Jane Farino is a graduate student at Loyola University Maryland and a substitute teacher. She has been a KDP member since 2011, initiating at Sigma Tau Chapter at Mount St. Mary College.
Two years ago I found myself walking into a room in Indianapolis filled with people from across the country, even the world. I found myself surrounded by people so individually different, yet, amazingly, connected by one common goal, to be the best teacher they can be. There were teachers who were brand new, seasoned teachers nearing retirement, and professionals eager to share tips, ideas, and researched based practices. There were also college students, like me, nervous about stepping into the teaching world and ready to get answers to their questions.
Today, I am a graduate student subbing during the day for a private school, and taking a full time course schedule at Loyola University Maryland at night to get my Master’s degree and certification as a K-12 Reading Specialist. Since last time I went to Convo, I have grown so much as an educator, but I still face new teaching struggles every day. I am working on adjusting to work as a substitute teacher, balancing classroom order with being “fun,” and wondering about how I will do as a first year teacher when I eventually do get a class of my own. Although most days go smoothly and are enjoyable, a few not-so-awesome days, and lack of a full time job had me questioning my confidence as a teacher.
Feeling like I need to refresh, recharge, and revamp my teaching skills, I saw information for the next Convo coming up in Dallas and knew I had to do whatever it took to get myself there. I applied for a graduate student stipend, and miraculously, was awarded it! The stipend from KDP will allow me to fly from Maryland to Dallas, register for Convo, and stay at the hotel without stressing my budget. I have a sense of duty feeling like KDP is investing in me as a future educator.
During my undergraduate years, I was membership chair for chapter Sigma Tau Chapter. Our team of officers worked hard to create strong chapter unity, and was granted the ACE award. Going to Dallas will allow me to see the award be presented to Sigma Tau’s counselor and president. I am so proud of what our chapter has done, and continues to do.
Although I am taking education-geared classes now, the relevant workshops, exchange of fresh ideas and opportunity to interact with teachers from all areas is a one of a kind experience that only Convocation can offer. It allows me to see myself less as an individual in this professional journey but as a part of a larger community of teachers. You can think of it as a big KDP family reunion.
I can’t wait to get to Dallas; I hope to see you there!