Transitioning Back to the ClassroomPosted October 24th, 2007 by Mary Martin
Week four of grad school and I have two graduate level papers due on back to back days. I really don’t remember the last time I wrote a paper that I had to turn in as an assignment and receive a grade. Ah, yes it was 7 years ago, so needless to say, I felt a little bit rusty. I had been enjoying attending the classes, had kept up on the reading, but the thing that freaked me out the most was writing papers again. Frankly, I couldn’t even remember if I was good at it. The other kicker, writing in the APA style! That is a skill that I would have to learn, since that is a style that was completely foreign to me. When I found out that there was a guide that was 400 pages long that described and gave rules for the form, to say I was overwhelmed, would be an understatement. Well, with help from a veteran CSSAer and strategic searching through the APA guide, I think it turned out ok. Although, I do think it may have taken longer to figure out the style then actually writing one of the papers. Well, it was time well spent and I feel more confident for the future.
Working full time and going to school part time will be a challenge. Just like I believe working part time and going to school full time must be a challenge as well. I keep reminding myself that I can do anything for three years. Heck, it is not even three years at this point, I have made it through half a term. I already feel better! I know it will be a lot of hard work, but I also know it will be worth it. I already see ways I can use what I learn in the program in my day to day job duties, which I find exciting.
So, the transition has been going well. I would say the hardest part of the transition to this point has been learning how to be a student again. A few bumps in the road, but those bumps have helped me grow as a student. I also have been reminded and have been mindful of the transition that my first students are going through in my Freshman Year Experience Seminar that I co-instruct. Being a student myself has helped me be a better instructor for them.
Until next time….