In considering the three standards-based outcomes for the course, ECI 521: Teaching Literature for Young Adults, I am inclined to think about my level of knowledge in terms of my place in life and in comparison to the other students in the class. I know that some students are already literature teachers, some are young adults and recent undergrad graduates like me, and some are older adults with no background in education. With that said, I think that although I was not an education major, I am somewhat advantaged in that I was only in high school 5 years ago. This means that I am not too far removed from thinking about literature on an intellectual scale rather than simply for personal enjoyment, but at the same time, my last literature course was my freshman year of college in 2007.
Therefore, when thinking about where I am professionally, I know that I have a lot of room to grow. I have never taught a literature course (or any course for that matter) and will need to start thinking about literary criticism and the given curriculum from this entirely different perspective. Further, I definitely understand the value of exploring literary theories when analyzing any given work, but will certainly need to review and refresh for the purposes of educating others.
I will be the first to admit that I did not challenge myself during my time as an undergrad at NC State with regard to my literate self. I was busy with my classes and would not typically choose to read a book that was not specifically required. With that said, I am excited to make it a goal for myself this semester and for the rest of my life to incorporate more reading, for the sake of reading, into my life. The journey book I chose took me way back to early middle school and reminded me of a time when I read a lot more and a lot more often. I always loved English classes throughout my educational career but have to say that certain teachers made literature more enjoyable than others. I hope that I will be able to inspire the students that I interact with to be lifetime lovers of reading—something into which I am just now getting back. The more I thought about my journey book I remembered the genuine excitement and joy I felt when I was reading a good book. Thinking about that feeling now, I think that this is something that should never be lost and therefore should always be fostered by educators.
My virtual self needs a lot of work. I use Facebook regularly but other than that, I don’t have much of a virtual identity. My eyes have already been opened to the vast possibilities of the virtual world through the beginning of this course and I fully expect to gain confidence in using these tools as the semester progresses. In all honesty, however, I am a little bit intimidated by the idea of developing a virtual identity simply because of its novelty. Again though, I expect to become more comfortable with all of these components throughout the course.
Clearly there is a lot of opportunity for me to learn and grow through this course. My goals for each standards-based outcome are as follows:
Develop the skills I need to be a successful educator in young adult literature, and renew, improve, and expands upon the knowledge I have about the critical analysis of such literature.
My goal is to develop a habit of reading more quality literature more often and allowing reading to excite me as much as it did when I was younger.
I hope to increase my technological capabilities and learn ways to feel comfortable incorporating new virtual technologies into my educational career.