There has never been a doubt in my mind that I would be a teacher someday. My best friend and I grew up playing school together all the time. I came to the conclusion that I do not want to label myself with one orientation of teaching, but a mixture of two. Features of both essentialism and progressivism pertain to me. Transmitting common knowledge to the students in a disciplined way is very important, and necessary, in gaining respect and getting the content of the subject across. Although, I also believe that education should, to an extent, be “child-centered”. Yes, there needs to be regulation when it comes to learning; however, students’ attentions need to be grasped and considered because if the content is not appealing, their attention spans lessen. It doesn’t take rocket science to know that.
Learning is the “window of opportunity” in my opinion; and, I will do everything in my power to be the best teacher I can possibly be. Not only will I be a teacher for my students, but a mentor, counselor, and friend.
As I sat back and reflected on why and how I want to be a teacher, I found out a lot about myself. Figuring out what you want to me in the future is a major step. Before you are able to do this, you must know who you are and where you stand on certain issues. What you think about teachers and teaching in general, the process of learning and the students, knowledge of all sorts, and morals and beliefs that you have are crucial. Teacher candidates need to be aware of all these matters because each and every one of them will spill into the minds of young adults. Your ideas may become their ideas. It is an extremely critical situation. Find yourself.
I have heard that some people are born to be teachers. Something about the things we do, or the things we say, gives others that vibe. I believe this with all of my heart. It takes a very specific person to teach others the information they need. Not just book knowledge, but other life experiences as well. Parents shape and mold their children while at home; but in the classroom, it is the teacher’s job to get the students ready for the next level. It is a beautiful thing.
My parents told me that I have been a very patient person since the day I was born. As I grew older, I tended to always want to lend a hand to others and show them how to do certain things. Whatever it was, I was more than happy to help. My childhood friend and I used to always play “school” at her house. She had a chalkboard, over-head projector, desks, filing cabinets, book shelves, the whole nine yards. We would spend hours upon hours taking turns being the teacher and being the student. That is what “fun” was to us. Ever since, teaching has been my main ambition.
The teaching profession has always fascinated me. Think about it this way. Doctors, lawyers, dentists, accountants, film makers, they all have one thing in common-they went to school. Since they all attended school in order to obtain their jobs; that means they were educated by a teacher. Therefore, teaching is the origin of all other occupations. In my opinion, that makes me think that teachers are the most important people on this entire earth. It is one profession but has a plethora of other jobs that go along with it. Not only do you teach, but you double as a role model, counselor, nurse, friend, and much more. The intrinsic rewards are what motivate me to want this career. I have experienced seeing the “light bulb moment” in children’s faces when I have helped them with an assignment or a task. I would not trade that for all the money in the world. Sometimes it is the little things in life that matter the most.
I believe that teachers need to be very comprehensible on what is to be learned and the curriculum that is to be taught for the time period they are given. They cannot be held one hundred percent responsible for what the children do or do not learn, but they are accountable for majority of it. As a teacher I want to hearten my students to reach for the stars, and to chase their dreams. Sometimes they do not receive the proper attention from their parents that supports imagination; so I want to help those children be all that they can be. Young adults need to have personal goals that they aim for; they will have little motivation without them. Teachers need to support goals and dreams.
In order to achieve those goals, learning needs to take place. To me, nothing is better than learning new information. Sometimes the best way to learn is by working with others. Working independently can be effective because it is a personal relationship between a person and the knowledge put in front of them; but, in past experiences I have learned that working in groups can be most efficient. Working in groups may be efficient, but children also need to be able to think independently for themselves. The thoughts and steps in which they solve problems need to be their own but deliberating amongst peers is a wondrous event. Some of my best ideas have originated from talking to a group of people. Things they say may either negate an idea of yours, or make you feel stronger about it. Either way, it helps you out.
Students need to want to learn. Gaining a student’s respect is crucial, but also a fun, exciting atmosphere needs to be created. As an essentialist, I believe that students need to be pushed and have things demanded upon them. Learners have to go beyond their limit if they want to grow in their knowledge and schooling. I had a teacher in high school that I could not stand until I was out of her class. She pushed me excessively throughout the semester to the point I thought I would break down; but, I also did my best work in her class. As the student, I was able to go places I never dreamed I could. That is important for a learner to realize. Not only do they need motivation, but they also need the momentum to get the job done.
The focus of education has to be mainly centered on the student but also equally as much on the subject matter. As an essentialist, I believe that “our culture has a core of common knowledge that the schools are obligated to transmit to students in a systematic, disciplined way.” True, as time goes on and things change, education and curriculum need to be modified; but, you cannot create a new system for each student.
The most important aspect of teaching is creating the maximum opportunity for children to learn, and achieve their goals and dreams. While maintaining a core curriculum and practicing discipline, students also need to be motivated to go beyond their limits. As a perennialist and essentialist, this is my thoughts on the teaching profession. It is the most significant career in the world. “Teachers do not open the door to opportunity, but they are the keys in which to help students get through that door themselves.”