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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

On being a student again at age 58

Well, it seems that another three years have gone by since my last post, which was written in a rustic coffee shop in the middle of the Jerusalem forest, gazing out at the beautiful view while my husband Steve was hiking. I meant to write more often, but ......there was always something more urgent to do......

Where am I now (figuratively)?

I am still teaching in schools, though with small, 'specialty' populations: to English speakers in a country where English is not the native language and to kids and adults with learning difficulties
(L.D. and similar). I do teach eighth grade in a local junior high, and feel lucky to have a motivated class of great teenagers. The icing in the cake!

In addition, I am also doing two things that I had been dreaming about for years: I have gone back to school to get a second Master's Degree then Ed.D. degree, and I have become a partner in a learning center. Both of these goals are connected with my original profession as a guidance counselor. My kids are in their twenties and early thirties--my time is much more my own without the need for me to run and get supper on the table at a certain hour.

Studying while working is not easy, and I find that I need to do homework while I am
'fresh'--which for me is in the mornings. I am best at those hours--I am a 'morning person.'
Doing homework late at night, which I have tried, just doesn't work for me; I write less coherently and am always exhausted then. Unfortunately, schools also work morning hours, so I guard my precious free morning time very carefully.

I am lucky to have found an online degree program offered by a college in Philadelphia, which is designed for educators. Most coursework is online and can be done from home. There are some group conference seminars also online, and there is one course annually, every summer, that needs to be taken on-site to fulfill the requirements for degree-granting institutions in the state of Pennsylvania.

I find that I bring a lot more 'to the table' as a student now--no, not money, unfortunately :)--but experience. Even though I am a student again, it's quite different this time around.