Take a moment to read this thoughtful post about what this semester will bring.
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Where do we go from here? As I begin to paint a mental picture of this semester, I am consistently reminded of this question. As a graduate student here at TC, the onslaught of variable choices in classes can (and does) determine the research path I would place myself on – but what does it mean for me? This semester I took the time to focus on being a full-time science teacher in Brooklyn, re-writing the curriculum for a graduate course in the Math, Science, and Technology department as part of a scholarship I received, and honing my writing skills through a doctorate-level, special topics course in Curriculum and Teaching. I chose to slow down, take a breath, and really consider the path I want to be on as a future doctorate student and a teacher education researcher. What I found was that while there are many choices for me to make as a graduate student in terms of different courses, the really important question that, I think, isn't considered as much when making these choices is why we are taking them. Are we just fulfilling requirements? Are we really committed to the content of the course? Do we have a vested interest in the professor's personal research studies? All of these areas should affect our choices in classes. I fortunately have the privilege to be open to the latter two questions in terms of my career path but I am fully aware that many students do not have such a freedom with the stringent path set by the first question I posed. This is not meant to be a fatalist conclusion, quite the opposite. I would challenge those students that are committed to their education-as-democratic-praxis to advocate – and become critical practitioners of praxis – to their advisors for a replacement course for one of their requirements if they truly believe that the replacement is more fortuitous for their career path and also meets the degree's purpose. These steps are not for the light-hearted or soft-spoken but I believe that the best way to become agents-of-change in education (EduActors) we must find our agency as students as well! So I leave it to you, fellow colleagues, where do we go from here? Do we want to be known as the student that is merely at TC for the piece of paper at the end of the road? Or do we want to be remembered as that student that took her/his education into their own hands, made their degree as fruitful as possible for them self, and became a better educator because of it? The choice is, yours and yours alone. Think about what your semester brought out of you, the good and the bad, and determine how to make your next semester the time when you thrive not only as a graduate student but also as a critical human being.