“You must strive to find your own voice. Because the longer you wait to begin, the less likely you are to find it at all.” – A quote from the Dead Poets Society.
I found my voice through music. Music is my passion. I believe that when you live your life within your element, you will end up exactly where you need to be. That is one of the reasons I ended up becoming a teacher. Through teaching my passion, I found that I love to teach and work with children. Therefore, it is one of my goals to get students motivated about learning, see that they actually want to learn, and are happy to be learning. As a future teacher, I do not want my students to miss the opportunity to become the person they are meant to be, so I believe that I have to encourage creativity, individuality, and positive relationships. Every student has the potential to be successful.
Education is no longer only about the passing along of information; it is becoming more personal. From the point of view as an emerging educator, I have come to realize that the teacher’s position, or any person’s position involved in education for that matter, is like an iceberg. There is more to it than it appears. Therefore, one of my goals for teaching has not only been for the students to learn, but also for them to express themselves in what they are learning. I feel that there are vast amounts of potential in everyone. Keeping this in mind while I teach, I think that using material that encourages this potential in students will urge them to perform better academically. When students have a purpose they are more likely to learn because they enjoy learning.
Furthermore, I am finding that when attitudes and interactions between educators and learners are positive, there is a greater inclination for learning to occur. For that reason, I do believe that success in learning is directly related to relationships. This brings to mind an experience that I had during my pre-internship. While on a bus ride to another school with some of my students, I had the opportunity to work on building some positive teacher-student relationships. I think it is important for our students to see us, as teachers, as regular people too. I felt that by just visiting with the students in a less structured area, they really started to open up and share things. I believe that when students have a connection with the teacher, they will be more willing to invest themselves in their own learning journeys.
I feel that questioning is another way that learners can seek deeper understandings and strive for stronger connections. If we, as educators, provide a method and expect only correct or incorrect answers, then we are not giving meaning to the material we are teaching. It only shows that the students can follow a step-by-step process. As soon as we start asking deeper, open ended questions, for example, like “why do you think this” or “what is happening,” then a much broader picture can be drawn. I feel that I demonstrate this in some of the lessons that I teach. For the most part, I try to build my lessons in a way that allows the learning to be student driven. My role then changes from the teacher at the front of the room to a guide by the side. To ensure that they are reaching the intended understandings, I then ask the necessary questions that reinforce or refocus their thinking. As an upcoming teacher, I feel it is important to provide a strong base of education for our learners – for what is a tower without a sturdy base? Questioning is one of the ways in which this can be done.
In the end, there is no one correct way of teaching. I do believe that education is changing and it is no longer only about the transfer of information. It is now a time where we can celebrate the gifts present in the classroom. However, it is our job, as educators, to teach students to harness their strengths and use them to reap the benefits of their education for the future.