Who doesn’t love Sesame Street?? I grew up on Bert, Ernie, Oscar, and Big Bird!! This song is something I need to sing every day to help quell my self-doubt and frustrations. 🙂
Well, the good news is I am finished with all of my coursework and will be soon receiving my Master’s Degree in Elementary Administration. I’ve been working on this endeavor since November of 2012, taking a new class every six weeks and learning a whole new set of skills to lead an elementary public school building. I have completed all of this while teaching full time and being a mommy full-time. I’m excited to be closing this chapter on my education, but ready to move on to another challenge. What is this challenge you ask? I want to pursue my Doctorate in Educational Leadership and work at the district level providing training and professional development to teachers.
I have settled on a program of study, but the hitch is, I need to take and achieve a certain score on the GRE. Here’s what I learned very quickly…I absolutely STINK at math, especially anything related to Algebra. My verbal reasoning and written analysis will carry my score, not quantitative analysis. I am bound and determined to do well on this exam…to the point that I have enrolled in a free online Algebra course through Allversity I can say that because of this, I can actually successfully complete about 1/4 of the quantitative analysis part of the practice GRE.
I completed a practice GRE and scored 2 points below my benchmark! 2 lousy points!!!! As I sat at the computer screen, I felt absolutely dejected. The thoughts of “I CAN’T do this”, “What am I thinking, I’m too old to do this!”, and “Just give up now.”, ravaged my psyche like a virus. My frustrations only continued to grow because I felt as if I have spent a huge part of last week working toward this goal. I took a break this weekend to enjoy family time, but got back into the groove today. Tears welled up and I ALMOST threw in the towel. Almost.
Then I had this epiphany…How dare I let a test define my intelligence?!?! I am smart, I am funny, I am charismatic. So what if math is not my strong point. I worked my tail-end off last week relearning algebra skills. I was able to correctly answer 1/4 out of 20 questions! THAT’S 5 RIGHT ANSWERS!!!! And what’s even more amazing, I did not have to guess on those. I knew how to solve them because I took the initiative to relearn skills that have been dormant for over 20 years. I can do this. I will succeed!
Then I realized another thought…our education system forces the same feelings on many children and teachers. Intelligence is equated to a number, or the successful performance on a test. While I agree tests are one of many useful tools that can indicate a person’s ability, it is not the end-all-beat-all to intelligence. Our intelligence extends beyond the limits of our abilities, only we allow ourselves to be pushed and to whole-heartedly believe in those capabilities.
I’ve got this!!!