My Journey Draft 3

Access: LimitedShow Details
  • This Doc can be read by: Anyone
  • This Doc can be edited by: The Doc author only
  • Comments are visible to: Anyone
  • Comments can be posted by: Logged-in Users
  • History can be viewed by: Anyone
Hide Details

In the third grade I realized that I wanted to be a teacher when we made construction paper life-sized people of what we wanted to be when we grew up. Our teacher asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up, and the first thought that came to my mind was, “I want to be a teacher”. There was no question about it, and as I began to color in the life-sized paper of myself, I imagined being in classroom, standing in front of the board staring back at all my student’s smiling faces. I knew at that moment, all I wanted to do was make a difference in the lives of other children as my teachers have done for me. That is when I realized, there was no other profession out there for me.

I wanted to be an elementary school teacher because I wanted to make a difference on children’s futures and be a part of their academic success. I also wanted to help each student reach their fullest potential. I love working with young children and find them easy and fun to work with. I also had a huge influence and role model in my life who was in the teaching profession that inspired me to make my career decision. I was my third grade teacher, Mrs. Kipperman, who always made lessons fun and exciting. We always did hand-on activities and projects which made her class memorable to me. From ancestor dolls to research projects on a rainforest animal, every experience I had in her classroom was positive and life changing and that is what I strive to do for all the students that I come across.

I decided to then take education classes in high school and got the opportunity to work in the preschool program they had there.  This was my first real teaching opportunity which I felt was extremely valuable for my future and an exciting adventure to work with my very own students as such a young age. With the guidance of my teacher, I created and prepared my own lessons and taught them to small groups of students. I learned a lot from this class, because it was a very independent class where I had to do the work of a real teacher. It gave me a preview to what challenges and positives there are to teaching, and I came out with a wealth of knowledge that I believe gave me important preparation for my college career.

I applied to college for my undergraduate degree in Childhood Education so I could pursue my career as a teacher. I student taught in both third and fourth grade, working with both special education students in a co-teaching setting as well as English language learners that were integrated into the general education classroom. While in both these classrooms, I taught my students math and English language arts lessons from the Common Core Curriculum. I loved my experience student teaching and it made me even more confident that teaching was the career for me. This was solidification for me because I was very nervous and anxious at first to student teach wondering, am I going to be able to implement what I have learned so that my students get the most out of the content being taught to them? As student teaching went on, I was able to clear those initial doubts and with the advice from my cooperating teacher and supervisor and my own knowledge of how to teach, I was able to successfully complete it. I formed great relationships with my students on a personal and academic level, and enjoyed getting the chance to watch my students grow and learn from the material I was teaching them. Watching their progress based on the assistance and impact I made on them allowed me to play a personal role in their achievements, which was a rewarding experience for me.

After graduating and obtaining my teaching certificate, I went on to Lehman College in order to get a Master’s degree in in elementary literacy. I decided to focus my Master’s degree on Literacy Studies because I want to learn how to make reading fun, engaging and memorable experience for all of my students so that they are able to carry the love of reading with them throughout their schooling and beyond. I have a passion for reading and have always wanted to take that love into my classroom. I was exposed to literacy as a young child, my mother always reading to me at night before bed. Exposure to different books and the letters of the alphabet made me curious about reading and exploring it on my own. At a young age I was starting to read words and simple books, and once I started there was no stopping me. Because of the rich literacy environment I was exposed to at home, I grew a love and excitement for reading. With this passion, I have a high interest in learning about different cultures and new things through literature and gaining different perspectives from others. Being exposed to different texts will help me to appreciate and educate myself on ideas and concepts I am not familiar with and learn from others and their experiences through their writing.

For my students, I want to expose them to a high order of thinking and questioning their education so that they are able to critically think about the world around them as well as material being taught to them. Finally, I would also like to gain the resources to incorporate literacy into all aspects of my student’s learning, and give them the necessary tools to think about the material being learned with an open lens. It is imperative that students learn these and many other important literacy strategies because it can put them behind significantly in their development. Especially in low income areas, students are not exposed to a lot of resources at home and sometimes even in their schools because of lack of money. Many children are not read to at home and therefore unable to build their vocabulary properly. The reinforcement of reading and writing at home is also not there which is another important part of their literacy development. The lack of engagement and interest in reading and writing also takes away from student’s ability to be successful in literacy and implement strategies properly. Having literacy strategies will significantly help students by being able to really understand a text and the meaning behind it. Proper implementation of literacy strategies will also help students to develop a purpose for reading and build vocabulary. They will also help students to form their own opinions, make connections and ask meaningful questions about a text in order to be able to navigate through it. Students will become more consciencous readers and writers by critically reading a text and thoughts in order to put them on paper.