Book Reflection

The biggest fear a parent can possible have is that there could be something wrong with their child. A mother spends nine months waiting for a bundle of joy to be born, hoping that they are healthy. In the book “Let Me Hear Your Voice,” author Catherine Maurice, a mother, of not only one but two children with autism, shares her heart wrenching story of trying to find a “cure” for her daughter.

Maurice and her husband embark on a rigorous behavioral intervention program in their home with privately hired therapists while still seeking answers to their questions. Given the time frame of Anne-Marie’s diagnosis I was amazed to learn how many people still believed there was some causal effect of poor maternal bonding in autism. It is a disability that it very hard to understand, especially if you are not aware of exactly what it is. I feel that Maurice did an outstanding job being able to recognize that something was not right with her child. Being able to pick up signs and/or symptoms of autism that your child portrays is sometimes hard for parents because they do not want to perceive there being something “wrong” with their child. Working in the field with adults that have many disabilities such as autism, I find it interesting that parents are either fully determined find everything they can to help their child or they tend to be in denial that their child may need special attention. For Maurice perhaps because both her children were able to have intense intervention so early in their lives, they both recovered to the extent that within a couple of years professional teachers who did not know the children’s history did not distinguish them from “normative” children in any way. Many people do not understand, unless they are in the atmosphere with an autistic person, is that it affects not only the person with it but their families as well! Since being given the chance to work with people with disabilities, what the public does not realize is that about ten percent of people with autism are high functioning with gifts such as photographic memories, high math abilities as well as savants, which I find completely remarkable! Let Me Hear Your Voice does not tell readers how her children are doing now, but I hope that with all the help she had provided for them that her children are in the high functioning ten percent.

Every parent wants to do as much as they can to help their child, money should not be an issue, and yet it is for so many. “Let Me Hear Your Voice” certainly gives parents with autistic children hope at a time when they desperately could need it. I would encourage any special needs parent to read it for the sheer inspiration to keep on doing their very best for their children.

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Hitting the Jackpot!!

Hitting the jackpot for me would not be winning a lot of money. Even though winning a large sum of money would be great, money cannot buy happiness, and as cheesy and cliché that may sound I believe it is true. To me hitting the jackpot would be having a stable job that I enjoy going to every morning, settling down and starting a family of my own with my family and friends by my side. I have always been a “social butterfly”. I love being around people and ca not stand being alone for a long period of time. I feel that people look at you differently when you come into money, that’s why I would choose happiness as my jackpot. Family is such a big part of my life and I cannot wait to one day start my own. Having a stable career would definitely ease my mind and take a lot of stress off my shoulders. Wondering when the next teaching interview I will have to go on will be and if they are going to like me or will I do well enough for them to hire me is one stress I would like to get rid of. Thankfully I am still young and there is plenty of time for me to hit my jackpot.

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Balancing Work and Family

Balancing work and family can be a real challenge for many adults. For me softball has always been my “job” and balancing that along with schoolwork, family and a social life in college really taught me a lot about time management. There is always a certain time and place for certain things and it is up to you to figure out what is most important. I’ve always been told my eyes are bigger then my stomach and I take a bigger bite then I can chew but somehow I always make it work. After my undergrad I was nervous about not being able to find work. I went from having no job after college to having three by the time summer was over while also continuing my education. My friends think I am crazy and at times I think it too. Starting my day at 6 am, be at work by 7, coming home to change my clothes for job number 2 and not getting home until 9:20 while coaching on the weekends and taking a class leaves little time for relaxation, so I try to spend my little time off with my family. Family is very important to me because friends may come and go but your family will always be your family no matter what. My sister will be leaving for college next year so I always try to set aside time with her since we are very close. Plus any family functions like pumpkin picking, apple picking , and birthdays I always try to attend or least make an appearance at because it is something that I enjoy and like being a part of . In the end I feel if you really try to balance work and family no matter how tight your schedule is, they will appreciate the effort you are making to be with them.

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An Elusive Goal

I think an elusive goal for me was finishing my Bachelors degree. When the college switched systems I failed to notice that I had received an incomplete in one of my classes which almost caused me to not graduate on time. It had slipped my mind with my hectic schedule and my full load of classes I was taking. The professor said it was ok for me to hand in the missing work I needed for the class but the college felt that I had an efficient amount of time to finish the work and I called to do so. They were going to make me retake the class I had sat in for a whole semester over 1 essay. I had to go to doctors to look up past appointments and illnesses and write several notes pleading my case of why I was unable to finish the work in the time allowed. Without this class I was unable to graduate and it would put my whole future on hold. The college thankfully decided to allow me to receive a grade for this particular class. I thought I was in the clear to graduate until I received a letter from the school telling me I did not complete my lazar requirements. This class I fought so hard to receive permission to get a grade for was my requirement I needed but when the school changed from esims to cunyfirst the department didn’t tell registrar the classes were interchangeable. Once again I had to plead my case to the school when I thought I was through with the headache of not being eligible to graduate. Their reasoning was that the department never notified the school it was reciprocal therefore it wasn’t there problem and had to take it up with the department itself. It was two weeks before graduation and I didn’t know if I was able to walk. It was the worst feeling ever because this time it wasn’t my fault why I wouldn’t be able to graduate. Thankfully the office I went to was able to tell registrar right away that they would accept my class for the requirement. My goal of finishing my BA in 4 years felt so unattainable my last semester but everything thankfully worked out. I learned a very valuable lesson. NEVER wait around till the last minute to complete something, try to do everything in advanced because once you let it build up you’ll spend forever trying to dig yourself out of a hole!

