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The fact that I could possibly impact a young person’s life is exciting to me. I do not want letter grades to be as important as growing characteristics in a student. My primary reason why I have decided to pursue this career is because I feel the strong desire to positively influence and educate children. I feel that one of the major satisfactions of being a teacher is to enrich a student’s life. This is a very profound and satisfying way to spend a day at work. I recognize that patience, understanding, compassion, and sensitivity are essential to this profession, which I am wholeheartedly prepared to provide.
The ability to learn is one of the most important developments of humanity. My experiences as a tutor, soccer coach, and daycare educator have reinforced my desire to be a teacher. I believe that my different academic and volunteer experiences as well as my overall personality make me a qualified candidate for a career in education. I know that the teaching profession is an ideal fit for me.
My academic experiences, volunteer experiences as well as my experience in the workforce have fostered a tremendous personal drive, and have helped me to become an independent, self-sufficient, and hardworking individual. I have worked part-time, with a full course load during every semester, and have maintained a B average. My experiences have taught me a great deal of discipline and time management, which are essential in the teaching profession. Balancing numerous activities with my school life, family, and social life has provided me with a lot of experience with prioritization and has made me very efficient. I am greatly concerned about my community, and feel that as a teacher, I will be able to give something back. In my third year as a Human Development student at California State East Bay, I had the opportunity of undergoing a full semester of field experience as part of a pilot project. I was responsible for planning and implementing stimulating lessons for a class with diverse needs.
Finally, due to this exceptionally beneficial experience, I have learned many strategies and methods that will help me grow as a teacher and in return benefit my students.
I have the ability to adapt my teaching method in order to fit the needs of the learner. Problem solving is another skill that is crucial to being a good teacher. I have learned through experience that there is always more than one way to solve a problem. If I cannot solve a problem using my own resources, I will talk to other individuals in the field to get new ideas, and consult current research. I believe that I possess insight and determination that I can offer to my students. I would be an asset to the school and ultimately an asset to the profession. I believe that I will be able to help all my students reach their optimal potential.
I would like to use my experience and skills to grow and become a motivating teacher through your program. I want to be an enthusiastic, personable, and a creative teacher for our children of the future.
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We all know that Theory and Practice, Research and Application, Ideal and Real, Thought and Action do not function well or is not valuable without the other. Theories die if they are disconnected from practice and practices that are uninspired by theories are lifeless.
My teaching journey began within the confines of a classroom as a student of ITARI where we were introduced to a wide range of theories and practices from well-known phycologists such as Jean Piaget, Jerome Bruner, Eric Erickson, John Dewey, Lev Vygotsky, Howard Gardner and so on. These theories and practices were knowledge to know and knowledge about. However, this learning made complete sense and transformed into knowledge to do when I experienced these concepts in an actual classroom. We predicted the actions and behaviors of a student in a real class scenario and tried to understand the implication of these theories.
I feel these predictions were not really the enriching part of my learning. The actual learning and challenges began while I started my teaching and learning journey with the children during my internship. In an actual class there were students with varied abilities, interests, each child was different in his/ her own way. It took a while for me to understand this uniqueness in these little children, but this was really special to me since our teachers looked at us in a different way.
It was magical when I was able to connect my learnings and understandings in a classroom. I was able to reflect on the theories learnt. To begin with Classroom Management, Differentiated Instructions, Multiple Intelligence and lesson planning. At ITARI, we were planning our lessons from the teachers’ perspective, but when I reached the actual classroom I understood a whole new perspective, which was the child’s perspective. It goes beyond content and concepts which also helped me understand how Inquiry plays a major role in a child’s cognitive development. The connections the students make with real life, boggled my mind. Though I was aware of the importance of inquiry and connections to real life, the actual experience with the students within a classroom enriched my learning.
The questions asked by the students during discussions and inquiry made me think how a child could think differently. The skills they own at this age, the way they form their questions makes me think and in turn makes me an inquirer. Being a teacher does not mean you have answers to all the questions a student may have, just like the child who understands and follows the IB learner profile attitudes, attributes and the skills, I believe that we as teachers must try to imbibe them ourselves before we ask the students to.
Differentiated Instruction is one my favorite concepts and is close to my heart. This is because when I was a child my teachers rarely believed in my potential and only a few helped me battle my own fears. I would want my students to have a positive feeling when they look back at their formative years. The way teachers cater to the learning needs of the child interconnects with how well they understand each the child. This connection or understanding between the students and teacher not only helps the students academically, but, personally, socially, emotionally and spiritually as well. It boosts self-confidence and belief in oneself which, in turn reflects in their holistic development. The relationship built between student and teacher is critical.
So far my experience as a teacher has been enriching not only because of my students, but also because of the supportive team. The PYP has provided me with an opportunity to learn new things, enhance my skills not only within the classroom but beyond the classroom. It has helped me challenge myself and experience new roles. It has helped me to be open and share ideas. Similarly, it has also helped me witness how different things work in the PYP. Constructive feedback and guidance provided by my peers and team has helped me learn in every step of my journey. Being open minded and accepting failures all through the way has made me think two steps ahead and to reflect before I accept responsibility. Unless I try, I wouldn’t know what I may achieve by being a risk taker and challenging my beliefs. For example, this very article that I have written, I never thought I would be able to do it. But, because of the encouragement by my mentor, I tried and have come so far. The sense of happiness and satisfaction had reached my heart. I couldn’t be more thankful to those who helped me discover myself. Being a lifelong learner has made me a positive person. It has also transformed my fixed mindset to a growth mindset.
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