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Teaching has been something that I have always wanted to do. I remember being in elementary school and everything being new and exciting. I had so many wonderful teachers as a child that made me feel like the world was my oyster. They inspired me to discover the world around me and never think that anything was beyond my reach. On the other hand, I had some particularly bad experiences with teachers that made me dread school and not want push my self to go any further because "I couldn't handle it." They didn't enjoy their job and did not seem to care about the well-being of their students. These experiences made me realize at a very young age how important it is to have a teacher that is passionate about their career. From the time I had my first bad school experience I wanted to be a teacher.
Several years later as I entered college and began thinking about the major I would choose as my path, I didn't know what to choose. I was overwhelmed by my options and the fact that what I choose may very well be my job for the rest of my life. I continued doing classes without a major in mind and did ok, but not as well as I would have liked. I couldn't find that drive to help meet my goals in school. After a couple of years at UNM I took a break from school for a year. On my year off I worked a lot and took time to really think about what I really wanted to do. During this time I would occasionally baby-sit for my aunts three little boys. The oldest at the time was 6 years old, and my aunt asked me to tutor him because he was having some trouble at school. A couple of days a week I would tutor my cousin, and I saw how happy he was about school. He got so excited when something would finally click and he got it. This in turn made me feel good, and it brought me back to that desire for teaching that I once had. In Fall of 2008 I registered for classes in education, and I was accepted into the Early Childhood Multicultural Education program in Fall of 2009. I have done very well in school these past few semesters, better than I have ever done before. My grades are excellent and I'm excited about what my future holds. I have chosen to switch from the ECME program to Elementary Education because, although I would like to teach younger children, I may want to teach higher grades at some point and feel as though elementary education would be a better program for me.
My philosophy of education is ensuring that students are excited about whatever it is that they are doing. I want them to do more than just gain knowledge. I aspire to teach my students in a way that will make them want to learn. I want the children to have a hunger for knowledge and be excited to come to school everyday. At the end of each year I hope kids leave my class saying, "I learned a lot, and I had fun doing it!" I hope to encourage students to seek answers, rather than memorize facts. I will push them to apply knowledge rather than reproduce it. I believe that any child can get any concept no matter what it may be, and if that child is having trouble understanding a certain subject matter then it should be presented in a way that they can understand it. My goal as an educator is to make sure that each student reaches his or her full potential. Let's face it; it is no secret that a main focus of education, especially in today's world, is often on meeting the standard of required knowledge each student must have to pass successfully from grade to grade. As a teacher, the easy way to accomplish this task would be through simply feeding student's informationand following the curriculum. Personally, as a future elementary school teacher, I believe it is much more beneficial to immerse students with a teaching style that emphasizes discovery, starting at a young age. Through discovery-based learning, my students will be given the opportunity to become active participants in the learning process. As an educator, I will take advantage of the opportunity to teach beyond the general standards of a teacher. As I reflect on the way I hope to approach teaching, I now realize it is a chapter in my life that I will have to enter with an open mind. In the ever-changing world of education, educators must look at teaching as a never-ending learning process. Whether in a classroom setting or elsewhere, teachers are constantly given the opportunity to learn new things. In order to offer the most effective education possible, I will have to examine and re-examine the models on which my teaching is based. I will continuously change and reflect upon my own philosophy on education and make an approach to teaching based on what works best for my students as learners.
I love children, and I think that it's sad that there are so many teachers out there that teach, but do not seem to enjoy doing it. How can you do a job each day if you don't enjoy it? Or better yet, how are kids suppose to enjoy learning or learn something from someone that puts forth no passion? I want kids to know that I enjoy what I do. I believe that's one of the qualities that I will contribute to the profession of teaching. I will love my job and my students. I want to build a relationship with my students that will make them comfortable enough to tell me if something is wrong, weather it be at school, or at home. That compassion will create an environment in my classroom that will be warm and welcoming. Not only am I passionate about education, I am patient, kind and have a soft heart and I believe those qualities are a necessity for any elementary school teacher. Some people say that becoming a teacher is a hard life because the pay isn't good and it's a lot of work. I say that if you enjoy what you do everyday then it doesn't matter what the pay is. For me teaching will not be a job, it will be my career, and I believe that keeping this philosophy will make being an educator a fulfilling life for me.