Monday, June 22, 2020

Howie Balaban: Back To School - Week 4

This post should go live on this site early in the week, and by that time, I will be able to say I’ve got merely days left in the first summer session of courses in my back to school journey.


Four out of five weeks are complete. One class I can say with certainty has been quite enjoyable, as it has focused on how much technology has infiltrated education and how teachers should try to strategically integrate it into their plans. Though I have not “met” any of my classmates, I have “spoken” with a handful of them through a Google Hangout in order for all of us to collaboratively work on what I believe will be one of the last assignments. That assignment, I think, will be due by the end of the week. After all, the last day of classes is Friday, June 26.

The other class I have been taking has been a different kind of enjoyable. There has been much, much more work, but it has been quite illuminating learning about students with special needs. The final project for this course is due by the time I go to sleep on Thursday, and it involves an interview. I’ve conducted one already (socially distanced, of course) and I hope that the other two I have tentatively set up are equally as helpful. 

Breaking the classes down grade-wise is something I might do in my next post, especially if they land where I hope they do.

In the meantime, I’ll add that things have gone so well these first few weeks that I have decided to keep these posts going. After a 2 week hiatus, I’ll be back after the first non-holiday weekend in July to let you know how the first week of the second summer session has begun. That’s right, two more classes are now scheduled for yours truly, and that means heading into the fall I will have completed 12 credit hours in 10 weeks. (This presumes that the classes in the next session don’t overwhelm me and I stick with them. I should, but I’ll admit there’s always a chance of something bad happening. I simply don’t foresee it.)

As I sit here writing this, taking a break from the interview assignment, I can’t help but think how things might have been different this summer if not for the pandemic. Would I have had the chance to get all of my assignments done if I were taking my kids to various summer activities? Would I have been able to stop myself from watching the Stanley Cup Playoffs, or Yankees baseball? 

I want to say yes, but what I cannot say for sure is whether I would have done as much or devoted as much time to each class as I have been able to because of so few outside distractions. This is about as positive a way of looking at things as it gets, right?

Next week, I’ll review the end of these first two classes, and fair warning, if I did well, I’ll brag, but I’ll do it nicely. I promise!

Howie Balaban’s back-to-school journey will be chronicled here semi-regularly. He believes it is more interesting than listing all the housework he has to do, and he reminds everyone that the housework will always be there. If you want to make a change in your life, it’s never too late.