*Erica Nance graduated from Judson College in December 2009. These are her archived student blog entries.*
Hello all! My name is Erica Nance. I'm a native of the big city of Hamilton, AL. Don't act like you don't know where it is. :) I am an Elementary Education major with a minor in psychology. This is my senior year at Judson. Whoa!....my senior year! Therefore, I was picked to blog under the Senior category. I hope that you have and will enjoy reading my blogs. Blessings!
Today was the first day of my two week unit. It was really a great day! All of my students were interested in the lessons. They did what I asked, and did it well. I'm really blessed to be placed in this particular classroom. It has been a great experience. I have learned a lot of things, from the classroom teacher, that I will definitely enforce in my own classroom.
My unit is on Fall/Apples/Johnny Appleseed. We are doing a lot of fun and interesting things. I have enjoyed planning this unit, but it has been a lot of work. As you can tell from my last blog, lesson plans aren't all fun and games. It is totally worth the hassle just to see the students excited about learning.
My social studies/science lesson was about the seasons of the year. When you are teaching or presenting something, you have to get the students interested, first. You will never guess what I did to engage these students. I dressed up in clothes for various seasons. I even had on a bathing suit. It was over my clothes, of course. The students automatically looked, then laughed. One girl even told me that my outfit was horrible! I thought that was hilarious for a Kindergartener to say. I admit. My outfit was a little tacky, but it did the job. I had their attention for the remainder of the lesson, and I bet they will never forget that experience.
At the end of the day, I felt like I had accomplished a life goal. I guess it felt that way, because I have been hoping and praying for this day to come for a long time. This was the day when it actually felt real. I survived today! I know that I'm going to make it! This just goes to show that childhood dreams can come true. So, ready or not....here I go!
Ok. So when I hear the words Lesson Plans, I automatically here the Jaws theme music....."da.....da....da....da....da da da da da da". Just like a shark, these things sneak up on you and can be life altering. I once thought that I was ahead of the game. Now, I know that I was just in its territory. I'm definitely getting that eerie feeling that it is going to jump up and bite me right where it hurts the most. Ok, maybe they aren't that bad, but they are a lot to handle. I have been working on 30 lesson plans for my two week unit for my student teaching.
For those of you who don't know, I'm teaching kindergarten during my first placement. It is wonderful! I love my students and their teacher. It is truly an amazing experience, and I really don't want to move to a higher grade in about 3 weeks. (Whiney little kid voice) Why? Do I really have to? Sorry, I drifted in to one of my kindergarten spells. If you know anything about kindergarteners, you know that they are busy bodies all of the time. Therefore, I have to constantly be a busy body. That part doesn't really bother me, until about Wednesday. Boy! I can always tell when hump day gets here. At the end of that day, I feel like I just climbed Mount Everest and I'm just ready to fall all the way back down not caring how much it is going to hurt when I get to the bottom. Maybe you can visualize that. Sorry! That is the best way I can put it. I wouldn't change any of it, because I know that it is the experience I need to be the best teacher. I'm meant to do this, and I'm going to make it work.
Since these children are so busy, I have to plan things that are active for just about every subject. These children's attention spans are shorter than freshly cut grass. It isn't nearly as hard to get as it is to keep it. I'm a witness to that challenge. Also, because they are in kindergarten, you have to explain everything. I have a few students who are well rounded and know a lot of stuff about a lot of things, but most of them don't know a lot. Not only do you have to explain everything, but you also have to explain and teach it in a way that makes sense. Connecting to prior knowledge and familiar things is the key to learning!
Imagine having to keep all of this in mind when making a lengthy, particular lesson plan. Now do you see why I compare this to Jaws? Whatever your Jaws is, just remember to do your best. If you do your best and keep God first you can't go wrong. Besides, he DID say that by his stripes we are healed! Shark bite...psssh!
Today is the Sabbath, and you know what that means. Church! After a week like last week, it was time for me to worship God. This blog is going to be an overview of the sermon from today. I decided to do this, because I felt like the sermon was speaking to me as a part of Judson. The title of the sermon was "Standing Together". Ephesians 4:1-7, unity in the body of Christ, was the passage of scripture used. There is one word that we use a lot to describe the overall atmosphere of Judson; sisterhood.
Sisterhood means togetherness. In order for there to be a sisterhood, the sisters have to be on one accord. When I think about my relationship with God, I think about how I seek his will for my life. I want to be in his will. I want to be on one accord with him. As the preacher said today, "you will never get to where God wants you to be if you don't walk with him". At Judson, sisterhood is what binds us to years and years of classes before and after us. The foundation established for Judson was built on the love for others, through Christ. With Christ as the foundation, there is always unity. Unity demands submission and commitment. How would you know the correct turns to take or choices to make, unless you submit and commit to God? Important words!
College is a huge commitment. It takes time and extra effort to reach your goals. You can't just be a little committed and expect to reach your maximum level of education. I know that all of us get a little lazy sometimes. We get tired, and sometimes we want to just slack off a little. I'm guilty. All I'm saying is don't cry and complain about your shortcomings when you don't give your best. Simple as that!
There are many other things I could say, but I don't want to make this another sermon. My goal was to share a little insight on the Sisterhood at Judson. I wanted to give just a little taste of our purpose. I hope it was as good as the Sunday lunch we had in the dinning hall today! :) umm umm!
In case you didn't know, Judson is located in the "big" city of Marion, AL. (sarcastic) That is usually the first negative thing I hear about Marion. Someone is always talking about how small and boring it is. Out of the two years I have been here, I've hardly ever been bored. Don't get me wrong. Marion isn't the biggest speck on the map, but it is a nice town. We have the most fun when we come up with our own activities or outings. Just like we did today!
God saw fit to bless us with a beautiful Saturday, and we took advantage of it. A few other girls and I decided to take a walk downtown. We visited a thrift store type place. There were so many interesting things in there. Next, we went to a clothing store that sales clothes that we would wear. They have nice jeans, dresses, tops, shoes, jewelry, and purses. We love to go look in there, especially when they are having a sale. Last year, I purchased this cute white jacket for six dollars. Yeah I know girl! Anyway, we visited a couple of other shops. Overall, it just felt great to be out in town, enjoying the wonderful weather.
Just like any other place, there are two sides to the city. There are those people that are nice, and then you have the ones that aren't so nice. That is just the way the world turns. It doesn't really have anything to do with the town, itself. Some people would think we are crazy for walking around Marion, but to us, this is our home away from home. We try to always be careful and aware of our surroundings. This is a beautiful place, and it needs to be embraced