Saturday, September 8, 2012

Course Introduction: SCED 4200

I'm Amy Alexandra, a new faculty member at Utah State University. Formerly, I was a proud Georgia Bulldog. I graduated from the University of Georgia in Athens where Football was King and where a dozen coffee shops held a non-stop stream of students writing their dissertations or studying for exams until the wee hours of the morning. I have often said I would never have finished my dissertation without Jittery Joe's, the coffee shop where you would almost always find me working at 6 in the morning, at 11:30 at night, and at many times in between. 
I say "formerly" I was a proud Georgia Bulldog, but now I think I am slowly becoming a proud Utah Aggie. I have to admit, though, that I actually had to look up "Aggie" before I even knew what it was. 

Prior to being an Aggie and a Bulldog, I was a Spartan. Murray Spartan, that is. A fourth-generation student at Murray High School. There, I had amazing English and history teachers (some of whom my parents also had) who inspired me to want to become a teacher. The most inspirational teacher I've ever had was Diana LeBaron-Bass who taught AP European History. In her class, we did everything from painting the Sistine Chapel under our desks, to re-enacting the class struggles that led to the French Revolution, to holding UN meetings, to moving little plastic soldiers across a 10-foot map of Europe, to putting Otto Bismarck on trial, and so much more. I felt like every day in her class was a fun and meaningful adventure. Her class sparked something in me, showing me the magic that is possible through education and strengthening my resolve to become a teacher. 

It's both very humbling and interesting to me to be a content area literacy teacher. I know a lot about adolescent literacy and learning, but as I continue to have different majors I realize that I have a TREMENDOUS deal to learn about subjects such as engineering and music. Because I have so many majors--from agriculture to FACS--I know that even if I took college classes in my students' majors (which I have contemplated doing) that I would not have a long enough lifetime to learn about it all. That's what really keeps me humble...the fact that I teach a class where I am constantly learning from my students who have so much knowledge. At the same time, though, this class is very personally stimulating and enriching to me because I am always learning something new about welding, circuits, or tempo every semester. And I like that a lot.

On a personal note, I have the world's cutest nephew. Well, at least he is in my eyes. Here we are looking at airplanes. 

I can tell from reading everybody's blogs already that I am really going to enjoy working with this course!