It’s safe to say we have all experienced that one teacher who has motivated us into the fields we are currently in. I have had my fair share of teachers throughout my life who have shaped me into becoming the teacher I am. Some good. Some bad.
Truthfully, I never wanted to become a teacher. My experiences in school were more bad than good. Mainly due to my boredom. I was always a quiet child and only talked when spoken to. Anytime the teacher called on me I would freeze up and it would make them view me as a child who needed more assistance. This has only hurt me because I would finish the work easily and sit there bored until the next activity.
I was put into the major by accident. There was a slip up during my transfer process, but I am really glad I stayed. My first professor, Jennifer Burke, increased my loved for the field. She introduced me to two of my favorite theorist; Maria Montessori and Lev Vygotsky.
Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development is what I needed as a child. I have begun implementing it during my field placements and have noticed a major change in the students within a month. I not only observe their formal assessments, but how they interact and deal with the material informally. It keeps the children locked in and engaged. My second theorist is Maria Montessori. Her focus on self-directed activities and hands-on-learning is how we get children to focus. I am a big believer in process over product.
Aside from theorists and professors, the two main influencers are my old co-workers, Lianette and Sharlene. They have since left for different Pre-K Count classrooms but have and still are instilling many resources and lessons to enhance my classroom experience.
Lianette has taught me to use my voice. I have learned to find an equal balance of loudness, sternness, and lovingness so students not only know you mean business, but that they know you are still their friend. With that, she has showed me how to control my classroom so not only can learning take place , but I can make fun activities happen without the room becoming a disaster.
Sharlene has taught me organization. I am that person who never writes anything down while she writes everything down. She has introduced me to a system that has really been beneficial. Also, she has showed me how to set up my classroom to make it organized, functional, and bright for my students, parents, and myself.
Overall, the main lesson they have taught me is to have fun. I am excited to use all these resources and ideas into my own classroom. Who knows, maybe one day I am become someone’s educational guru.