“I'm not a teacher: only a fellow traveler of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead - ahead of myself as well as you.”
― George Bernard Shaw
The above quote by famed author George Bernard Shaw, I believe, accurately describes the role of a teacher.
Teachers are looked upon as those who help guide children through their early years of life, the most important and influential years of life, sharing their knowledge and experiences to promote learning and new experiences for their students.
I want to teach because I want to serve as a guidepost for the generations of children that are here now and those that are to come. I want to teach because I want to make a difference in the world, and the way to do that is by educating those who will someday lead it.
Education is something that is grounded and lead in experience.
Over the course of my own life, I have had many experiences that have helped shape me in preparation for this moment, where you will read this statement and decide whether or not to admit me into your prestigious program at Vanderbilt Peabody University.
Throughout the past six years multiple opportunities have presented themselves, however only a select few have truly had an impact on my development as a teacher.
During the summer prior to my last semester at Berea College, I was awarded the opportunity to participate in the AmeriCorps Shepherd Poverty Alliance internship program. I became a resident in Boston, Massachusetts where I served as a camp site coordinator in reading for the non-profit organization Tenacity, Inc.
As a reading coordinator for Cassidy Playground, one of twelve designated camp sites in the greater Boston area, I developed lesson plans and unit plans based on Tenacity's summer reading curriculum, with the help of my co-coordinator Allie.
The children that I worked with, I became close to as I read to them and with them each day of camp. I made sure to set aside fifteen minutes over the course of our days to play games or have group talks in order to get to know my students better. Through these daily exercises I quickly learned that each child was very unique –not only in their likes or dislikes but in their backgrounds. Some children came from broken homes while others lived without the worry of what tomorrow would bring for their families.
I came to understand that it is vital to the success of teaching that a teacher has ample opportunity to get to know their students and where they come from. As an important part to my teaching philosophy, "I believe that as a teacher it is vital for me to know my students; know their background, their strengths and weaknesses, and to use the knowledge I gain to help promote each individuals success."
In my final semester at Berea College, I had the pleasure of conducting my student teaching at Madison Southern High School, home of the Eagles. I worked under the direct supervision of a well-seasoned English teacher by the name of Renee Evans. I began my semester...