Along with the title, teacher, comes great responsibility. The opportunity of imparting knowledge is something that should never be taken lightly. The children in our care each day depend on us to guide them into a world of wonder. They come to us as an unfinished canvas and we are blessed with the opportunity to join them in painting their masterpiece.
A fictional teacher from one of my favorite television shows once said, “Believe in yourselves. Dream. Try. DO good!” This is the same message that I wish to pass along to each generation I have the privilege to teach. Believe in yourselves. Dream your biggest dreams. Always try your hardest. In every opportunity, change this world with the ‘good’ that you do!
When considering the reasons why I love teaching, I always come back to the simple notion of building relationships. It is an act of doing something that matters for generations of young people, in a world that sometimes seems to forget their worth. I believe an educator should provide patience and understanding for reluctant learners and students that may fear rejection or failure. There is safety in a community where the teacher makes it a goal to provide acceptance and build confidence in each learner. I strive to offer this kind of belief and positive attitude on a daily basis for each of my students. My personal teaching style is based around my commitment to building community, utilizing technology, and differentiating for the individual needs of my students. I desire to find new ways to continue developing these areas as I continue my career.
It is my goal to always share with my students that they are valuable, capable and unique. Each of them has special talents and gifts to bring to the world. I try to offer many opportunities for collaborative learning. I want my classroom to be a place that allows students to continually contribute to the learning process. I make it very clear to my students that we are a family and during the year we get to support each other and encourage each other while learning. Through teaching, I make an effort to help each child identify their interests so that they can begin to experience learning in a way that is purposeful.
One of the reasons that I really enjoy continuing my career at HHIESCA is because of the diversity I witness in the classroom. Each child adds a unique insight into the topics we discuss throughout the year. This is because they bring along with them six years of experiences that may be different from the other students in the room. There is diversity in culture, socio-economic status, and academic knowledge. I am pleased that my students get to experience this diversity because we live in a very diverse world.
Along with the academic diversity in the classroom comes the need for differentiation of learning. In my self-contained classroom, I make great effort to meet the needs of my students in a way that is specific to their abilities and experiences. Through small group instruction, I try to meet the needs of my learners at every academic level.
I was blessed throughout my education to have teachers that truly cared for me and wanted to see me succeed. Many of them inspired me to pursue my own career as an educator. For this very reason, I try to remind myself every day to show my children that I believe in them and that with hard work, determination and passion, they too can pursue their dreams. Initially, I endeavor to build student confidence through extrinsic motivation and my goal is to transfer the motivators to become intrinsic. This intrinsic motivation will carry my students through the rest of their lives because of an innate desire to succeed.
One of the greatest rewards in teaching is in knowing that my influence does not stop in the walls of my classroom. One day my students will leave me and I hope that what they carry with them, in addition to their academic knowledge, is a love of learning and a desire to change their world for the better! This is the reason that I choose to teach.