My main goal as a teacher is to not only have my students experience academic success, but to prepare them to be empathetic and thoughtful world citizens. This is a lofty goal, and to achieve it I strive to continuously create fun and innovative ways to present material, facilitate a positive learning environment, and to empower students with tools to be socially successful.
An outstanding teacher not only knows their subject matter, but knows (and continues to seek out) exciting and effective ways to deliver information. I care about addressing the different needs and interests of my class and use diverse methods to reach different types of learners. I know that students retain information better when their curiosity is sparked and I always try to find ways to connect material to students' lives. I consistently reflect on whether my lesson objectives were achieved and if there might be a better way to deepen comprehension and get more students involved.
A truly excellent teacher knows how to set up and manage a learning environment where students can get work done. I understand that clearly and consistently implemented routines are essential to keeping students safe, happy, and able to do their best work. When students know what is expected of them, this builds confidence, enables them to focus on the task at hand, and greatly reduces the amount of behavior issues that arise. I like to establish a climate where students feel like part of a team and understand how their behavior affects others. It is in this type of environment that students are given the most opportunities to grow.
Lastly, a great teacher understands that social-emotional skills such as a growth mindset, emotional resilience, and empathy are just as important to students' success as the material they learn. Children need to be taught that everyone has different strengths and that they are capable of growing and learning new things with practice. I strive to give students the tools to constructively manage emotions such as embarrassment or fear. Also, putting students in the practice of thinking and caring for others will not only lead to their social success, but helps to foster their overall fulfillment and happiness. In order for a student to be able to progress academically, their emotional needs must be met.
I always love learning and seeking out innovative teaching strategies and work hard to maintain a positive, well-structured environment. The most rewarding part of being a teacher is contributing toward each student becoming a more knowledgeable, caring, confident learner and world citizen.