Monday, 25 February 2013

in which grad school is the best

Mondays are solidly my favorite day of the week. I have just Ezra for the first half of the day, and then sometime after a nap, a walk, and several rounds of snacks, I plunk him in the Ergo and go fetch Sasha from school. We always meander home fairly slowly, swapping weekend stories, pointing out the things we see, and of course discussing Harry Potter.

I get Sasha set up with a snack, lay Ezra down for a nap, and return to Sasha to get her going on her math or reading homework, and then it's time for me to clamber onto my bike and head off to campus, leaving the kids in their dad's care for the remainder of the afternoon.

The reason Mondays are my favorite is because I get to go to class.

This is a stark departure from my undergraduate college experience, which for me was much more about community building and identity formation than academics. In undergrad, two thirds of the classes I was taking were not in my specialization, and many of my classmates would show up to class not having done the reading homework and then bullshit their way through the day's discussions. (I was absolutely not an exception.) In grad school, everything I take is immediately relevant, and I can trust that not only have all of my classmates done all of the reading, but they've also likely done extra reading and research simply because they are as excited about what we're learning as I am.

This semester the class I'm taking is a diversity & social justice course. I consider myself fairly well versed in social justice issues, but I didn't know there are so many resources for early childhood teachers for building anti-bias themes into their curriculum! I read both of our textbooks in just a few days each, and launched into an independent project where I'm reviewing children's books that feature diversity and anti-bias themes. It's a really fun project, and one I've been meaning to start since I began collecting names of social justice themed children's books two or three years ago. My professor just gave me the kickstart I needed. If any of my readers are interested in seeing the blog I've started to document my reviews, email me at hugsorhigh5s at gmail and I'll send you the link. It's connected to my real name, so I won't post the url here.

More and more I'm feeling ready to take on more coursework and scale back on nannying. I really miss the classroom environment, and I'm so incredibly excited about curriculum development, so I'm hopeful that I might be able to move on from private childcare to preschool teaching as early as this fall, and increase my classload as soon as summer term. I'm waiting to have those conversation with Sasha's family, because it will mean my slow and inevitable goodbye.


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