I believe that education is a collaborative process. Plato and Aristotle both believed that we need to educate children to have a healthy society. The purpose of teaching is to teach life skills and social skills to make people better citizens and contribute to making a brighter future. An important factor of being a good teacher is collaboration among colleagues, parents, and the community. A teacher can gain new ideas and insights when working with fellow teachers. It is also important for a teacher to keep parents informed which can be through weekly newsletters, emails, conferences, and websites. Teachers need to encourage parent participation. Research shows that students, whose families are involved in the education process, perform better in schools. Another good form of collaboration is with community members. A teacher might have a community member to come in to discuss things that relate to the class. Community members also may donate resources to the classroom. Joshua Muravachik said, “It takes a village to raise a child.” The community, educators, and parents work together to raise a child.
I believe that teachers should be good role models, try to make a difference, and make learning come alive. Many students do not have a good role model. The teacher may be the only stable person in the child’s life. I plan to be a good role model. I try to be a work daily to show the students that I care about them and their needs. I want to teach students common morals and values like honesty and hard work. As a teacher, I plan to make a difference. I want to touch every student’s life or as many lives as I can. I also plan to make learning fun and exciting for my students. Students need to see subject matter come alive which can be achieved through hands-on activities, videos, music, and many other methods. I hope that the lasting influences on my students are that they become lifetime learners and that my students are more responsible and better citizens.
I believe that students have different talents, and there are multiple ways to learn content. Curriculum content areas vary from science to the arts. Primary emphasis is placed on Math and Language Arts. With a focus on standardized testing, things like the arts often get ignored. As an active teacher, I realize students have different talents, and I try to incorporate music and the arts into my curriculum. Students differ in many ways. There are many diverse cultures and ethnicities in every classroom. It also can mean different habits (studying and parent involvement). Students vary in abilities and knowledge. Everyone also has different experiences in life. There are three modalities that students learn by visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Visual is sight; these students learn through seeing things. Auditory is hearing; these students learn through hearing things. Kinesthetic is movement; these students learn through doing and moving. Another way students’ differ is based on Howard Gardener’s theory of multiple intelligences. He believes people have different bits of intelligence. People good in math and science are logically (or mathematically) intelligent. A student may be a very gifted musician. That student would be considered musically intelligent while a great sportsman would be bodily talented.
I believe there are many roles of a teacher. A teacher is a guide to aid students in learning and self-discovery. A teacher is a facilitator, not a dictator. It is important to have policies and procedures in place for order, but students need to feel welcome to learn. As a facilitator, a teacher is there to make learning easier and provide information. The teacher helps support part student ownership in the classroom while making sure students are learning and on task. The teacher’s role is also to encourage students and build self-esteem. A teacher can help students realize what their strengths are. A positive word can change a person’s life. Along with being an encourager, the teacher needs to have high expectations and express them.
I believe in setting high expectations for myself and my students. I feel that I cannot hold my students to a high standard if I do not hold myself to a high standard. I believe in doing my best and learning from my mistakes. I want my students to know I expect them to do their best, and I want them to learn from their mistakes. According to Harry Wong, teachers who have high expectations for their students have students who receive better grades and score higher on achievement tests. On the other hand, the student’s role is to cooperate with the teacher and classmates to make the most of their learning experience and be a part of the learning community. The student needs to be responsible for his or her work and to work hard to attain the level of high expectations set by the teacher.
I believe that being an educator takes a commitment to lifelong learning. Teachers need to see education as a lifelong process. This aspect of teaching is one of the most important to me. When I began my career in education, I had one computer in the classroom. The technology was not as vital to daily life as it is now. I have since learned how to incorporate technology into my instruction. I have obtained my Master’s Degree and currently pursuing my doctoral degree. I love to do research on educational topics and other subjects that interest me. I have been to various teaching conferences across America. I have lead professional learning communities within the district to work with other teachers to develop their skills as well as mine. An effective teacher realizes that reflection is a key to being a good teacher. Reflection is a vital part of the lifelong learning process. A teacher should use reflection every day. A teacher must reflect on events that occur in the classroom. The teacher needs to think about positive changes in the classroom to understand how it was effective. A teacher must also reflect on the negative things to see what may need to be modified.