As I think about all of my years as a student in the education system, my most memorable and fun moments came from elementary school. The friendships I made, all of the laughs at the lunch table, field trips, holiday parties, birthday parties, remembering the class clowns, and most of all, the teachers who made a tremendous impact on me.
Here at Bowling Green State University, I am currently majoring in inclusive early childhood education. I believe that it is so important to include all students in the classroom — whether they have an intellectual disability, physical disability, or is just the "typical" student. I can remember back when I was in elementary school, and the students who had any kind of disability were pulled out of the classroom. To my knowledge, I now know that they were taken to a different room with an intervention specialist. They worked with them separately on the curriculum, so that they would have a "better" understanding. You might wonder why I said "better" like so. https://www.bgsu.edu/education-and-human-development/school-of-teaching-and-learning/inclusive-early-childhood-education.html
I believe that as a future educator, I can give ALL of my students the tools they need to succeed in the classroom. To not have them segregated and to learn among their peers all together. For the ones that are having a hard time in the classroom, I know that it is a possibility that I would need to take some of the lessons at a slower pace or make modifications if need be. That'd be part of my job as a teacher — to put in the extra effort at all times. Every student is capable of learning the same curriculum. With the right resources, it can be taught just a bit differently for those that need it.
I have found through my field experiences at Crim Elementary School in Bowling Green, Ohio, that each student can learn off of one another by brainstorming all kinds of ideas and sharing different strategies. As a future educator, I will be including ALL students in my classroom, allowing them to collaborate with one another.
I want to become a teacher because I also would like to fight against standardized testing. Take it from me. I was NOT a good test taker when I was younger. When it comes to standardized testing, I knew that I had to reach a certain score to pass. It made me feel like I would be considered a failure if I didn't reach that required number. I think that standardized testing puts a lot of pressure on young students that I don't find it necessary. I feel this way because students learn in all sorts of ways. For example, a child can know and understand the curriculum in its' entirety by verbally talking about it, rather than writing it down in paragraph form on a test. Similarly, a student might score higher on a multiple-choice test instead of all extended response.
I feel that sometimes our education system makes students feel less capable of passing by setting extremely high expectations at times. A student can get an "A" in a class, but then not pass the state test. In response, the state says, "he/she doesn't understand the curriculum," when in fact, they do, and it's just not up to the "state's standards." Overall, I believe that standardized testing should be abolished. Children like to learn in creative ways — especially through art and music. Sitting down and taking a state exam each year can be overwhelming for some.
I love children and I enjoy watching them discover and learn. One day, I want to be the kind of teacher that makes learning fun. I want the parents of my students to appreciate their child's success and how much their knowledge is growing. I want to make sure that each parent/guardian is included in the classroom with weekly updates so that they fully grasp what is going on in the classroom.
Additionally, for them to feel free to contact me if they are concerned about their child's progress. My goal is to be the kind of teacher that praises my students for their accomplishments and encourages them to keep trying when they are struggling. I don't want any of my students to feel as if they are not good enough. I want to constantly uplift them and remind them that they can come to me and talk about anything, if they are comfortable to do so.
One of my professors this semester mentioned something this week in class that really caught my attention. She said, "A job is just a place you go each day so that you can get a paycheck. A career is something that you are passionate about." I plan on entering the wonderful CAREER of an elementary school teacher.