, that is what inspired me to become a teacher. Because I knew what not to be like and how not to treat my students.
    Great post!
    Skyler

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    1. I’m glad you decided to never quit throughout your high school athletic career! It takes a strong character to not give in and become upset about something like that. Thanks for reading my post! 🙂

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  2. I’m so glad you found a tutor to help with math. It makes such a difference! Math was always hard for me too, but somehow it started to click in college. I wish now I’d taken more math classes, because I do actually enjoy it. Great point about bad teachers! We do learn a lot about what we want to do in our classrooms when we experience ineffective or just plain bad classroom practices ourselves as students.

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    1. It’s frustrating to encounter these types of teachers but it’s also a blessing because it teaches me about what I do not want to do when I have my own classroom. Thanks for reading my post! 🙂

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  3. Thanks for sharing about your struggles with math… I too have struggled with math. I describe math as my nemesis. One thing that “struggling” through a class has taught me, is that in the future I am going to have young students that will struggle, I feel that I will be more compassionate to the students feelings having experienced first hand how math effected me as a student. I let my struggle in math define me, it was hard for me to not criticize myself and label myself as “dumb”. I had a horrible attitude about math. As a future teacher I think that I will be able to use my experience to recognize a struggling student and help them find confidence in a subject that is tougher for them. I really enjoyed reading your post!
    Charity

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was hard for me as well to not label myself “dumb” and very hard to not let me get down on myself. I think it is very important to use our experience to help us become better teachers and be able to help a struggling student in need! Thank you for reading my post! 🙂

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