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Autobiographical Brogan Schaeffer Instructor Dr Dave Makings EDUC 201: Foundations of Education Fall, 2011

BIO Autobiographical Essay Introduction


I remember well one particular day of school: I was in the second grade and my mother was explaining a new math concept to Austin, my older brother. I remember thinking how much fun it looked like; I just had to try it too. I created my own problem and then proceeded to solve it, just like they had. This story is typical of my life. I have always been eager to learn, but also eager to teach. I find it extremely rewarding to help other people understand new concepts; it is among my very diverse group of passions, which include cooking, outdoor activities, and reading. Part of what makes a great teacher is having a diverse group of interests. It allows one to connect in various ways to the diverse students a teacher will meet in the classroom. My own life is very diverse, consisting of a variety of experiences and challenges that have brought me to the point of pursuing a career as a teacher. Educational Background My academic education began at a very young age. I have a wonderful family that is excited about knowledge and loves gaining new information. We are a proud homeschooling family. Homeschooling is not about having the smartest parents as teachers, but having willing parents who want their children’s best. My mother is such a person. She wanted her children to have the best education possible, so she joined a group of experienced home-school families. Through this group, we were introduced to some great curriculum, including Harvy’s Grammar and Ray’s Arithmetic. These books were originally published in the 1800’s. They do not have pretty pictures or exceptional graphics, but we loved the faster and harder pace they required.

BIO 3 My older brother was another key element of my childhood education: watching him learn inspired me. Just because my brother was two years my senior did not mean I was going to be left behind while he entered the incredible world of school. I strove to catch up with him in everything. By the time I reached 3rd grade we were doing much of the same work. I loved school, and homeschooling brought my family closer together making learning even better. Every day my mom, brother, and I gathered around our school table and learned together. Education is not only about gaining information, but also about the relationships formed along the way. During my junior year in high school, I began taking classes at CSI. I placed rather high on my Compass test and felt fully prepared to start college. My different education did not put me behind as some might think, instead it put me ahead. I achieved a 4.0 in all of my college classes during high school. Another event that greatly shaped my high school education occurred during the spring of my senior year. It was then that I had the incredible opportunity to serve as a page for the Idaho House of Representatives. I was assigned to the State Affairs committee where I assisted the secretary, made copies of House Resolutions, organized folders for each representative of the day’s bills, and best of all enjoyed listening to the debate and presentation of all the bills that came through our committee. From this opportunity, I gained first-hand experience of how wonderful our government is and how easy it is to become involved and make a difference In May 2010, I graduated highschool Summa Cum Laude began taking classes full-time at CSI. My love of cooking led me into studying culinary arts. I enjoyed learning the basics of professional cooking; however, when I began considering classes for the fall 2011 semester, I

BIO 4 realized I wanted to broaden my horizons. I decided to follow my love of education and began pursuing a degree in teaching. I think it is wise to have a “back-up career”, but I also love what I am doing and that is what makes my diverse passions come together. Work History I acquired my first job at the age of ten when I was hired by our neighbors, Bob and Sheryl May. I was paid five dollars an hour to weekly clean their house. Not only did I gain a bit of pocket money, but I also learned many valuable lessons. I was accountable to someone else, I wasn’t just cleaning my own room, or my family’s house; I was being paid to clean someone else’s house. I gained responsibility and improved my work ethic. I was also introduced to the idea of becoming a teacher by Sheryl May, an excellent science teacher at Minico High School. She is a wonderful woman and a great teacher. She has encouraged me to pursue my education degree and taught me many necessary qualities and skills of a successful teacher. I was first formally employed when I was seventeen, at which time I applied and was hired for the custodian position at Praise Chapel Christian Church. It became my job to make sure the church building was properly cleaned and ready for any events including funerals, weddings, and the weekly church activities. As Custodian, I was also responsible for some of the general maintenance. I fixed cupboard doors, organized storage rooms, replaced floor tiles and various other odd jobs I worked there for three years. I appreciated getting to set my own schedule and create my own routines, but I knew it was time to move on and acquire new skills. In September 2012, I started at The Chadwick in Burley, Id. I was hired as a waitress but soon changed positions and became a cook. Through this new job, I was able to start using my culinary education. I used my experiences and knowledge in culinary school to create many new

