Tuesday, March 31, 2009

New to my shop, new to my life.

I'll start by discussing the new outlook I have on my future career. To add a bit of background information, let me just say that I am the WORST about second guessing myself. I have a pretty crappy self image most of the time, to the point that I have unrealistic fears and worries about things I KNOW I can do. And unfortunately, I often convince myself that I don't have what it takes to be a teacher. If I don't catch myself, I will wallow in doubt to the point that I'm ready to just give up the dream of having my own classroom and settle for tutoring or something that is still education-related but a little more "cushy" than the idea of being in charge of 20+ kids.

But lately I've been mustering up a little more confidence in my abilities. The bottom line is, I do have a passion for education and working with young 'uns. I enjoy interacting with others, and I enjoy learning as well as helping others learn. I think that I actually DO have what it takes, but I need to get my doubt in check before I even think about entering the classroom. Because there's no way I will be able to convince anyone to believe in themselves if it is obvious that teacher doesn't believe in herself either.

I had to write a lesson plan for my elementary music class, and I had a really good time with it. The objective of the course is to ensure that new teachers understand how to incorporate music and the arts into their lessons. So we write lessons over various content areas and find a way to bring music into the picture. This particular lesson was for 2nd grade social studies, and I decided to use the song "Shake the Papaya down"- a popular Caribbean folk song that I happened to love when I was in school. So I made a lesson about the culture and traditions of the Caribbean Islands. I figured that reading about this subject in a textbook could not hold a candle to actually experiencing the lifestyle, so I put together a little virtual tour.

I gathered numerous resources such as sound clips of a man speaking in a Caribbean accent, samples of calypso and reggae music, maps of the area, and TONS of beautiful photos. I even planned a fun Caribbean-themed craft activity (making shakers out of paper plates and using them to shake-shake-shake along with the songs). And I have come to the decision that the finished product is something any kid would enjoy. I put so much time and effort into creating this lesson for my imaginary class, in fact I'm not even sure I'll ever get to teach it because I'd really like to work with kids a little older than 2nd grade. But the point is that I do enjoy putting in extra preparation, and I think that will be something my future students will benefit from. I have finally come to believe that I WILL be a good teacher!

Here are some of the photo collages I put together for the lesson. Doesn't this give you a feel for Caribbean culture? I picture myself as a child with no previous knowledge of these people or their ways, and I think that submerging myself in pictures and sounds would help me to grasp the concept of a lifestyle so different from my own. The colors just scream "Warm weather!"

Caribbean food

Caribbean instruments

Now onto other new things... I've been working really hard on my etsy shop, trying to get as many things listed as possible. I've got some pretty exciting craft shows lined out over the next couple of months, and I wasn't sure if I'd have time to update my shop as much as I'd like. So I thought I'd fatten it up right now so that it won't look all naked and neglected during the spring months when I get busy. There are quite a few items in my shop now (yay!), so this is just a little preview.

Hand-sculpted mushroom earrings

Celestial bottle cap magnets

Cherry cupcake pendant

Sterling silver earrings with Murano glass and freshwater pearls

Hopefully those colors will brighten up your day a little. :-)


SheezKrafty said...

I know exactly how you feel! Before I started teaching, I wasn't sure I could actually do it but I knew it was in me somewhere. Then one day, it hit me and I KNEW I could do it! I can tell by the passion you've put into the imaginary lesson planning that you'll be a GREAT teacher!

Amby said...

Do not give up on being a teacher! Kids need a real person like you teaching them. I have no doubt that you will be a fantastic teacher.

Brigid said...

You'll be an awesome teacher! Your lesson plan sounds great. I'd take a class from you on Caribbean culture. :)

Grammatically Delicious Designs said...

Holly -

I just read your comment on my blog, and I want to steer you toward the most wonderful book that encourages the teaching of short texts instead of long and drawn out ones. It is called Less is More by Kimberly Hill Campbell. I have it on my Kindle and am mesmorized by it. It is definitely worth a read.


Anonymous said...

I went on a caribbean cruise several years ago with a friend, and it was the best time ever! I can't wait to go back again, and share it with my husband...

Your lesson plan sounds like so much fun too! I'd love to be in your class! I think it's people like you who are able to make learning fun and interesting that'll have the most impact on kids in school. Kudos to you girlfriend. Don't give up! We all have our days, but if this is something you KNOW you want to do... Go forth and conquer!


Estela said...

You would make one kick ass teacher, so no more putting yourself down!
And your cupcakes are my fav!!

this20sgirl said...

what an awesome lesson plan!! You should include plantain as snacks! And don't give up on teaching--there are so many teachers that have half the passion that you do--the schools need enthusiastic, awesome peeps like you!!

Hollyrocks said...

Thank you all so much for the encouragement!! I will definitely read through these again the next time I start to doubt myself.

SheezKrafty- I didn't even know you were a teacher, that's awesome! I'll have to hit you up for some tips the next time I see you at a craft show!

Tara- it's funny you should say that because I was even thinking about what foods I could bring to the lesson so that the kids could taste the Caribbean too! Papayas, plantains, and starfruit would be a must.

lollywood said...

ooh make sure you post when/where the craft fairs are... i'm always looking for a good reason to go shopping!

lollywood said...

oh & definitely always tell yourself that you will be a great teacher! my sister is student teaching right now and one thing she says she hates about writing lesson plans is that she lacks creativity. she's always calling me for creative advice... and you definitely are creative and have that edge to help you think of new and fun ways to teach your students! they will appreciate it.

Renee said...

School was always so boring for me, why? Because it WAS boring! No one made it cool or fun or did anything out of the ordinary! The few that did are the most impressionable, and the ones kids will remember through their adult years as good influences. In fact, I still think back to my 5th grade math teacher at times. You have what it takes to make crafty and creative lesson plans that will grab your kids attention! I have no doubt you will be a great teacher. You already attract attention just being yourself in normal circumstances, so as a women of authority and stature you will attract it that much more! You are also very compassionate and easy to get along with, which will make your kids be that much more receptive. I know you'll do great, though it may be awkward at first. You'll be a pro in no time though!

"There are many things to think about, but nothing to worry about."