Monday, July 8, 2013

Where do I go from here?

Well, hello there. Anyone who's reading this is more than welcome to have any input, because in all honestly my brain hurts and I'm not completely capable of making decisions or thinking at this time. Also, my eye lid is swollen, but I suppose that has nothing to do with any of this. As those that know me personally know, my husband is at engineer school (139 days left!) and this leaves us in different states (though not too far apart, I could easily drive there in a day, and it would be much more enjoyable if the drive were interesting the WHOLE way and not just part of the way). This has definitely been hard on me so far (in all honesty, the last few days leading up to it were rough and today has been hard) but I know I need to keep trucking on and just counting down those days. We're obviously apart for a reason at this moment (minus the obvious which is engineer school) and I'm really working on trying to figure that out.

One of the things that has really been on my mind the past few days is what to do with my life. I really like my library job. I love it actually, which is one of the reasons I stayed put. I knew that as a library assistant I couldn't exactly take a 5 month sabbatical or anything like that, so in order to have this job as my own 5 months from now I had to stick out the 5 months. He also doesn't really need to worry about me while at school, though I am hoping he worries a little, it's nice to know he is thinking about me and all. Basically I don't want to get in his way while he's training, and if it were a longer period than 5 months I probably would have thought of going with him. I probably would have actually. Sorry, that's just a question I get a lot when they hear how long he's at school, and it's starting to drive me nuts. It definitely doesn't make me feel any better about this situation, so if that's what you're thinking please stop. OK, back on topic. The library job is a huge part of why I stay put. It's really helping me to think about what my next move is career wise and all of that. Unfortunately, I'm feeling stuck. Not like I'm stuck in some crappy job sort of thing, stuck as in I have ideas and I'm stuck on the whole where to move forward with them thing. So, here's the plan. I'm going to attempt to rattle off my ideas and if you are feeling particularly nice or if there is something I'm obviously missing you can shout it at me or something. I'm looking for just a little bit of help and a push in the right direction.

Here's what I'm wanting. It's the dream job, but I am so unsure where to start. Basically what I want to do is work on reading. Work on reading with all ages, but not in the how to read sort of way (though I can definitely help with that too). I want to work with kids while they're reading something for fun (yes, reading is fun!). I want to help them kind of find ways to look deeper into their reading. I want them to see foreshadowing and to use context clues. I want them to make inferences without making them feel like they are pulling their teeth out (that's kind of what it felt like for me at first). When I was a kid and I was homeschooled that wasn't really something we worked on. I didn't work a lot on summarizing what I read (from what I remember) or any of those inferences and such (I definitely did context clues though). I'm not saying that my mom was so terrible at teaching she skipped that part. I love how she encouraged us to read and put little pressure on us. But I'm just feeling like when I got to public school that was one area that I was behind on. I think my mom got so wrapped up in doing all these other things for us that it kind of just fell by the wayside. No biggie. I know my mom isn't the first homeschool parent that this has happend to, and I know she isn't the last. I want to be able to help with that particular area. Here's why I think it's important:
1. Kids do these things all the time. They are constantly using context clues, they are constantly looking for descriptions to use and are making inferences. They do these things without noticing it. It seems that once there is a label stuck on it, or once it's with a book and not a video game or movie they lose interest or seem to think it's hard work. I want to show kids they are perfectly capable of all of that with a book. It took me a long time to really master that, and I still struggle with it.
2. Reading increases intelligence. And working with these particular parts of reading helps even more. I want it to just become a habit for kids to really look into a character or a particular scene. It makes for more intelligent discussions, a stronger vocabulary, and I think it makes it easier for them to apply these things to real life. There's absolutely no reason that they can't do this. I think that without the pressure of a test and in a group smaller than a classroom they will learn and succeed at it.
3. It is kind of a big dea to know these things on the state tests as well as the ACTs. Kids will be much less stressed about all of this if they are able to do it in an environment that is stress free. It will be one less aspect of the test that they are worried about (trust me, I have intense test anxiety).

So now my big question is how. How do I accomplish this? Reading is something I'm very passionate about, and I know that anyone can be a reader. I don't gobble up books the way that I used to, but I still read. I still pull things out of it and learn many things from each and every book I pick up. I would love to do this in some sort of a small group setting. Maybe like a book club and have different age groups or even interest groups. I am also very into the idea of tutoring. I feel pretty confident in the Language Arts area and am more than willing to help people out whether they are private, public, or home schooled. My biggest concern right now is where to start. I would love to get involved with homeschoolers and the homeschooling community with this. I would love that. I just need to figure out what to do and how to accomplish that. How do I reach this goal and get paid for it? I don't know at all. So that's where you as readers come in. If anyone is reading this that is. Where do I go from here? Who do I talk to? I need help finding a starting off point, if there is one. Maybe I just picked something super impractical and need to start focusing on other areas of my life. 

This is what I want to do. I don't want to be a classroom teacher. A whole classroom of students is not my thing. Small groups and individuals, that's where I excel at my job I believe. I think I can give them all the help and attention they deserve, but that doesn't happen in a large group setting. I even can supply books!!!! 

So, people of the internet, where should I go from here?

Just two of my 4 bookshelves out of my personal library. Thanks to my husband for making them for me. 

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