Choosing to become a teacher is no easy task

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Throughout the years, I began to explore my own world-view and thus started to relate my awareness to daily educational practices. The dynamic shift towards becoming a knowledge society requires new trends in the educational process so pupils will be aligned with these new developments. Therefore as a prosperous teacher, I have to help pupils become capable of adapting and using complex modern technologies and adapt theory in everyday life. The Twin Towers' destruction also made an impact on my life since I became more aware of the lack of values some people around us embrace. As a result, I am determined to be a dedicated teacher who not just teach content but also demonstrates values and educate pupils. Since I have the obligation to "practise what I preach" I need to treat all students with respect, dignity and tolerance. Furthermore I propose to make inclusion possible and provide equal opportunities for all pupils irrespective of gender, religion or race by providing them with different resources, language and assessment. "21% of the Maltese children are experiencing some form of poverty" was a striking statement which got me thinking about how this situation is going to affect the learning outcomes of the pupils. This situation shows me that I need to be a successful diagnostician of the students' family and social background rather than just of abilities and prior knowledge, in order to plan learning experiences which allow students to learn and develop at their own pace. I plan to endorse child-centred learning and provide open and responsive learning environments so that I will be able to recognize students as individuals, as pointed out in Dewey's theory of Education. Keeping in mind the knowledge-driven society, I intend to focus on the longer-term goals of training students for life and thus equipping them with twenty-first century skills for understanding, applying and creating knowledge. These goals can be reached by a number of pedagogies which are life-skills oriented and life-long capable. My Christian catholic faith is also foundational to my worldview and has shaped all aspects of who I am.

I feel that my beliefs and goals play a central role in the learning process as these cause the change in teacher's practices. As a future teacher, I feel that I should develop self-understanding and self-awareness in order to mould the future of the pupils. Through teaching, I would be able to transfer my love for learning into a love for teaching. I want to be a teacher to inspire learning while at the same time i will be a learner myself. I decided to opt for a teaching career in order to be a positive influence on the students and bring out the best in every one of them. Furthermore I intend to make teaching and learning fun and enjoyable for myself and the puils, while at the same time implement effective learning strategies. For me, teaching is not all about facts and content, but getting students to understand concepts which are applicable to everyday life. I believe that a teacher should be a facilitator in the classroom and provide scaffolding for pupils to move from what they know to the unknown, through their preferred learning styles and discovery learning. I view teaching as a process of encouraging students to make connections between the real world experiences and the subject being studied, in order for them to keep engaged and motivated.

Since early childhood, I always felt inclined towards teaching since I used to play this role for long hours, using dolls as students. I also used to correct my own copybooks and was always willing to help my neighbour's children when they had any difficulty in doing their homework. Being the older sister, I forced many times my sisters to play school and teach them new things such as playing basketball or cooking. Therefore the Bachelor of Education course was not an unfamiliar territory for me to join in. Furthermore, seeing my working-class parents stuck for long hours doing tiring and complex jobs was another motivation for me to pursue my career in education in order to help others improve their future wellbeing as well as their families. Being a regular volunteer at a local children's group also shows the love I have for working with children since it gives me the power to make a difference in the children's life in order to be better citizens. Apart from this, even my summer job requires tutoring since it entails me to teach English to foreign students and crafts to little children. By being around children and adolescents daily, I will remain knowledgeable about current trends and ideas, therefore it breaks the age gap barrier. I also enjoy the autonomy in the classroom where I can be creative and self-directed each day. Therefore I feel that there is no profession which fits me more than teaching.

During my Secondary school years, I was taught by a wide range of teachers, some of which were very inspiring role models whilst others did not want to relate with us due to several barriers they built up. Previous experiences as a pupil were mostly pleasant where I managed to build good student-teacher relationship since I always used to abide by what the teachers instruct me to do. Despite this fact, there were some other teachers whom for them we were only a number. I clearly remember a particular English teacher who used to make us copy notes from the whiteboard during the entire lesson so that we could read them at home. I remember the threats this teacher used to exert power on us, which was an intended strategy for her class management. I recall being called names by her and mocking us in front of others when one of us got a wrong answer or was not paying attention. The fear and inferiority I used to experience during these English lessons were unbearable. Now that I look back, I definitely do not want to be like this teacher and provide a threatening environment for the pupils to learn it. My resolve for becoming a teacher strengthened when I encountered several poor teachers who mostly were ill mannered with the students. Therefore this triggered me the idea that I can do better than these teachers without getting the students bored or irritated.

I have chosen to become a teacher since I am a product of some very powerful role models who portrayed themselves well in the classrooms. From my past school years, I still treasure memories of good teachers who were an inspiration when I came to choose my career since they were more of friends rather than teachers. Apart from knowledge, they communicated a number of values such as respect, responsibility and perseverance which helped us, students, develop holistically. One particular teacher who inspired me was a Home-Economics teacher who was very patient with students and never gave up on us. Because of her, I learnt to have confidence in myself and my skills since on many occasions I put my newly acquired skills to practise in the safe environment she created. She inspired me to become a teacher through her hard work and determination to help me succeed. I hope to follow after her example and allow time for the students to develop, same as she did to me. Another important person in my life is Marthese, my classmate from early years, who is a slow learner. By helping her in doing tasks and understanding content, she sealed the deal for me and my future plans since she inspired me to become a teacher in order to help others. Furthermore my parents and other relatives also talked me into the idea of teaching due to my caring attitude and my love for sharing knowledge. Since in Malta, teaching is referred to as a feminine profession, I ingrained myself more in this caring vocation. Without these people's inspiration, I never would have decided to become a teacher.

In my home environment, I managed to find the most excellent teacher who is my mother. She inspires me to be the best at anything I choose to be and aids me to achieve my goals and dreams. I was brought up in a family who not only shared knowledge together. The fact that we got involved in each others lives gives me a good overview on how important it is for the students to make them feel welcome and at ease in a classroom setting. Also, I am nurtured in an environment where lifelong learning is given a lot of importance which makes me aware of the positive influence of supportive adult relationships in the academic success of the students. This home setting helped me in staying motivated and positive and to daily face the challenges education may provide. The school context I was accustomed to as a student was based on supportive relationship with the teachers who provided us with clear and consistent behavioural and academic expectations. There were a number of factors within the school context which sustained my positive academic self-perception. These factors included a sense of belonging and caring, meaningful and challenging educational environments and high quality pedagogy and support. As a result, my love for school continued to develop since I never perceived school and education from a negative point of view.

The original choice and the subsequent perseverance through training depend mostly on the inner motivating factors including the life-lasting outlook of drives, dreams and duties. Since I want to make an impact on the whole well-being of the individual to contribute to his/her quality of life, I think being a teacher is the ideal job.

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