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Another School Year Over- Use this time as wisely as posible!

Hi all,

Thanks to those of you who take the time to read this. I would love to start a dialogue with you so feel free to write to me with comments.

This past school year has been a big one for me. I completed my graduate practicum in the fall, in a self-contained ESL and Sheltered ESL classroom in a high school. It was a challenge and required a lot of work but it was worth every minute. The things I learned are invaluable in terms of relating to students better on a personal and professional level, learning how to reach them and motivate them, figuring out other ways to teach the same lesson to someone who did not understand the first time, teaching students how to advocate for themselves and so much more! I had to prepare a huge binder of evidence for the Department of Education, just to prove myself again (and again and again). I did it!

Then I had to begin studying for the Comprehensive Exam for my Master's Degree. I was going to originally try to take it in December and realized there was no way I could possibly study and do the practicum at the same time. I worked with a group beginning in January and continued right up through to April 30 (the test was May 1). It covered all 10 classes included in the curriculum for my Master's program. When the day came, I was so nervous but once I started writing (it was all essay) I did not stop for 3 hours. There were 4 long essay questions to be done in exactly 3 hours. The good news is that I felt like all this knowledge that I had acquired so intensively for 5 years had finally all come together. I passed. I had to wait 7 agonizing days to find out and then I missed the email that my graduate advisor sent (but I got through to her and she sent another).

I now am the proud owner of a second Master's degree and am to be fully licensed in both ESL and Spanish.

Oh and I got a job teaching ESL at a public charter school in downtown Worcester. Actually it is more like set up the ESL department and teach, and coordinate, and test, and liase with Special Education and Department of Education and more. I love it and wouldn't trade it for the world. It is not full time though, which is good. It means I have time to spend with my daughter, and to explore other opportunities in my life. Like tutoring, which I love, love, love.

I am going to start learning Portuguese this summer. I am also going to listen to the rest of my Puerta de Sol Audio Magazines, which have been waiting for me.

And I get to do artwork, which has always been a love of mine. I just acquired a loom, which I must somehow figure out how to set up, and then begin creating. I will also continue with Zentangle, Needlepoint and ceramics. This is my therapy.

So this has been all about me so far. The message should be that during the summer, when students are not in school, they should explore the world around them as much as they can. It doesn't need to cost money - the museums in Massachusetts are free on Fridays. It would be better to not have students regress in their skills during the summer, so that the month of September is spent in review. Use this time as wisely as possible!

That's all for now. My daughter needs my attention.

Carol