Do I continue my education or not? The answer to this question has been life altering for me. To continue on with my education, despite the many changes over recent years, was a tough decision. There are days when I still ponder if it was the right one, but I plod along making necessary adjustments along the way. I know that college will become the foundation that I need in order to achieve great success in my career as an elementary school teacher.
Taking classes online and completing the assignments at home has allowed me the opportunity to include my daughters in projects and get first hand experience working with children. In my biology class I had to do an experiment with mold. This experiment was a week long experiment. I had to place a slice of bread and a slice of cheese into five zip lock baggies. Each one had different amounts of water and was placed into different areas of my kitchen; each area having a different amount of lighting.
I had to watch each bag and record and take pictures of what they looked like each day. The point of the experiment was to see which bag had the most mold on it and which one grew the fastest at the end of the experiment. My children were very fascinated in what I was doing. I explained the experiment to them and they wanted to watch the mold grow too. Being two girls I found it interesting that they wanted to watch mold grow. I choose a bag for each of them to be responsible to watch.
Each day when they got home they wanted to check their bag. It became more of a competition for them to see whose bag had more mold. They would help me to take the picture and record what we were seeing. My oldest daughter, who was seven at the time, wrote her own observations down. Being that my oldest was seven and my youngest was only three, made me realize that this would make for a great science experiment as a elementary school teacher Watching the mold grow on the bread and cheese was exciting for them which helped to make the experiment exciting for me.
Being able to share this experience in learning with them has only helped to grow my passion and desire to become a teacher. Taking education courses in college has expanded my knowledge of children and their needs. In my child development class I learned where children’s developmental levels should be socially and physically from birth to elementary school. In just the reading of the book I was able to learn step by step stages for each age. Since becoming a kindergarten teacher is my goal, I will be able to help use that knowledge in my classroom.
I will be able to know if my activities or lessons are age appropriate. Knowing that most children age five to six should have the ability to write their own name, and the ability to recognize a majority of the alphabet will help me to assist children who may be struggling. Since being a kindergarten teacher is not guaranteed knowing the stages of each age group will help me to insure that I am giving each child what they need to help them succeeded as a student. In my Principles of Early Childhood Education course I have learned the proper way to observe children and correctly write my observations down. One assignment I had to do was observe a child that I did not really know.
I did the observation on a new child in the daycare center I work at. We had to come up with our own purpose for the observation. The purpose I choose was to observe his interaction with his peers and his gross motor development. Then, we were to analyze what the child needed help on if anything and if I was his teacher how I would help him. I received a 100% on my observation.
That gave me confidence in myself, because knowing the correct way to observe children will become a skill I will need often in teaching. I will be able to assess each child properly, and learn where each child’s developmental level is at and what it is that each child may or may not need. Knowing how to correctly write up an observation will help me to communicate better with other teachers if I need to consult with them for their opinion and the parents of the child observed. College has also helped me to learn how to communicate with others in a more professional manner.
Through the online courses I do not get face to face communication with peers or teacher but through discussion boards and emails I am learning to properly write and discuss with others about concerns or opinions I may have. With today’s technology email is a very common way to communicate with one another. As a teacher email will be one way that I will communicate with the parents of my students. Having the ability to speak to them and listen to their concerns in a professional way is going to put their minds at ease that their children are in the care of a professional.
After receiving my associates I plan to continue my education and gain my Bachelors degree in elementary education. In the future I will transition to the classroom setting for most of the courses. I feel that interaction in the classroom will stimulate my thinking and taking the courses on campus are going to help me increase my knowledge and skills adding to my success as a teacher. On campus I will have more face to face interaction with my peers and instructors. Through class discussions in my education courses I will be able to hear the experience that others have had with children and gain new ideas to take with me into my career.
Also through face to face discussions I will learn to verbally speak to a person in a professional manner, and not just how I would speak to a friend. When opinions are discussed in class I will learn the importance of listening to someone’s opinion and voicing mine in a correct way especially if it differs from the other person. There will be times as a teacher that a parent might not agree with an opinion or thought of mine and I want to be able to approach them and their concerns in a professional manner.
Knowledge, gained through college studies will enhance and enrich my desire to teach. I feel it will push me to be the best teacher I can be because it has stretched my thinking. Having the knowledge of where the children’s should be developmentally will help me to make my lessons appropriate for each child. Being skilled in observing the children will assist me further in making sure that my lesson plans are detailed to every need of the children. My communication skills will help me make sure that my children understand what I am teaching, and that I will be able to speak to parents and co-workers in a qualified manner.
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