Before her tragic death in space, Christa McAuliffe left us with her inspirational words, “I touch the future. I teach.” Since I was in second grade, I knew, without a doubt, that I wanted to be a teacher. After considering my options and analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of being a teacher, I came to the conclusion that being an educator was the only profession that would completely satisfy me. Consequently, I have encountered a lot of criticism because of my decision. However, these opinions have only encouraged me to strive to become an extraordinary teacher that will change the lives and instill knowledge into students that will last a lifetime.
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To me, teaching deserves more respect that any other occupation. Nevertheless, the ever-changing values within our culture and societal “morals” have caused Americans to disrespect and discredit the occupation of a teacher.
Each subject has its’ own structure of knowledge and I will master all patterns, facts, ideas, and notions of each subject. I want my classroom to be an actively involved learning community. Working with children at church camp, bible school, and during my observations has allowed me to utilize a variety of entertainment and learning techniques. I believe that the nature of knowledge is relative. Each student learns differently, and through different strategies and techniques. From my experience, I feel that cooperative learning is a successful teaching strategy that allows small groups, with different ability levels to encourage academic achievement. Students learn to work together socially and academically within groups. I believe that cooperative learning promotes positive relations between different ethnic groups, develops critical thinking skills, and establishes environments where academic accomplishments are valued. In elementary school, it is necessary to have students work in groups, not only to improve their social skills, but I feel that students can learn a lot more from their peers. Statistics have proven this.
However, I believe that the teacher has to be the mediator of the classroom. I do not believe that students should be permitted to only learn what they want to learn, as Rousseau encourages. There are many subjects that students do not find interesting, but they still need an education that focuses around the core curriculum. Sputnik caused the public school system to focus more on the core curriculum. I strongly believe that elementary education needs to focus on the core curriculum for our future society to stay alive. Where would the modern world be without mathematics curriculum? Our civilization as a whole would never evolved.
The elementary years are the most crucial because a student learns the basics for all subjects. If a child has a solid knowledge in elementary school they will thrive in their future schooling. As a teacher, I will encourage my students to desire and yearn for knowledge. I want to make learning fun and allow them to utilize their knowledge and skills by incorporating different learning styles and approaches into the curriculum. Children, as well as adults, must be challenged to stay interested. Even if a child finds a certain subject uninteresting, I will not compromise my beliefs to satisfy the child by not teaching them the required subject, but I will show the student how much fun learning that particular subject can be. In dealing with behaviors, I am a reinforcement theorist. I believe that children can be reinforced for their good behaviors and punished for their bad behaviors. I will not criticize a student, but I will give a...