My passion for teaching flourished after an experience when I was fifteen years old. I find myself reflecting on this memory often because it has impacted my life. I was employed by an entertainment company and I was working at the cotton candy stand. There were eight year old twins that wouldn’t leave my side. They stayed with me for approximately two hours, talking and laughing. Later they confided in me and told me they both had leukemia. It was in that moment I knew it was my passion and calling to work with children. It was breathtaking knowing I was able to take their minds off the stress and pain they felt, even it was for just one moment. I don’t remember what was said or how it was said, but I do remember how I felt and how this experience has forever molded me.
In the long run, students will not remember every math equation or every social studies fact, just like I don’t remember the exact conversation I had that day. What students will remember is how we made them feel and how we provided a comfortable place for them to learn and grow. While it is important to give them a base of knowledge, it is my ultimate goal as a teacher to cultivate a safe environment to guide students to become independent thinkers, life-long learners, and kind, empathetic individuals.
Through my experience, it has been my pleasure to discover that my passion lies in helping students succeed by meeting the needs of all students. I believe data analysis and student progress monitoring is essential for growth and success. I aim to develop self-motivated individuals with the proper skills to self-assess and self-reflect. I am a firm believer in students taking ownership of their work by setting personal goals and achieving them.
My success as a teacher is not only measured by the academic growth of students, but also in my ability to establish a classroom environment that inspires discussions, creativity, curiosity, and optimism. I take it upon myself to keep students curious by implementing choice as much as possible into my lessons. Not only do the students learn more this way, but they look forward to activities like social studies projects, writing, and book clubs. Additionally, I have seen that it encourages them to do research and other work on their own time, and they look forward to telling me, or their peers, about it.
There is no greater sense of achievement for me than to see a child excited and motivated to learn. Students feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas without fear of being incorrect or being judged. They are taught to have a growth mindset and know that making mistakes leads to more learning. Students engage often in peer feedback and group discussions. In this way, they are developing their social skills in addition to their academic skills.
Furthermore, my experiences have enabled me to guide student growth and development. I take pride in reflecting upon my educational practice, collaborating with my colleagues, involving my students families in the classroom, and continuing my professional development.