Clubs, Education, Graduate Student, self care

Hard Work: Becoming a Teacher

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By Bethany Rickman, NU Scholar (July 2018 Cohort)

Master of Education with Single Subject Credential, English – Fresno

If someone would have told me, 8 months ago, that becoming a teacher while earning my Credential and masters would be the hardest work I’ve ever done in my life, I might not have totally believed them. You see, I’ve always considered myself to be a hard worker, and I’ve been able to accomplish most goals that I’ve put my mind to with relative ease. So, I assumed that this goal would be no different.  

But I was wrong. 

Or, rather, I was mentally unprepared.  

The truth is, I have never worked so hard or had to balance so many responsibilities, objectives, and, quite frankly, emotions, ever before.  

Now, this is not to say that I regret setting out to accomplish the goal of becoming a teaching intern and earn a Credential and master’s degree. It has been the most rewarding 8 months of my life. But it has also been the most stressful.  

Although I was unaware of the extent of the hard work around the corner, I was still able to draw on my past hard-working and goal-achieving experience, and combine that with the incredible support and resources I have received at National University.  

So, if there is anyone out there who is about to embark on a journey similar to mine, allow me to be the person who tells you that you are about to work the hardest you ever have in your life. But this warning is not meant to be foreboding, and it happens to come with some helpful tips: 

  1. Use the University Resources- National has an incredible library, writing center, and more! I have absolutely used the writing center on several occasions to help me finalize a paper or perfect my APA formatting. If you’re struggling to complete, perfect, or even understand your coursework, use these resources!  
  1. Create a calendar- You’re going to have so many assignments, observations, assessments, adjunct duties (or whatever the equivalent is for non-teachers) and they’re all going to happen on the same day! Ok, maybe not literally, but it will definitely feel like it. Having some sort of calendar of events will help you keep track because, trust me, you won’t be able to keep it all straight in your head. I’ve tried. And failed. Not only will a calendar help you remember important dates, but it will also help you prioritize and pace your workload.  
  1. Reach out to like-minded colleagues I have been so fortunate to meet dozens and dozens of incredible and inspirational colleagues in my time at National. Whenever I have a question about an assignment or need someone to peer-review my Cal TPAs, I have several people that I can turn to and trust to support me in reaching my goals.  
  1. Join a Club- Now, I know it sounds crazy to add one more thing to your plate when you’re already working this hard. But joining a club has not only widened my peer circle, but it has made me feel like I am part of the bigger picture here at National. Sometimes, being bogged down in work and coursework can feel isolating. You’re so hyper focused on your own goals that you don’t stop to realize what an amazing institution you’re a part of, and the role you can play in giving back. Since joining a club, I not only have an outlet to help relieve the stress of working hard, but I have also met more incredible colleagues and staff who also play a role in supporting me in my personal goals.  
  1. Make time for self-care- If there’s one last thing I can leave you with, it’s a friendly reminder that you are a human, not a machine. You need to stop and take a breath every once in a while. In fact, schedule it on that calendar that you just created. Whatever helps you decompress and re-energize so you’re ready to tackle your next goal, do it! You NEED it!  

Now get to work!  

 

Education, Graduate Student

I am Supported as an NU Scholar

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By Alexandra Wigmore, NU Scholar (July 2018 Cohort)

Master of Arts, Education with Single Subject Credential in Health Science – Los Angeles

https://portfolium.com/AlexandraWigmo 

The NU Scholar’s Program has changed my life in the best way possible. When I started as a National University graduate student to earn my Master’s degree in Education with a Single-Subject credential in Health Science, I knew that I was taking a leap of faith going back to school after so many years. I was nervous, but felt a pull to earn this degree. I had been through different career paths in my life, but nothing has made me feel as whole as helping young people through service, compassion, and education. I knew I needed to continue my life in a field where I could serve and help change the lives of others.

I had only been enrolled in my program for a few months when I received a life-changing email inviting me to apply for the NU Scholar’s Program. At first, it seemed too good to be true, and I researched this program and called many different people to make sure I was really understanding what it offered. I saw so many opportunities that this program could offer me—as well as ways that I could contribute to this program—and I worked hard to prepare for the application and interview process.

I still feel lucky and beyond grateful to have earned a spot in the July 2018 Cohort. While I knew this program was special, nothing could have prepared me for just how meaningful it has been and continues to be. This program offers a pathway to be your best self, and the support, encouragement, and drive I feel from being in this program are unlike anything else I’ve experienced. We are encouraged to form connections with fellow scholars, administration, and staff, and receive the warmest and most supportive feedback. I am encouraged to pursue my dreams and I never feel that something is too far out of reach. I have met inspiring people who have added to my knowledge, passion, and insight into how to change the world for the better.

One key aspect of the NU Scholars Program is creating a Community-Based Leadership Project. While I was intimated by this at first, now am just inspired, especially as I learn how I am not alone in this pursuit. The NU Scholar’s Program has provided me with networking tools, leadership and editing skills, more informed opinions, positive insight, and constructive thoughts on how to take my ideas from inception to execution. The connections I continue to make through this program have convinced me that we can all achieve what we set our minds to.

The NU Scholar’s Program is a chain reaction of hope, drive, accomplishments, positive influences, and hard work. As an NU Scholar, I have so many people I trust whom I can turn to for extra support and advice. I am provided with trainings, readings, community service projects, and advice to grow as a person, leader, student, and scholar. The NU Scholar’s Program has been my motivating factor through my time at National University. The support that this program offers me keeps me going as I continue to work my hardest and to strive to be the best version of myself. I have always had a passion for helping others, and the NU Scholar’s Program has given me unique opportunities to make my dreams a reality. I have realized, through this program, that no dream or idea is too big, and that with the right support, anything is possible.