Friday, March 27, 2009

Reflection #1

In this reflection I will say why I want to become a teacher and my plans on what I want to accomplish as a teacher. I first became seriously interested in becoming a teacher my junior year of high school after taking an advanced placement United States history course. I found that I was very interested in the subject and that I would love to teach what I had learned to others at the high school level. By the end of junior year, I was pretty confident that teaching a United States history course in high school would be my dream job.
My biggest teaching role model came to me my senior year of high school. I took an advanced placement biology course my senior year of high school with a teacher named Coach Roberts. Coach Roberts was also my cross country coach, so we were together a lot and he became very much like a father figure to me. Coach Roberts taught me a lot about Biology, but the most important lessons he taught me were not school related. I have never seen a teacher that cared more about his students than Coach Roberts. He is the teacher that got on my case about applying to Berea. The first day I came back from Christmas break during my senior year of high school, he asked me if I had applied to Berea yet, and I had not. He immediately got on Berea’s webpage and printed out an application and told me that I needed to fill it out. He knew my family background and knew that I did not have enough money to pay for college, so he really stressed that I apply to Berea. We also had many talks about what I should expect in college and things I could do to prepare myself for college. He valued all students though, and he did not just offer help to those who wanted to achieve a higher education. His goals as a teacher were to make sure every student he had became a productive member of the United States. He often went above and beyond the effort of other teachers in helping out his students.
His approach to teaching, where he not only taught his students about the subject matter, but also taught them lessons that would help them throughout life, is the approach to teaching I want to take. I have had a lot of teachers who were really intelligent, but could not teach well. I have also had teachers that could teach well, but did not care about their student’s personal lives. I want to be an excellent teacher that not only does a great job in teaching my subject matter, but I also want to make sure I do the most I can to help my students to be the best person they can be after graduating high school. I think that teaching students the subject matter is important, but if you fail to prepare your students for life after high school, you have failed your students. I plan to use different approaches to teaching my students so that they can learn the subject matter with the learning style that is best for them.
I also plan to help my students with problems they may have, outside of the classroom as much as I can. If a student is having a problem at home I want them to know that they can talk to me and I will do whatever I can to help them. I plan to help all my students in obtaining a higher education as well. I will be more than willing to write recommendation letters for my students or offer them college advice. One reason I want to be a teacher is because I want to be able to help students. There were many teachers in my time through school that helped me to get where I am today and I want to be able to return the favor to future students.
I enjoyed the first day of class when we did the activity where we put all the things that students learn from teachers on the board. I liked the activity because subject areas, such as mathematics, reading, and science, only made up a small portion of the things listed on the board. The majority of things were skills that would help the student to be a better person and are all skills that students must learn. These skills included things like discipline, social skills, and teamwork. I thought it was important that we stressed in class that as a teacher it is your responsibility to teach not only the content of your subject area, but also to teach them the skills they need to be successful human beings. In my opinion this is one of the most important things to learn as a teacher and is what separates good teachers from great teachers.

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