Six Things I Learned as an Education Major

  1. Every child is unique. They have their own personalities, learning styles, talents, struggles, and backgrounds.  It is important that teachers recognize each child and build a relationship that is going to help them succeed in the classroom. That child that never talks and is very cooperative, what’s his story? How can you help him flourish in your classroom?
  2. Teachers make a difference. It makes me sad that teachers see and care for children more hours of the day than most parents.  But that is why teachers are so important. You do have an influence on the children in your classroom. For some children, you are their biggest role model. What are your actions saying to them?
  3. Teaching is not an easy job. Regardless of what everyone may think, teachers put in more hours than they can account for.  I know many teachers that stay at school past five o’clock to prepare lessons, grade papers, research new teaching strategies, run off papers, and think of ways to help struggling students. The breaks that teachers get aren’t really breaks. It’s a time to catch up on lesson planning.  Yes, teachers get summers off but they are usually spent working a second job or teaching summer school. A teacher’s work is never finished and I admire teachers that put in the extra effort for their students-not because it’s part of their job description, but because they genuinely care about their students.
  4. Children need to be children. I can’t even sit still and focus during lecture for fifteen minutes. How can we expect that of children?  They need movement.  Plus, children learn best when they are doing and experimenting. The most effective teachers allow their students to move around the room and be active learners.  They will retain so much more information than just sitting and listening to a boring lecture.
  5. Children are curious. Adults and even teachers can quiet a curious mind. When children get into kindergarten, they ask tons of questions and want to know more about the world. They are natural learners. By sixth grade, adults have sucked that right out of them because they don’t allow them to ask questions. Many classrooms are teacher-directed only, where the teacher teaches and the student listens. Children just stop being curious and start to dread learning new information. As teachers, we need to light the fire in children’s hearts for learning. And we can do that by being learners, ourselves.
  6. Teaching is rewarding. Sometimes teaching is a battle-a battle with a student, a battle with a parent, a battle with state assessments, a battle with co-workers. But when you realize that you are truly making a difference in somebody’s life or you start to see the results of your teaching, it brings so much joy. Teaching really is a joy. I love listening to teachers talk about their students and seeing their face light up when they share their success stories. It is rewarding.

 

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