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Using 21st Century Education Technologies in FACS

Technology in the classroom is becoming a huge trend, but is really helping our students. Technology should be used as a tool within a classroom setting and not the end all resource for our students learning. With the research I have been doing for my research paper, I have found that technology is obstructing our students focus and writing abilities. As students enter college they do not have the necessary skills of research habits needed for a college level. In order to use technology in our classroom we need to teach our students to use computer and other technology as a tool rather then a resource. Introducing students to sites such as Ebscohost rather then using Google as sources would help our students greatly!

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A Memorable Teacher

Let’s see, if I had to choose one memorable teacher I think that it would be my high school FACS teacher, Ms. York. When I was in 10th grade I took my first FACS class which was Gourmet Foods. I was the youngest student in the class, since most of the students were Juniors and Seniors so I was very quiet and shy. I really enjoyed all the projects that we did and how most of the work was based on presentation. One of the things I remember most about the class was how to make a palm tree out of a carrot and a pepper. I was hooked after that class and winded up taking every FACS class my school had to offer. Ms. York was the main FACS teacher while I went there so for three years I was in her classes and winded up taking an Independent Study with her where I demonstrated the cooking labs. She was the main reason why I chose to pursue a career in FACS education.

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A Book I Would Love to Write

People don’t know what went on in the house on 166th. If I was given the chance to write a book, I would write a fictional story based on true events that happened in my first two years of college. I would call the book, Life on 166th. During my freshman and sophomore year, me and eleven other girls lived in a house in Queens, brought together by one love, softball. Through all the dilemmas, between eight girls sharing one bathroom, to leaving dirty dishes in the sink, to the amount of fun and drama there could be in one house we managed to survive each other. People said that with all the experiences that we had in that house we should have had our own reality TV series. I think that it would be a really fun book to write. It would show how living under one roof even though there where many problems, you were forced to work them out and when push came to shove you knew you had a team that you could depend on. This book’s overall lesson would be that you need to stand by the people you live with because it is hard to find people to trust in the world and when all is said and done you are going to need someone to lean on.

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Common Core Standards and APPR

To the average person the words Common Core Standard and Annual Professional Performance Review may not mean much and some may not even know what they mean but for an educator these words are crucial. Before writing this blog I heard about these two things but did not really know what they were. After doing a little investigating this is what I have found.

The Common Core Standards was developed to improve reading and math standards for preparing students for college. These standards were created to provide a clear understanding of what the students are suppose to be learning. Teachers should know that with this students will be required to learn more specific content knowledge as wall as demonstrate a deeper understanding for the material.

The APPR or Annual Professional Performance Review is very important for teachers to know about. This is an evaluation for every teacher each year. The idea for this is to improve students learning through improving teacher performance. APPR will not only be for main subject teachers but for all electives and librarians as well. Every teacher should know about APPR so they can prepare themselves to be evaluated with no surprises.

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My Passions

As I sat here contemplating what to write about my passions, I realized that I do not have one. If you were to ask me a year or so ago, I would have responded with that softball is or was my passion. It was something that I loved more than anything. I had played for fourteen years, playing for many different teams. In high school, I played on three teams and did not have much time for anything else besides school. It was my goal even as a young middle school student to play in college which I was fully committed to doing. All of my very hard work had paid off by getting me a scholarship to college and playing the one thing I loved most in the world, but I had no idea that by playing at the collegiate level would have beaten my love for the game out of me.

Although I have met a lot of great people and made many great friends through my college experience, playing for a coach who the players feels hates them really takes the fun out of the game. Not just for me but for the team as a whole. Collegiate softball became more of a job that I dreaded going to day in and day out than the passion that I had once loved. I would count down the minutes until a four hour practice was over just so I could eat and relax after having class all morning. The physical and mental exhaustion that the team felt after everyday to try and prove yourself to a coach that feels you are no good or replaceable. After each season was, it was more of a feeling of relief where as in high school I could not wait for the next to start.

When I look back and think about how one man made me lose something I had once loved so much, it really makes me sad because no one should have the ability to take something you love away from you. Would I go back and reconsider possibly playing in college? Definitely not. These experiences that I endured I believe made me a stronger person and the friends that I have made along the way well we helped each other get through those rough times.

Even though my passion for softball may be gone, maybe one day I will get it back but I am still young. There will be plenty of time to find a new passion. Since graduating I feel that I have a new slate. I enjoy doing many things but I wouldn’t call them a passion. I have always enjoyed being with kids so who knows what that will bring but only time will tell. When I do find my new passion, I now know not to let anyone make me feel the way I did to lose it.

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Choosing a Career Path

As a child you always try and dream of what you want to be when you grow up.  Most of the time you wind up not doing what you imagined.  In high school is where you really start to explore your interests. Some people even go into college not knowing what they want to do with the rest of their life. It is a very big decision.  Fortunately, I was one of the lucky ones. A big part of why I chose teaching as my career path was because of sports .  I have been playing softball since I was very young and I took a love for coaching and kids when I was sixteen which eventually led me to start giving my own pitching lessons.  Ever since then I knew teaching was for me.  Figuring out what subject I wanted to pursue was definitely a challenge.  I was really good at math and chemistry but I hated probability and I didn’t like any other science to teach so it would have been a struggle to teach those subjects to students when I didn’t enjoy them myself.  As a child I always liked playing with my easy bake oven and when I made it to high school I really enjoyed taking the Family and Consumer Science classes that my school had to offer.  It never occurred to me to look into Family and Consumer Science until my high school teacher suggested it.  I finished all the Family and Consumer Science classes my high school taught and I was hooked.  I took an independent study where I helped teach Gourmet Foods and I knew Family and Consumer Science was what I wanted to teach.  Choosing a career path can be a difficult choice. It can be a lot of trail and error until you find something that you can truly see yourself enjoying.

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