Saturday, March 15, 2014

One whole year as a grad student

In just about a few weeks I will mark one year since I first stepped into my graduate classroom and embarked on my MA Ed. TESOL program. What have I gained so far? How has this experience been?

Looking back I definitely feel I transformed from a "newbie" to a full fledged self-confident student. When I started I had to crank up parts of my brain that I hadn't used for a while. Turning on those critical analysis tools and getting to work on reading lots and lots of pages. But as the quarters passed I got more into a groove knowing how much time and effort it took for my assignments, and what I have to do to be comfortable. Last quarter proved to be the hardest so far and the most stressful. This quarter felt like the most productive but also the least stressful. I think getting through that tough quarter helped me understand what I need to do to avoid being in a tough spot.

Overall, though I really feel I understand a whole lot more about teaching and linguistics than I did at the beginning. Sure, right now I couldn't drop certain scholars names and sound eloquent about it, but I feel way more confident about the connection between linguistic theories and their application in the classroom.

What does the next year hold?

At the end of this month I'll be attending the 2014 International TESOL Conference in Portland, Oregon. I hope to network and listen to presentations that are relevant to my career path.

Then as the quarters get past me I need to gear up for the Comprehensive Exams that I will have to take this summer. It is a set of essay questions that basically give me the degree when I graduate. Thankfully, one is allowed to retake parts in order to pass.

Overall I do feel like I've come a long way but still wonder if there is more I need to be doing. Like working a part-time job or networking even stronger within my field.

What tomorrow brings I can only hope is shaped by the hard efforts I have made in the past. But spring is practically here in Seattle and soon it will be sandal wearing weather!

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