Growing up, I always seemed to struggle in school. I was always falling behind and I didn’t understand why because I was trying my best. I felt that I had no one to help me through these tough times. I felt so alone and lost. Later on in school I got an IEP. I thought that since I received an IEP I would get more help from my teachers, but that was not the case. Sadly, I learned that the only person I could depend on to help me in school was myself. Looking back, no teacher ever stood out to me because of this. Most of my teachers throughout elementary and high school were mainly concerned about making sure they get through the lessons on time. I always felt like my teachers were always teaching so fast and never slowed down to check on me or any of the other students for that matter. Im realizing that since I never had a teacher I really looked up to, I want to be that teacher for my future students. I want to be able to give my students what I never got to experience when I was younger. Everything I have experienced in my past as a student helped me become the person I am today. I learned that these things can only motivate me to be the best version of myself.
Since I came to Millersville, I definitely have learned about many philosophers in education that will help me become a great teacher. Out of everyone I have learned about, I’d have to say my educational guru is Jonathan Kozol. This philosopher is someone who I admire and value the most.
Jonathan Kozol is a former fourth grade teacher, a Rhodes Scholar and a passionate advocate for child-centered learning. Jonathan is one of the nations most outspoken advocates for racial justice and equality in and outside of the classroom. I had the opportunity to read one of his books called On Being a Teacher. Jonathan Kozol wrote this book based off his own experience for six years as a fourth grade teacher. Throughout his experiences, he incorporated other teachers’ views, ideas and fears of this career. Within this book, he stresses the demand of change and challenges for the readers and future teachers to help them view the classroom differently.
I really loved how Jonathan Kozol focuses on the love and support he wants to build between thechildren, parents and teachers. This is something that I strive to incorporate in my class and as a future educator. He encourages teachers reading the book who are in oppressed communities to take what is given to them along with the advice given from the book to change their situations for the better. I highly recommend reading his book On Being a Teacher. He gives many constructive and helpful suggestions to use while teaching and you should definitely go check it out!
For more information on Jonathan Kozol: