My First Teacher and His Philosophy of Teaching

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Philosophy of Profession

Ever since I was a little girl, I have known that I wanted to be a teacher. I have no memory of this, but I have found photographs of myself starting around the age of five where I am pretending that I am a teacher. I am standing in front of my little chalkboard easel, all dressed up teaching my class of stuffed animals. I look back at those photos and see that I looked so happy. The first teacher that really inspired me was my third-grade teacher. At that point I already had a strong love of reading, but she really encouraged me and was always trying to find new things for me to read. She always made class productive but fun. When I first decided that I wanted to be a teacher, I thought about her class and how I wanted to be like her. It was during fifth-grade though that I first decided that I wanted to be a teacher. My teacher made the class so engaging and I remember other students crying when they were not placed in her class. I was in her class in 1999, but I remember her class so well that it feels like it could have been the other day. Her class was so memorable. It was in her class that I knew that I wanted to help others learn to read. We were given kindergarten reading buddies that we got to sit with one on one. Starting out we would read to them, but eventually, we were to get them to try and read a book to us.

Even though I was only in fifth grade, that was such a rewarding experience. Another experience that made me want to become a teacher happened every Friday in my fifth-grade class. The elementary school that I was at had a program called PPCD which was the Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities. Every Friday, my teacher would select a handful of students to go and work with those students. Almost every week, I was selected to go. We were able to plan different activities to do with them and I remember falling in love with the idea of teaching. Those Fridays were so special to me. It is because of those experiences that I am going to try and get a special education endorsement.

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Starting in sixth-grade, every English teacher that I have had until I graduated, has truly inspired me. Not only did they encourage my love of reading, but they also encouraged my dream of becoming a teacher. They always supported me in everything I did, whether it was my school work, my part in the school play, or anything else. I always knew that I could go to them. To this day, I still keep in touch with most of them and they still encourage and inspire me. The same can be said of many of my professors at VCU. They truly inspire me to do my best and do nothing but support me. Once I graduated high school, however, people told me that I was making the wrong decision when I said that I wanted to become a teacher. Instead of pursuing my dream, I listened to them. In the time since I graduated until 2014, I did what other people thought I should do. I had changed my major about five times while obtaining a degree I didn’t really care for along with other certifications. Through all of that, I kept thinking about teaching. I knew that it was what I really wanted to do. Finally, in the fall of 2014, I decided that I was going to stop listening to what other people thought was best for me and do what I thought was best. I joined the elementary education program at VCU and have stayed here since. I do not regret my decision in any way.

The classroom is where I want to be. I have not had any real experiences in a classroom other than my practicums, but I did love those experiences. They have only reinforced my belief that the classroom is where I belong. I want to be a teacher who inspires her students. My goal is that my classroom is going to be a safe environment for my students. I want them to know that they can always come to me. I believe that every child has a right to an education. Literacy has always been one of my passions. I believe that literacy is the framework for all other subjects. Without literacy, it is hard to succeed in other areas. Reading was not only fun and educational, but it also gave me a connection with my teachers. If it wasn’t for books, I wouldn’t be who I am today. I want to try and instill that same passion for reading into my students.

Another one of my beliefs is that teachers need to really get to know their students. They need to make a connection with them. I think that if students don’t feel a connection, they are less likely to want to learn from them. If teachers do not get to know their students, how are they going to teach each student to the best of their ability? Starting from before class starts, I am going to get to know who is going to be in my classroom. It is important for teachers to also have a connection with their parents. I want my classroom to feel like a community. Parents will know that if they have any questions or concerns that they are always welcome to share them with me. I also want the parents of my students to have some involvement whether it is volunteering in the classroom or just a quick phone call or email to me. The parents should feel welcome in my classroom. I think that it would really help build connections and help me to really understand my students. My classroom is going to be a positive environment for my students, their parents, and myself.

Teaching is my passion. I have wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember. The classroom is the place that I belong to. Originally, I wanted to teach kindergarten, but after all of my practicum experiences, I know that I would be truly happy in any elementary grade level. All I want is to be in my classroom.

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