I believe the purpose of education is to create a socially responsible class. Education has always been an important aspect in my life, predominantly because I believe educators hold one of the most important jobs. Teachers spend most of the day with children either passing on values and beliefs or simply teaching them about important happenings in the past. I personally believe teachers have the responsibility to teach students about the importance of the past as well as making them socially conscious human beings. Students need to be aware of past events that currently contribute to the present.
Teaching also involves a great deal of patience, persistence, flexibility, cooperation and understanding. As teachers, we have the difficult task of ensuring students receive appropriate learning despite the academic, emotional and social diversities that may exist in the classroom. Reality of the matter is that each student comes from a different background; therefore teachers need to be willing to accept and take the time to understand where the child is coming from, or in this case, have knowledge on child development. A sense of knowledge on Child development is essential because it provides educators with a level of understanding on how children grow, develop and most importantly learn.
Cooperation, persistence and preparation are fundamental aspects that contribute to a successful school year. When it comes to educating children, teachers should have a sense of content area knowledge. In other words, teachers should be willing to explore and perfect all subject areas, refer to both scope and sequences, and refer to standards to further enhance their lessons. Similarly, curricular knowledge, or how information is organized, is important in teaching because it gives teachers the opportunity to use specific programs for math or reading effectively. As educators, it is imperative to understand how to use and incorporate these programs into our daily instruction. Lastly, a knowledge of pedagogy, or instructional strategies; such as guided reading, readers’ workshop and cooperative learning, are important because these strategies will ultimately enhance student instruction and differentiate lessons for students with various learning needs. In order to establish these learning techniques, teachers need to know which students are learning disabled; the availability of resources both in the classroom and school; and students’ abilities.
The idea of creating and understanding formal and informal assessments has becoming increasingly important in the teaching field. As we are all aware, teachers are responsible for the academic progress of each student in the classroom. It is our duty to provide a safe and equal learning environment in which each student has the opportunity to thrive. Developing and constantly assessing students is essential to guide our daily instruction. Ultimately, the goal of assessments is to help teachers determine student progress as well as to understand the areas where students might need the most help. Observing students systematically is another form of assessing students in the classroom. Although observational assessments do not provide us with sufficient information as far as where students stand, they are helpful because it allows teachers to observe behaviors in the classroom along with social interactions amongst students. Lastly, a sense of knowledge on the Response to Intervention Model (RTI) is key because many schools have implemented these intervention models that are geared to help at-risk students.
Moreover, I am a big believer in the saying “we each have something to teach and a lot to learn”. In my opinion, I believe this statement is valid because we learn something new every day. With this being said, I believe teachers should work collaboratively and learn from one another. Teachers have the difficult task of creating lessons and teaching them effectively, however, many times a lesson will not turn out as planned. For these reasons, I believe teachers need to be open to constructive criticism from other teachers as well as from administrators. I also believe teachers need to be reflective and analytical of their teaching and ask themselves “what went well in a lesson?”, “What went bad?”, and “Could I have done something differently?” Constructive criticism helps teachers change things that will later work for the benefit of their students and themselves in addition to helping teachers get a new perspective on an old idea.
Similarly, academic and social expectations along with building a sense of community in a classroom are all major contributors to lifelong learning. The ability to foster collaboration in community awareness, reinforcing respect, modeling, exposing, engaging and holding students accountable for their actions, is a major contributing factor to lifelong learners. These basic teaching strategies not only promote positive feelings in a classroom setting, but they also establish a firm foundation for students to learn in. It is also important to hold students accountable for their actions. Not only will they avoid negative behaviors, but they will also hold a sense of accountability for their actions. Therefore, knowledge on classroom management strategies and developmental discipline are important aspects that contribute to creating a safe learning environment for all students.
Furthermore, I believe that in order to be a good teacher, you must enjoy and be passionate about working with children, you must be willing to learn from others, intelligent, motivated, dedicated, enterprising, collaborative, and most importantly flexible. To further emphasize on this idea, a teacher must be a good listener, and serve as a facilitator of learning. Teachers need to be less teacher oriented and encourage students to work collaboratively in groups, thus becoming more of a facilitator for children that are discovering and learning. A teacher should also be a calculated risk taker, innovator and self starter who is willing to differentiate lessons for students who may be experiencing difficulty. Teachers are not perfect and they are not born knowing everything. All our knowledge is acquired through education and personal experiences. Therefore, I believe a teacher should always express an interest in continued professional growth development and be willing to participate and conduct action research studies that can further enhance their instruction.
As a child, I had a teacher who made my learning experience enjoyable. Not speaking English can be difficult for any student; however this teacher helped me in so many ways that at age seven I knew I wanted to be a teacher like Miss. Gomez. Up until this day, I believe teaching is a rewarding job. The idea of observing students progress and contributing to their learning is rewarding in itself. Being passionate about teaching also involves teachers taking the time to discover and explore teaching strategies and participate in professional development workshops. A teacher must always be willing to learn new things and incorporate new teaching methods into their every day teaching.
To conclude, as C. Everett Koop states, “Life affords no greater responsibility, no great privilege than raising of the next generation”. Our goal as teachers is to provide opportunities and structure as well as support in order for students to thrive academically, socially and emotionally in the classroom. By providing structure we are allowing students to feel comfortable with themselves and their learning.