Accomplishments and Progress

You know what’s really cool? Seeing yourself make progress and accomplish things you never thought you could do!

When I started college three years ago, I had no idea what I wanted to do besides be a history teacher. Then I found out we had to add concentrations. I took geography, psychology, and sociology my first semester, and fell in love with them. I decided on adding geography and psychology as my concentrations besides history.

Throughout my time in undergrad, I have taken quite a number of both geography and psychology. At the time, I didn’t realize how much of that information would actually stick with me.

In an effort to expand my knowledge and learning, I took some interesting electives, such as Geography of Europe, Psychology of Women, and Psychology of Learning. The more classes I took in each subject, the more I enjoyed it. I do not think I have any one class that I absolutely detested in either geography or psychology. The closest to that was probably Geography 265, which is Introduction to GIS. But that one was also cool because we got to make maps, which is seriously awesome!

It’s been a long road these past three years. And now, I’m a semester away from taking my licensure exam (honestly, I could probably take a couple of them now). There has been so much progress that I have made in that time. I have learned more than I ever thought I would.

Do you want to know what I did today in class? I taught my first solo lesson! And do you want to know what else? I taught it on an aspect of psychology! When we were assigned this project (last Friday), we were told we could teach on anything in our content areas. This was for my practicum class, so we have other education majors as well as people actually in my major. Last semester, I taught my first lesson, but that was over history AND it was with a couple of other people. I also made both lesson and unit plans last semester, so the planning process wasn’t new. But pretty much everything I had done up to that point was for history, with one exception. So for me, being able to plan and execute a psychology lesson is a huge accomplishment.

I have a couple classes dedicated to teaching history. But in my psychology and geography courses, there was never once a course dedicated to teaching them. That has been something I have had to work out for myself. Last semester, I made a psychology lesson plan. Every other teaching preparation I have had has been about history. Pulling off this lesson in psychology and being able to teach an (I hope) enjoyable lesson on it shows how much progress I have made.

I also did this without any extra notes. I had my PowerPoint and an activity pulled up, and that was it. I am pretty decent at speaking extemporaneously, but teaching a lesson is different. I have to know EXACTLY what I’m talking about. So the fact that I could do this entire lesson without any notes is amazing!

This accomplishment is simply a testament to progress. I would not have been able to plan a psychology lesson without having psychology classes. There’s a reason education majors aren’t in practicums or other advanced education classes in the early part of our college career. We aren’t ready.

I don’t know what you do. But I do know this: the things you do create results. You may not see it now, but they do. Give it time. Your progress adds up to accomplishments. Suddenly, you’re doing things you never thought possible. Before last semester, planning lessons seemed daunting, and it was. But doing it has proven it’s not as bad as I originally expected, and it makes me a better teacher.

It may not seem like you’re making progress. But trust me, you are. One day, once you hit your accomplishments, you’ll realize the progress you have made. So keep going, and watch your progress yield results!

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