"The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires."
-William A. Ward
Ever since I was six years old, I have wanted to become a teacher. I frequently played pretend school with my younger siblings and insisted on being the teacher so I could teach them some type of skill like math or writing in cursive. I think I also wanted to pretend to play school at home because I enjoyed going to school and learning. Growing up, I had a variety of exceptional, satisfactory, and intolerable teachers. Those who were great left an impression on me to strive towards becoming a teacher like them. On the other hand, those teachers who were unsatisfactory, left a life long impression on me. I realize now that I still to this day dislike certain subjects and think I am incapable in that area. Teachers influence every student the moment that they walk into the classroom. I want to motivate my students to learn and want to come to school everyday.
Students should not have to come to school to listen to teachers lecture for six hours. This type of teaching does not get students involved, which means they are passively learning. Experts say that students learn by doing and saying rather than listening or reading. Therefore, my classroom is student-centered and students will be actively engaged in all of my lessons. This means I will use a variety of engagement activities such as questioning techniques that involve the whole class, small group, and cooperative partners. Questioning the whole class by using white boards, flip charts, or sign language letters provides the teacher with a quick formative assessment as well as getting every student involved. Students will benefit from cooperative pairs or small groups because it allows students to discuss their ideas, teach, and learn from their peers.
Students need to construct their knowledge based on previous background knowledge. Without a strong foundation of background knowledge, students will not be able to make the connections to learn the information. For students to succeed, this is critical. When teaching, it is important to meet the needs of all types of learners in the classroom because every student in my classroom is capable of learning. I want to use various techniques for students to learn the information to the best of their abilities such as visual aids, manipulatives, kinesthetic activities, and audio stimulus. Not only will students benefit from this method of teaching, students will be active learners and not become disinterested because of mundane repetitive teaching styles. I want to create a positive classroom environment where students respect one another as well as me. Students will feel comfortable to volunteer and share answers because when students get involved, they are actively learning.
Teachers are role models for their students each and everyday. I want to have a positive influence on my students because they are our future. At the elementary level, students are curious about the world around them. I want to encourage this curiosity so students will continue to be motivated to learn about the world around them. Without this determination, students would not enjoy school and become disengaged from the learning process. As an educator, I strive to make a difference in every student's life.