BIO specials and to improve Chadwick’s kitchen. Through this job I have learned how to interact with my employers and how to help them create a better product. I have also learned how to be


more efficient and effective in what I do. As a line cook, I have improved my ability to multitask and work with speed, very necessary and useful abilities of a teacher as well. I enjoy this opportunity to put my education to work and plan to continue my culinary education by working in the industry while I pursue my teaching degree. Service and/or Extracurricular Activities During the years from 2005 through 2009, I volunteered as a teacher/assistant at my local AWANA club, a weekly after-school Bible program. At first I served as an assistant in various classes from kindergarten to sixth grade, then I was promoted and became a teacher. The first class I taught was kindergarten boys. After two years of teaching this class, I moved to the third grade girls’ class. I loved all of my classes. My kindergarteners were fun and exciting. They were energetic and as all little boys, wanted to show-off to each other. They also had very short attention spans. As I taught, I began to realize they quickly lost interest in the curriculum I was given to teach. I would therefore improvise my own lessons each week. I had to balance keeping them interested and excited about learning while still teaching them the week’s lesson and verse and making sure they understood what each meant. As I became more experienced, I learned how to maintain their interest and how best to adapt the curriculum to their interests. When I moved on to my class of third grade girls, I was confronted with an entirely different set of challenges. These students being older could concentrate longer and were excited about learning more in-depth material. Once again however, I was not completely satisfied with the curriculum and substituted my own stories and analogies. I loved making the lesson exciting for the girls and

BIO 6 also something with which they could relate. It brought me great joy to hear from them how they told their friends about what they had learned in our class. When I started college full time, my classes conflicted with AWANA, so I have temporarily suspending my involvement. I have also served my community as an ambassador. In 2011 I won the title of the 20112012 Minidoka Fair and Rodeo Queen. I became a representative of my community and their rodeo at other rodeos and events in the community. I was also sent as their representative to compete for the state title of Miss Rodeo Idaho 2013. I endeavored to use my position to impact people, especially children just as I did during my teaching in AWANA. As a rodeo queen, I understood that I was also a role model to others and tried to be someone I was proud to have other imitate. I am a part of a wonderful community, and I love having opportunities to serve it. Reasons for Choosing Education as a Career I determined at a young age to become a teacher; however, it was only recently I decided to pursue teaching as a professional career. Homeschooling brought my family and I very close, and I want that same relationship with my own children. I want to share with them my love of knowledge and the joys of education especially learning how to read. I recently decided that I also want to pursue education as a career. During my time as an AWANA teacher, I realized how much I enjoy teaching. I delight in watching and helping someone learn, and I am excited to pursue that further. Professional Goals My short-term goal is to finish my degrees at CSI and get accepted into ISU’s education program. In the long-term I am going to earn my bachelors in Secondary English Education. I then want to gain a job teaching High School English while pursuing my Masters in English.

BIO Once I have earned my Masters I would like to become a college professor. I have also determined that I am going to be a published writer. Not only do I love knowledge and cooking, but I also like to write. It is my favorite way to express my thoughts and share the knowledge I


gain with others. It is also my goal to travel to and explore Europe as well as many other parts of the world. I am going to live an adventurous life and continue to pursue my passions for writing, traveling, cooking and teaching. Conclusion I delight in pursuing knowledge, and I want to share what I learn with others. To accomplish this desire I am pursing my education in teaching. Everyone’s life is unique, and each person has their own thoughts and desires, their own experiences, their own pursuits. Mine are very diverse, I take delight in a broad range of various past times and careers. This quality can lead me to becoming a great teacher. A teacher needs to be able to relate to a wide variety of students and having an equally wide variety of interests will help me to relate with my future students. I am endeavoring to become the type of teacher that will inspire all of my students to learn and become the best they can be.