Thursday, May 9, 2013

Reflecting on the past 4 years

This month marks 4 years since graduating Eastern Illinois University. On my drive home this week I really reflected on all the accomplishments and events that have occurred over the past 4 years.
Right after receiving my Bachelors in Art with a teaching certificate, I worked as an aide in Special Education for a year. I decided that I would go back to school because the job search wasn't going great and I would go back to get a special education endorsement (LBS1). Luckily upon starting my classes for the LBS1 I received a job offer from Cicero District 99, where I have now been for almost 3 years.

The past three years have been a whirlwind but rewarding. During the past three years, I have been fortunate to always have a full-time art position, however, the first two years I taught at 3 schools, all being art-on- a cart and one day a week in a classroom. This current year, I was able to be working in only 2 schools, with one being in a classroom for 3 days a week. Wow, my own classroom was quite a feat to figure out how to set it up and where to begin. Well now I'm starting to pack up that classroom due to new construction at the building but also for a more exciting reason as well....I'll mention soon :)

Over the last 3 years, I have really grown as an individual. I've become more involved in NAEA as I have now served on the NAEA Student Chapter team for almost 5 years! It will be 5 years next March when I will conclude my term on the SC Presidential Team. During that time, I've spoken in front crowds of up to 300 people, which was always a feat for me! I couldn't stand public speaking in high school, where did this person come from? I've really found my voice and passion.

Recently, history was made at the 2013 NAEA Convention in Fort Worth, TX.  Through the voice of the large population of student members in NAEA and the work of the NAEA Student Chapter Presidential Team, it was determined that there was a need for these members to have an active voice in the NAEA organization. As of June 2012, 2,633 members have identified themselves as students within NAEA. 

I am partly writing this blog post and section because my dear friend, Amanda Batson, inspired me with her blog post for the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) See Amanda's article here

Along with Amanda, I have spent the last four years and soon to be five, serving the NAEA student population to ensure that their voice is heard and to be an advocate for the young members of NAEA.

As Amanda shared..."At the beginning of the 2013 NAEA Convention, Past-President Dr. Bob Sabol addressed the Delegates Assembly to propose a change to the current governance structure.  That change was voted on unanimously and can be seen in the following video. Some new and exciting things are in the works, and Bob can express it better than I can. I am still speechless!"  Thank you Amanda for your time on the NAEA SC. I can't express this better myself and thanks for sharing the video. 
NAEA from amanda Batson on Vimeo.

So ultimately, I am reflecting on the last 4 years and why it's so significant. Next weekend I will graduate from Concordia University of Chicago with my Masters Degree in Educational Leadership. Wow! I never thought I would have gone back to school so soon, but the law is changing and I felt the need to be empowered and move forward. 
I've really come full circle since 2009 and having just received my Bachelors degree back then. 
It seems so long ago as so much has happened since then.
Established a teaching career
Embarked upon many local , state, and national leadership positions
Found my voice and confidence as a leader
Bought a house
Got married to my EIU sweetie <3
Nominated for awards
and a new job.... :)