Every report card I can remember bringing home had one thing that stayed constant from Kindergarten to Grade 12. My marks varied on each report, but the line “Spencer is a leader” was always present. For the longest time, I just brushed it off. There were other students that I would recognize as much more powerful leaders than me. I was never on Student Council in high school, I was never the captain of a sports team, and I was never had the top mark in the classroom. But year after year, teachers recognized me as a leader.
Thinking back, I can remember times when I would have my desk moved beside a student that was struggling with their school work. I was also sat beside special education students throughout elementary school. It never occurred to me until later in life that I was sat beside them as a positive role model; a leader.
I’ll admit, I always thought of teachers as authority figures and “adults”, but rarely as leaders. Only those teachers that coached sports teams or ran leadership programs were leaders in my eyes. But what never occurred to me is that teachers could perhaps be the most under-appreciated leaders in our lives. Maybe the lesson they taught us was dry and boring, but it’s the skills they didn’t blatantly teach us that fostered leadership skills in each and every one of us.
I’ve had teachers that I hope to one day be like, and I’ve had teachers that I hope to never be like. Regardless, these teachers have given me a sense of idealized influence, pushing me to pursue a career in teaching to either emulate or correct their teaching strategies. A good teacher makes you want to be them when you grow older. Perhaps this is what happened to me in Kindergarten?
Teachers can also be motivational inspiration. I’ve had teachers that, despite the trials that they are going through in their personal life, they perform every day at work at an exceptional level. Teachers who have lost loved ones, broken up with partners, or had medical complications with their pregnancies, yet they stand strong at the front of that classroom and give their all for the sake of their students, showing them that no matter what is going on in your life, you are always able to help someone.
Students that feel as though their teacher has given them individualized consideration speaks volumes. These are the teachers that go out of their way to set goals with the student, help them to achieve them, and celebrate with them when they accomplish those goals. They go out of their way to make personal connections with each of their students, displaying a genuine concern for what each person needs to develop fully.
Of course, you cannot just place any leader at the front of a classroom. In order for the students to succeed academically, the leaders must be a teacher, providing the students with intellectual stimulation. This does not equal teaching out of a textbook (BORING!), but rather facilitating activities that engage the students and allow them to further their knowledge in a creative and interactive way. These teachers encourage students to think outside of the box, rather than allowing them to regurgitate knowledge on a test.
Some of the most influential role models and leaders in my life are the teachers that went above and beyond their role, treating and shaping me as a person rather than just a student. My passion for helping others and my desire to provide a positive school experience for a child is the drive behind me wanting to become a teacher. I look forward to having an opportunity to shape youthful minds and foster the personal growth of students one day, when I become a teacher.
I may not have achieved my ultimate goal of being a teacher in my own classroom with my own students, but hey, everyone has to start somewhere! I’ve recently been hired at Oxford Learning and have been getting training over the last two months. Now, I’m considered an Oxford Learning Teacher!
I have learned so much since starting as a teacher, and I really respect what they stand for. Oxford Learning has assumed a cognitive approach to learning, aspiring to teach their students how to be the best students possible, in areas such as confidence, self-esteem, homework habits, social skills, and of course academics. From their website:
Life-long tools like high self-esteem, an active, agile mind, and an understanding of how to study, learn, and think. Only Oxford Learning® puts all these outcomes within your child’s reach — along with better grades — with our cognitive approach to learning, where we focus on helping children learn how to learn.
I figured before I could start a website dedicated to education, teaching, and becoming a teacher, I should take a step back and define what it is that I will be talking about.
What is education? (Google Dictionary)
1. The process of receiving or giving systematic instruction, especially at a school or university.
2. An enlightening experience.
- To prepare children for citizenship
- To cultivate a skilled workforce
- To teach cultural literacy
- To help students become critical thinkers
- To help students compete in a global marketplace
What is a teacher? (dictionary.reference.com)
1. A person who teaches or instructs, especially as a profession instructor.
- A teacher teaches students, not a subject matter.
- A teacher never ever gives up.
- A teacher is a gift. Cherish them.
Why become a teacher? (CollegeXpress)
1. It’s fun.
2. You’ll learn a lot.
3. It will help you keep your own life in perspective.
4. Teaching is a very respectable profession.
5. Teachers get to be a positive influence on the next generation of young people.
While all of this information is just the basics, it’s a solid starting ground for the information that will be presented in the days/weeks/months/years to come!
I’VE APPLIED TO TEACHERS COLLEGE!
It took most of my first term to write my applications, edit them, edit again, and edit them one last time, but it’s finally done! I have applied to the Junior/Intermediate division (Grades 4-10) with a Geography teachable. The universities that I applied to (in no particular order, other than alphabetically) are: Brock, Laurier, Ottawa, Windsor, and York.
For those of you who are about to ask: “No, I do not have a preference… yet.” All I can say for now is that Monday, March 2, 2015 could not come soon enough. Until then, we wait…
There are the born teachers who just want to do it. People will do it because they want to put something back into the community. Or they will have a passion for what they do and want other people to share that passion.
– Phil Harrison
I remember that moment in Junior Kindergarten when my teacher sat me down and asked me, “What do you want to be when you’re older?” My response: “A teacher.” Did I just say something to please my teacher? Or was I born to be a teacher? Since that moment, teaching has been the one goal in my life that I have never strayed from. Determination, destiny, or both?
There are so many areas of the world of education that I am interested in exploring, and this blog is my way of sharing those findings with the world. I hope to investigate everything, including topics such as procrastination, bullying, homework, the effects of computers on education, lesson plans, any fun initiatives that can be used in the classroom.
Thank you for joining me on this journey!