For about a month, my colleague, Angela, and I have been drafting a proposal to Portland State University to teach a graduate level class on the planning and teaching practices we use in the classroom, all based on the work we’ve done through Kansas University Center for Research on Learning. I’ve mentioned in the past that we ran some independent workshops and had hoped to do more on our own, but reality set in that teaching full time AND attempting to run professional development on the weekends was just too much.
But we are an amazing team – and we knew that while we had hit a standstill, things were definitely not over. In the summer, we networked with several people in Portland and Kansas. We began our own podcast (SIM Chat) dedicated to the work we do in our classrooms and in leading professional development with teachers (like us on Facebook!), and by September we had several different opportunities pop up.
One was from the new Associate Dean at PSU who suggested we teach a class to pre-service teachers at the end of their program, and current practicing teachers. We put together a draft proposal (which was a lot of work!) and last week she confirmed that we will be offering the class this summer (yes, we could have gone winter or spring, but like I said, we are both full time middle school teachers).
This is actually way more ideal than teaching the five classes like I had originally hoped for back in January. But let me be clear, this did not just fall in our laps. We reached out to essentially everyone we knew, people we didn’t know, and people we hoped to know. At times, it felt like our inquiries were going into deep space – would anyone hear us? So we just made goals and stuck to them.
I realize we won’t actually TEACH the course until the summer of 2014, but I feel confident checking it off the list and I imagine even more college-level teaching opportunities will come our way from this point on.