ILASCD Journal

Summer 2019

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Like many teachers, I entered the classroom after numerous classes on pedagogy, a couple of practicum visits, and one 10-week student teaching stint. Many things I learned during that training period made little sense out of context and without experience. It wasn't until I was given my first classroom that I realized I was in many ways unprepared for the challenges ahead. From my colleagues, I learned tips and tricks of classroom management and how to craft lessons and units of study. I routinely attended professional development on districtwide curriculum and instructional practices. I felt like I was doing everything prescribed by the professional development and the materials I read, but I constantly felt that I was falling short on engaging and connecting with my students. Seeking a more formalized avenue to better understanding, I entered a master's program on curriculum and instruction. In this program, I was challenged to dig more deeply into the construction and design of curriculum and was provided more scientific evidence of the instructional process. Still, I felt all the information was surface level and impersonal. By chance, I was offered an opportunity to attend an ASCD annual conference. Since the conference was in San Francisco (one of my favorite cities), I jumped at the chance to attend. I signed up for a preconference Learning About Learning: A Lifelong Journey Trending Richard M. Cash, Ed.D. SUMMER 2019 | VOLUME 65 | NUMBER 2 | PAGE 10

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