Making a Difference in My Students’ Lives
Do you remember the teacher that inspired you to do your best? Or maybe the teacher who believed in you when the rest of the world had turned against you? Teachers have a way of touching students’ lives, whether in a large or very minute way. I can think of numerous times that a teacher made a difference in my life. I am so appreciative of them, and I want to do for other students what many of my teachers have done for me. That is why, after I obtain, both, my Bachelor and Master degrees, I plan to enter the teaching profession.
Jaime Escalante, a great educator, once said, “The teacher gives us the desire to learn, the desire to be Somebody.” As a teacher, my goal will be to show students that each of them can be whatever they want to be, and not only are they capable of being good at what they do, they can be the best. To reach this goal, I must be an effective teacher, which I believe can best be accomplished by teaching in a way that is comfortable for me. Therefore, I will not base my classroom around one single philosophy; I am going to seek comfort by utilizing certain aspects of different educational philosophies, namely essentialism, existentialism, progressivism, and social reconstructionism.
First and foremost, I believe that the teacher should be in control of the classroom. Students are young, and they do not usually know what is best for them. Therefore, the teacher should be the one to choose the lessons and decide what is going to be taught each day. This traditional practice of orienting the class around the teacher is one of the main principles of the essentialist philosophy. To encourage this in my classes, I will arrange the students’ desks in orderly rows that face the front of the classroom, which is where I will be teaching, and I will have the most input into what my students will learn. By being in control, my students will learn to respect people of greater authority, which is a value that, both, the essentialists and I believe every individual should possess. Additionally, essentialists believe that a teacher should serve as an intellectual role model, as well as a moral role model. The teacher should instill such values as respect, consideration for others, and perseverance in their students. I will model these values, both, inside and outside the classroom. It has always been my belief that a teacher’s impact does not end when the bell rings. Teachers are well-known members of the community; therefore, their actions are well-known, too. So, I plan to conduct myself in an appropriate manner at all times, not only for my sake, but for the sake of my students. The final part of the essentialist philosophy that I plan to use is the “back-to-the-basics” approach to learning. This “back-to-the-basics” movement appeared in 1983 when A Nation at Risk, a very crucial educational document, was published. The United...