This is what I put in for my introduction to the EDTECH 592 class. For now, it seems appropriate here, too.
This introduction is almost bittersweet because it is the last introduction I’ll be making in an EDTECH class before earning the MET (I hope). I am somewhat excited to do the portfolio because I need to make one that will ideally help me get a good job, yet even though I’ve taken lots of classes, I have not taken all of the ones I could have taken before doing the portfolio. I’m doing things a little backwards, which is normal for me, because I am doing the MET before completing another certificate. I am hoping the degree in Educational Technology will let me be a technology teacher for some states so at the moment it seemed more urgent than a certificate. I have not fully investigated the technology credential requirements yet, but advanced degrees can sometimes qualify a person for the content part of a teaching credential. I really want to be an online technology teacher instead of the virtual science teacher, I currently am being. Since I don’t have the tech credentials yet, they are giving me bio kids and those classes are not nearly as much fun as the tech ones. A year ago I was hired to be a teacher for Flash Animation and a couple other tech courses and absolutely loved doing it. Now since my credentials are in science and they need someone to teach the left-over kids, I’m getting the ones that did not fit on the rosters of the full time teachers. I do love my jobs, but there are good and challenging points to them, as there is with everything in life.
I am still a work from home person because my body won’t let me spend time being active away from comfortable furniture. I started with a “new” acupuncture doctor in July 2012 who changed my diet, had me do blood and stool tests, which led to wiping out my gut flora last fall, and my intestines are now being repopulated and my leaky cracks are hopefully being “sealed”. The most amazing thing happened after we wiped out some of the gut flora- my cloudy head started to clear up. I loved doing statistics last term because I could actually feel my ability to do spatial thinking start to come back to me. It has been a long time since I’ve had full cognitive abilities (what would be full abilities for me) and I am not back to where I have been in my past, but my ability to think has improved so much in the last 6 months that it is almost euphoric to write about it. I still have blank outs with words at times, but for the most part, I am back to being able to add and subtract in my head as well as do some minor problem solving.
If you have had a class with me in the past, you may recall how I am usually the most clueless person, and have to ask lots of clarifying questions so that I have an idea of how to do the most basic assignments. I do not expect that behavior to change much because I already have questions about the portfolio, but need to do more reading before I’m convinced they are valid questions. You may also know that I am in a somewhat unique situation being NBCT, a veteran science teacher who started a biotechnology class fifteen years ago, and am stuck being out of a classroom because of complications from Multiple Sclerosis. There are times in my mind where I’m not supposed to be here doing the MET because according to my plans, I’m supposed to be in the classroom challenging kids to think, and teaching them to trust themselves with complicated equipment. I am here, though, and for me, the virtual world may just be where I can continue to work with kids and help them understand science.
On a somewhat different tangent, if you took 505 with me, you may recall how I was talking about how the process we were doing was similar to preparing for a WASC visit. Well, guess what I get to spend this semester doing? I am writing the WASC report for a local Regional Occupational Program because they have a visit next year. I was even asked to write up a MOU for getting paid, and I still have no clue how much I should ask for per hour. Now I wonder if what I’m doing for them would count as something for my portfolio in the context of 505? Maybe this is not as tangential of a comment as I first thought it would be. To continue my tale about this semester and what I will be doing…. I have about five teaching credentials I need to fix which includes a Praxis exam in biology. I will be doing that test on Feb 15, because even though I’m NBCT, have a BS in biology, a minor in chemistry and a MS in plant pathology, I am apparently not yet qualified to teach biology in a few states. [Update April 1, 2014: Even though I took my biology courses over 20 years ago in college, I totally kicked butt on the Praxis biology and have a Recognition of Excellence for the test because my score is so high. I just want to note that I took the Praxis chemistry test 2 years ago and only missed the Recognition of Excellence for that test by 1 stinking point.] I have only two part-time online jobs at the moment, one of which is a static 30 hours as a content coach at a virtual help desk, the other as a contract teacher for whatever virtual class they want to give me. [Update: as of Feb 11, 2014 I am now completely unemployed. I ticked off the wrong person and lost not one, but both of my jobs within hours of each other! Top that, HA!] [Update: As of April 1, 2014 since they fired me without a good reason, I qualify for unemployment, and am now paying for groceries that way.]
I plan to have fun with this portfolio and I hope people will not be shy about pointing out places that need improvement, a better explanation, or should be totally redone. I work so much better when I have other people to brainstorm with. You, my peers, have been wonderful with pulling ideas out of me that I had no clue were hiding, just waiting to be seen. I hope I can count on you to challenge me to think, be creative, and problem solve the challenges I can’t even anticipate at this moment.