I can’t believe it’s all over! Looking back at my FOKI pre and FOKI mid posts, it made me smile to realize just how much I’ve grown this semester. Let me tell you about it 🙂
At the beginning of the semester, one of my largest professional goals was simply to find more books that my students might enjoy. Remember how I said I’d like to explore different kinds of books that will appeal to a wide range of students because “it only takes one good book to make someone interested in reading”? Well, I definitely achieved that goal—with the help of my classmates of course! I was introduced to so many different types of books this semester. The main way I grew in my professional self this semester is the fact that I was introduced to non fiction books, and I came to realize that non fiction books are legitimate books even though I never used to think so (when I didn’t consider my brother to be a reader when he read science books all the time). Also, from the FOKI mid, I made a new goal of learning how to handle a situation in which I don’t really like a book that I have to teach. I actually met this goal in one of my other courses- ECI 509. My professor told us that often times we should research stuff that has to do with the book, like history or current events, and it’s almost impossible to not find some aspect that interests us. I thought this was a great idea!
I definitely completed my literary self goals. Not only did I get to find a lot more young adult books that I think my students will enjoy (and me too!), but I also got a more in-depth education on non fiction and graphic novels, too. I’m especially glad I got to learn about the benefits of non fiction, because that was probably what I was dreading having to teach the most. I thought it was all boring and dry, but through Aronson, I realized that it can be interesting. Also, I now realize that it’s definitely possible to find appealing non fiction books for my classroom. I’m glad I learned this because now I can whole-heartedly recommend non fiction books to my students.
This part of my “self” is definitely the one that I improved most on this semester. Get this—I tweet now! Not just for class, but because I actually enjoy it now! Try not to faint. If you remember, I was a total tweet Grinch at the beginning of the semester. I just didn’t see the point, and I didn’t like doing it at all. Now, I get on twitter all the time just to look at other peoples’ tweets and I even tweet a lot more myself. I found a lot of my favorite authors on twitter, and I just love scrolling through the things they say and write. It’s a little addicting, I must say. Another way I improved my virtual self is through second life. I think I got the hang of it now (though I still have some wacky technology problems every once in awhile). I even got to experience “phoenix viewer” one time when my second life viewer wasn’t working. I didn’t like it as much as the second life viewer, but I’m glad I got to experience it. Also, I found that I absolutely love making videos! Especially bookcasts. I can’t wait to introduce bookcasts to my students and possibly have a project where the students make bookcasts for books they’ve read. I also think I’ll use my new video skills to make book “trailers” for the books that my students will read as a class. I think it’s a great way to get them excited for what we’re going to read!
Overall, I learned so much this semester. I met all of my goals, and I really surprised myself in how much my three selves improved. I guess the biggest takeaway I have from this semester is that you often have to get out of your comfort zone in order to learn new things. For me, the overall question/theme for this semester is “Why not?” Because why not try new things? You never know what could come out of it. This is definitely a notion that I will take with my throughout my future teaching years, and I will try and teach it to my students as well.