Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Coastal Chronicles

Creating Lifelong Learners
April Paustian
I love to learn. What is my biggest problem with my schoolwork? I often get so absorbed in my research that I collect far too much to condense into just one paper or presentation. Education carries me away and gets me truly excited, and it is this excitement that I want to bring to the classroom. When I speak with others about the things that I have learned, I know that my eyes light up and I tend to talk faster out of sheer exhilaration, and I know that it is this liveliness and passion that keeps people listening to me as I share my knowledge. If anything sets me apart as a future teacher, I believe it is this passion. Ever since I was really young and first entered th classroom in preschool, I have known that school is where I belong. I love the challenge of working with others to help them find the answer and grow as learners. That is the main component of my teaching philosophy: I want to help my students become lifelong learners. As an experimentalist in the classroom, I believe that education works best when students are interested, because, in nurturing this interest teachers can help students develop the skills to learn far beyond the classroom setting. Schooling should not be limited simply to the facts and figures (or, in the literature classroom, the tropes and vocabulary) that students are tested on. I want to ignite in my students the same passion for learning that I have. I believe the best way to do that is to encourage students and give them the tools to discover and learn about anything that fascinates them or that they may need to know later in life.
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Immersing Yourself
Charles Faithful
Since graduating high school I have attended numerous colleges, which I believe to be beneficial. To start off I went Santa Barbara City College after high school where I received my certificate of competency Sales and Marketing. After going to SBCC for I finished up my general education at Palomar College. After more dedication I was finally able to transfer to Cal State San Marcos. I came to CSUSM as a Communication major and enjoyed every part of it, thanks mainly to the professors. I also studied abroad in Spain and attended Universidad de Pais Vaso for my final Spanish requirements and I received my BA in Communication May of 2007. After studying abroad in Spain I decided to travel throughout Europe via Euro Rail and staying in hostels. I went through just about every European Country and fell in love with traveling. There is just something about immersing yourself into new cultures and seeing how other people live first hand. I have also traveled throughout Peru as well, surfing up and down the coast staying in fishing villages and small towns. If you can't tell by now traveling and surfing are my two biggest passions in life. Between the two you can never stop learning and I like being able to challenge myself all the time. While traveling abroad I would just teach basic English to some of the local people (Peru). Also while I was in Spain I had an intercambio in which we would educate each other about our native language. Some people say you find yourself when you travel and I feel that is true. Helping others learn a new language was very fulfilling and made me feel good about myself. I think if I were to name one of my biggest attributes to being a teacher is my sense of culture awareness. I say this because I have experienced many types of cultures in my travels from Pagan cultures to Catholic cultures. I think my travels would help me relate better to kids and would help me connect to them as well. There's just something about knowing you helped someone educate themselves or figure something out that is self rewarding that makes me want to teach.
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Loving Language
April Paustian
I have always excelled in all of my classes, but the classes that I have loved were my English classes. I have found that I have an affinity for reading and writing, and I would love to share that enjoyment and passion with my students. Personally, I am not confident in my skills as a creative writer, yet I am really excited to unleash and encourage that ability in others. I have been astounded to see some of the writing that high schoolers are capable of and cannot wait to encourage my classroom to discover their own power with words. I am a careful reader and capable of writing good analyses of literature, something that excites me but which will probably be a challenge to get high school students interested in. However, that is a challenge that I am up for and which I look forward to; I want to make literature come alive for my students, and have them fall in love with the written word as I have. From their own writing to works by authors throughout the centuries, I want them to find something that they can connect with and use as a lens to help them understand the world. Too many people are voicing a belief that literary study is useless in today's corporate world: as an English teacher, I would like to bring a renewed relevance to English study. Another aspect of my subject area is grammar instruction. Grammar fascinates me but is usually the subject of many moans and is often cited by students as the thing that made them hate English. The intricacies and regularities of grammar and language as a whole are something that I want students to get a feel for and an appreciation of to help their problem solving and analysis skills--abilities which are completely relevant to today's world.

Language Arts Online Resources:
Schools of California Online Resources for Education, Language Arts
Read, Write, Think
California Language Arts Content Standards

A Bilingual Nation
Charles Faithful
Everyone goes into something because that's what they feel they would like to do. For me I really had no clear vision of what I wanted to do until i was sitting in a train traveling through the Pyrenees into France. I hadn't really realized how much Spanish I had learned until i had returned to another Spanish speaking country a year later. Friends and those who spoke Spanish always complemented me on my Spanish but I had never really known that I could speak it very well. I'm hoping I could spread my enthusiasm about learning a new language to those who would like or need to learn another language. I would like to teach ESL abroad in a Spanish speaking country and eventually move back to the states and transition into Spanish and teach both. The reason why I would like to go abroad is not only because I enjoy traveling but because I want to learn more as well. I really don't have a preference of teaching a specific grade. I know I want to teach those who really want to learn and are enthusiastic because when it comes to another language I believe you need to be in order to really grasp it. On the other hand it has to be made enjoyable to learn and I think some teachers have forgotten that.

Online Resources
Working Abroad.

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