My mom always tells this story of when I was in kindergarten and how there was a girl with Down syndrome in my class. Her name was Chelsea. Whenever the class would leave the room, whether going to gym, art or recess, we always had to pair up and hold hands. I was the only one is the class that would hold her hand. I made sure she never got left behind; I made sure she stayed with the group. My mom said I was going to do something some day to help people. When I was in second grade, I told my mom I was going to be a teacher and help kids learn. I have never changed my mind.
My name is Linda Gaudreau and I am that person that everyone can go to with a problem or the one that has all the crazy creative ideas. I actually pride myself on my energy level and creative mind. I want to take a lesson and apply my energy, my creativity, and my passion in between the lines. I love to talk and share ideas as much as I love to hear the ideas of others. I am the one with the plan and make sure things get done. I have always found myself taking on leadership roles and working in groups with people. I believe that the necessary characteristics for teaching are the classroom environment, the needs of the students, the concept of life long learning, and the competences of a teacher for my students.
My educational philosophy is to create an environment that serves the number one purpose of fostering a positive learning environment for all students to grow and reach their potential. The student comes first. For this to be possible, it is my responsibility to my students to be highly effective in my teaching methods and my content knowledge. I need to be able to integrate the material in a way that my students not only understand the subject, but that they can apply it outside my classroom. Surrounding elements in the classroom make the learning environment. The nature of learning is a self-exploration process in which children connect with themselves. Creating a welcoming, secure classroom is important. Students need to feel safe and respected by teachers, peers, and themselves. Education does not strive for perfection, it strives to create an environment to learn through mistakes, express oneself, and develop characteristics of a strong individual.
It is important to make students aware of morals without forcing mine specifically on them. Something as simple as the Golden Rule teaches everyone should be treated, as they would want to be treated. There is more in that than the cliché statement that goes along with it. For me, my deep morals and ethics are based on common ideas of respect, good judgment, responsibility, and decision-making. My classroom environment needs to be one where students feel safe to answer their hands, regardless of whether the answer is correct or not. I believe that students need to participate in their learning in some way or another.
The purpose of education is to develop individuals to reach the fullest of potential. I believe that education provides an environment to learn skills that can be used both in and out of the classroom. Education teaches abilities to identify and solve problems that are related to the world outside the classroom. I want my students to develop more that problem solving skills; I want my students to become critical thinkers. I want for my students to discover their talents, their passion, and their inner motivation. Every child has something to offer, some kind of talent to share, and some sort of story to tell. Without realizing it, the roles can be reversed between the student and the teacher. While a teacher may be actively teaching, he/she is passively learning from the students. Students may never know what they are passively teaching while actively learning. Each child has something to offer. I believe that listening to my students is essential in knowing how to teach them best and knowing who they are. I want students to achieve disciplined thinking, explore their imagination, and learn skills for lifelong learning.
Lifelong learning starts with building a strong foundation to stand on top of. Everyone should learn the basics to the standards of the classroom. Excellent, highly effective teaching is working with children who are willing and unwilling to learn. Knowing students limits and emphasizing creativity is important. In order to do this, I have the responsibility to get to know my students and the age they are at mentally and physically. Encouragement is key for all students. While providing resources and space for exploration, instilling leadership values allows for students to become young leaders among peers and society.
There are many competences of an effective teacher that are already embedded into the way that I live. My content knowledge for English is a prime reason I am doing English. I love reading, creative writing, analytical writing, and hope that I can inspire my students using my knowledge. I am looking forward to working with adolescents. Being aware of my classroom composition of learners and their learning styles will allow me to get more material across to my students. I will be able to integrate my lessons better to their advantage. Adolescence is a time where my students are going to be very centered around them. Some may have some self-esteem or self-efficacy problems. Socially, they are trying to figure out who they are and often struggle with this image of self. Taking my curriculum and trying to apply it to real life experiences, especially through writing and reading our texts, will be most beneficially for my students. I love to be prepared. I am very conscious of time management and what it means to have deadlines. I hate being late. I enjoy planning out lessons and intertwining creative ways of teaching the material that will not only be effective, but also grab the student’s attention. I want to make an impact for my students. I want to take all that I have learned, inside and outside of the classroom, and take the theory of teaching to practice. I have a responsibility to the students sitting in the seats in front of me to provide them with the best learning opportunities possible.
Education is currently stuck in this place between the old traditions of teaching the new developments in innovation. Technology does offer a purpose. Technology has been used on the small scale, but proven to show results that are relevant to the 21st century learner. The majority of classrooms are not taking advantage of this tool. Applying the tools that can be made available to my students I think is a great way to enforce the idea of life long learning.
This tool of technology is something I highly value. Is there a place and time to use it in the classroom? Yes. Should I embrace the options of exploratory learning? YES. Technology offers unlimited amount of knowledge when used correctly to fuel the curiosity that students have. Is there times when not to use technology? Yes. It is a matter of finding a balance. It is like if the power goes out and we are totally reliant on technology, then what. However, while the power is on, we should take advantage of the opportunities.