Statement of Educational Goals and Philosophy
I can still remember coming home from school after an exciting day in the first grade. I would go straight to my room, line all of my dolls up in the floor, and “teach” them everything I had learned earlier that day. But of course, not every child who pretends to be a teacher in his or her early years actually becomes a teacher. So although I enjoyed “teaching,” I never really considered it as a choice for my life-long career.
But the summer after ninth grade made me rethink my options. My best friend’s dad was in charge of a summer camp for underprivileged children. He needed some junior counselors for the week, so we volunteered to help; we wouldn’t mind telling a few kids what they could and couldn’t do for a week. All of the counselors met at the camp on Sunday, the day before the campers were to arrive, so that we could get to know each other. We all had a lot of fun… until the next morning. As the children began pouring in, there was total chaos. We started thinking that maybe we weren’t going to have as much fun as we had planned. But then everything settled down, and we began to notice the excitement in the eyes and smiles of all the children.
As the week progressed and friendships formed between everyone, I realized the importance of the camp to all that were involved. To the counselors it was a learning experience, as well as a time to appreciate all that we would usually take for granted; to the campers it was a time to learn and make new friends, and for most of them, it would also serve as their only form of a summer vacation. So although we were all exhausted by the end of the week, we had a great time.
After seeing the smiles that seemed almost permanent that week, I realized how important it is to work with and help younger children. I also learned what it’s like knowing that you’ve made a difference in someone’s life. I’ve been a counselor at that same camp for two more years since that first summer, and it gets...