Last Weekend Cohort 22 graduated…symbolically. Our families came into town, we put on caps and gowns and walked across a stage, but we still have a little bit more work to to do before we are officially Masters of Teaching. With no time to waste we have moved forward into our Capstone course, where two years of work will be revised and formatted into a professional portfolio representative of our skills and philosophies as educators. Commencement officially marked the beginning of the end.
Graduation weekend began with a Thursday evening Graduate Showcase where we enjoyed some time checking out work from Grads across programs and chatting with Dr. Kim.
For Manifest on Friday, we celebrated with a reception and show of boards displaying work from lessons we taught during student teaching. We were able to take a moment to thank some of the faculty who had pushed us (tough-loved us?) along this journey. I am particularly thankful for Cheryl Gold, who has been one of my greatest supports as a professor in the program, and was also my student teaching supervisor. She was with us on Day 1, teaching our planning class, and got to be there to celebrate some of my triumphant student teaching moments and talk through the less successful ones. She has assured me that although she has signed off on all of my paperwork, it doesn’t mean that she is finished with me—and I have every intention of taking her up on that offer.
This year’s Commencement was held at the Auditorium Theatre, a beautiful venue where in times past I’ve watched the Joffrey Ballet and saw Damien Rice in concert. Although I’m not one for pomp and circumstance and think that graduation costumes are silly, I was more than happy to put on that hat and robe—getting through these two years has been a complicated process and I’m ready to have that MAT next to my name. The ten of us and our peers from the Elementary Education cohort have been through it all. We are incredibly lucky that we have earned the credentials to enter such a rewarding field of work, and the schools that will receive us are incredibly lucky. To invest so much time, energy and money in an Education degree is not a pursuit for the half-hearted. In one way or another we are all on our way to impacting thousands of students.
So, now all that is left is Capstone. And, for me, an online math class…And simultaneously the job search begins. By the time I write my last Marginalia post in a few months, I’m hoping that I find myself starting my career in the Chicago Public Schools. Plenty has changed over the past year, and in a few short months I’m not exactly sure what will be on the horizon. What I do know is that I’ll be solidly prepared for any opportunity that presents itself. Art teachers are perhaps the most versatile people there are.
I made a point to take the occasional selfie throughout my student teaching journey. And, I think that I can confidently say that Ms. Crone ended fifteen weeks of student teaching a little better adjusted to the morning hours.