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A teacher affects an eternity: they can never tell where their influence stops. The education of a child is the root of their future; a good education increases the chances of future success. Teachers are there to inspire a future generation to be the best they can be. I believe a child's chance of success starts in the classroom. The growth and development of any child begins with the ambition and drive of the teacher to guide them through the aspects of life either in the classroom or in the field.
I am an ambitious young woman, aiming to become an excellent Secondary School Geography teacher inspiring the minds of 11-18 year olds. My passion for teaching (and in particular geography teaching) arises from my own school years. My geography teacher was an inspiring man making learning fun as well as challenging. The field courses that we attended were particularly enjoyable as the experience of learning outside the classroom creates a more interactive learning atmosphere. The positive support received by members of the geography department gave me the ambition to want to learn more about the subject and consequently made me choose to study geography at degree level at Swansea University.
Departments within the school showed me that individual teachers are influential and inspiring as well as educational and how this can affect children. For example, the behavioural support unit, who offer one-to-one support for those children who may require an extra helping hand (academically or socially), does an excellent job in guiding children to be the best they can be. Taking an interest in a child's personal development alongside their educational development establishes a secure foundation to a well-rounded future. In a report in November 2012 by the chief inspector of OFSTED stated that "Access to a good education for children and young people is far too dependent on where you happen to live", I believe this is totally unacceptable and that every child should have the same rights to an education regardless of where they live or their socio-economic backgrounds. The success of a school is the responsibility of its staff and teachers, a good quality teacher educates a child who produces good quality exam results. I want to make a difference to the education system and I aspire to be the best teacher I can be.
Geography gives an insight into different aspects of the world something that is forever increasing in modern media and allows an exploration into both human and physical impacts of everyday life. Creativity and imagination are key tools in creating a memorable and educational lesson and teaching geography at a secondary level especially at GCSE and A-level stages is overly important as these key stages in a child's education sets them up for their future. Even if a child doesn't remember what you said the way you made them feel about the subject will stay with them forever.
Relevant Work Experience
I took the initiative during my summer vacation at university to acquire real-world experience within a classroom. For the period of three weeks starting 18th June 2012 to 7th July 2012, I volunteered as a classroom observer and teaching assistant at Fitzharrys School, Abingdon. During my time at the school I took an interactive role within the geography department, in the classroom and in the field. For example, during the work experience I looked at the schemes of work for several years and devised and taught some appropriate starter activities for both year 8 and year 13. In addition to this, I also took a small group and devised an activity based upon the lesson to support the less able students, including working directly with an EAL (English as an additional language) student during their assessment period.
As well as working directly with the students I read around the subject before each lesson to ensure I was prepared to help students during lessons. Working closely with the class teacher we were able to devise a new assessment for learning strategy within the geography department. Additionally, whilst at the school I also got an insight into the pastoral, PSHE and extra-curricular aspects of teaching. For example, I took three days outside the geography department working with other staff in the school to help out on the year 6 induction day, year 9 sexual health carousel day and the year 9 "inspire" sports day.
I also took two additional days in September 2012 to help out on 2 geography field trips, I acted as a supervisory role as well as taking an academic role in a year 10 GCSE trip to Henley, Oxford and in a year 9 trip to Lulworth Cove, Dorset. I thoroughly enjoyed my time working with the students at Fitzharrys School and I have learnt that professionalism and confidence within the classroom and field, is key to creating a safe, fun and inspiring environment for learning.
I would like to take my geography knowledge and develop it into a teaching career at secondary school level. My current experience of working with students across the secondary age group has led me to believe that this is the career path that I wish to take. I wish to change the way children think of the environment before it is too late.