One of the criteria for graduating from my program is completing an internship. Since I'm coming down to just two more quarters (after summer) I have started to think about what I will do for this. It requires about 120 hrs of work. Another part of graduating is passing the comprehensive exam, which of course takes some studying to prepare for. All of which, informed my decision to finish teaching the volunteer class I teach on Fridays. I'm going to miss showing up Friday mornings and hearing the ladies say how much they love my class and appreciate my teaching.
That is why it was especially hard today when I broke the news to them. Ironically it was the day when all of them showed up, plus a new student wanting to learn with the others. After I told them, and they figured out what I was saying they immediately felt very sad and you could tell wish it weren't true. I did really feel bad but I told them if I ever get free time again that I'll try to teach them again. I'm hoping the organisation will find another teacher for them so they can continue to improve and learn in English. I'll still be teaching 3 more classes, so it's not completely the end. I might be able to come back after I have graduated and found a full time job. In the end, I've learned that volunteering is an incredibly rewarding experience but is very difficult to keep due to one's schedule and life. It was only just 1 hr a week on Friday's, but I made my own lessons and materials...which consumed a lot of time.
I wish I could go on and do everything all together, but knowing myself I need to keep a reasonable schedule so not to feel overwhelmed.
In other news, the summer quarter started this week and here is a look at my classes.
EAP (English for Academic Purposes):
I'm finally taking my electives for this degree, having finished all the core classes. This class is very relevant to my current and future practice. The angle of the class is to distinguish and choose which side of the EAP world you want to belong on. Where for example there is general EAP and specific EAP. Some say we should cover general academic writing (and other skills) because we are not experts in other fields and how would we know what is right. Along with this student's should be equipped with general over-arching academic skills for their future. On the other hand, there is the specific EAP side of the debate that says we also need to prepare students for the variation in jargon and writing styles that occur across disciplines. I feel like I have one foot in each realm, because I do feel student's should start from a general perspective but also that you can take them in a specific direction. I often find myself thinking about where I started as an undergrad and how I went from general academic knowledge to specific knowledge in art history. So a promising class that will give me more to think about in my profession
2nd Language Teaching Methodologies:
This class is going to take a more focused look at actual methods and practices that are used in the ESL profession. We will have to design a syllabus and lesson in this class so there is going to be some work there. But overall I'm excited to learn about new methods and thoughts on modes of practice in my field. Certainly, I feel I bring a lot to the table but I'm really open to diversifying my repertoire of teaching methods. I also like that we have an assignment to write about our professional beliefs and principles, which will come in handy when applying for jobs.
In essence, the summer quarter is shorter and you gotta keep a good pace so not to get behind. But I'm trying to not to do my usual thing of getting too far ahead. I want to keep a good pace and be on the ball but not overworked at the same time. Plus I got some running shoes recently and would like to get that going more...as I really need to get into shape.
Well that's all that is happening in a nutshell. :)