If you wondered where I have been the last several weeks, I recently completed my first course in my doctoral program. The title of the course was Theories and Research in Educational Psychology but it easily could have been Let's See What You Got 101 or You Really Think You Can Write? 101. While I never claimed to be the world's greatest writer I did consider myself better than the average bear. Notice I wrote did instead of do in that last sentence. My first couple of course writings left me wondering if this doctoral thing was a huge mistake. I expected comments such as poor paragraph transitions and a tendency for wordiness. Comments about lacking a vocabulary and "you should read the APA Guidebook" that left me reeling. It was like looking at my A- Master's thesis after announcing I was going to present it to World War II symposium: bleeding like a stuck pig with all the red ink on it.
After reading the professor's comments I took my dejected self to our school's high-speed, low-drag, often imitated but never duplicated Literacy Coach. This is the woman who taught me how to teach middle school students when I started the Computer Technology program. After crying about how my life was over, she peers at me over her reading glasses and tells me "It seems like this professor wants to see if you have what it takes to go to the next level." In all of the years of her giving me advice I never expected that. She also told me to read my work to myself and quit whining. Great, now I have two people kicking me in the seat of my pants.
After my pep talk, I figured I needed to do something because regardless of the outcome I still must repay the student loan. I took my friend's advice and worked at improving my writing. Needless to say my writing and grades improved along with the professor's comments each week. Now I have the confidence to move forward. Another big help in improving my writing started in 2006 when I started a blog called "Teacherbytes". That experience has been invaluable because I kept practicing my writing. So if you should be thinking about going back to school after a few years do yourself a favor and start writing a blog because the practice will payoff. Imagine what might have happened if I had not blogged over the last few years.