You are on page 1of 7

Running head: IM A TEACHER

Im a Teacher

Amanda Lockwood
University of La Verne

A Paper Prepared for EDUC 499D


In Partial Fulfillment of
The Requirements for the Degree
Bachelor of Arts
February 2015

IM A TEACHER

An effective teacher must be knowledgeable, energetic, open-minded, and able to help


convey material in a way that reaches all students. As I look toward my own career as an
educator, I hope to encompass all of these traits to ensure that my students receive the best
education possible while in my classroom. I am entering the field at an exciting time with the
introduction and implementation of Common Core State Standards as well as new and
innovative ideas becoming popular in regards to incorporating technology, subject integration,
peer collaboration, and the use of multiple intelligences in the classroom. I hope to blend the best
of all these things and create a teaching style that is fun and effective for my future students.
One of the many challenges facing teachers today is producing quality standards based
lessons. The Liberal Studies program at ULV has helped to prepare me for this difficult task, as
all lesson planning has been standards based and engrained in me for several semesters. We have
also focused on creating meaningful lessons so that students have the opportunity to obtain
deeper levels of understanding. With the use of Common Core State Standards, it is more
important than ever to use the standards to their highest potential by digging into them wholeheartedly so that students can obtain the deeper learning intended. Although many people are
wary of these standards, as a newcomer I see the value in this updated set as well as the
opportunities they can provide for our students. This really is the beginning of a new era in
education and I am both excited and honored that I will be a part of it. In order to ensure that I
am effectively using the standards, I will diligently plan and review my lesson plans to ensure
that I am meeting the objectives of the standards while also creating something that will be
challenging and memorable for students.
The program at ULV has also taught me to be creative and look for new and exciting
ways to cover multiple standards per lesson. I believe the natural progression in attempting to

IM A TEACHER

create meaningful standards based lessons is to incorporate the concept of multiple intelligences
into all lessons. By doing so, I can reach the most students possible while providing learning
experiences that will have a lasting effect on their education. My goal is to incorporate several
intelligences into each lesson and regularly touch on every intelligence. In doing so, students will
receive the benefit of obtaining information through their strongest and weakest intelligences.
Students can build confidence through working in their strongest intelligences, while receiving
an opportunity to improve in areas they may struggle.
One of my top goals will be to incorporate technology whenever possible. The proper use
of technology can help to include several different multiple intelligences at once and is
interesting, entertaining, and motivating for students. They relish being able to interact directly
with technology and have some control over their own learning, so providing computer learning
time will be important. Using simple tools such as power point slides, photographs, and
illustrations will allow students to use both their visual and auditory senses. Using video clips as
an additional tool will also make learning more interesting and engaging. Technology can also
help to bring nature indoors, and assist with visual and performing arts integration. The use of
technology is almost unavoidable in the real world, so exposing students to its benefits and
ensuring they are comfortable with many of its capabilities is necessary to ensure they are
prepared for life beyond the classroom.
Another example of how to incorporate the multiple intelligences into standards based
learning is to have learning centers that focus on a different intelligence at each station. Learning
centers can be interdisciplinary or all relate to one concept. Rotating centers regularly will help
students receive new and meaningful learning experiences that cannot be provided through
lecture and worksheets alone. Simple additions such as using background music that is

IM A TEACHER

appropriate to the topic or mood we wish to create, or stepping outdoors to complete part of a
lesson. Using artifacts for students to see and touch while presenting a lesson will help visualspatial learners as well as visual learners and auditory learners as they receive information in
several ways at one time. Another way to include multiple intelligences is by incorporating
group projects that are both interdisciplinary and include all of the intelligences though various
stages of the project. Whenever possible, offering choices to students on how to complete
projects are always beneficial as it allows students freedom to learn in the way they feel most
comfortable.
For any student to be successful, they must feel safe. This means that I must create a
climate that is safe for all students. By providing a healthy intellectual, social, emotional, and
physical environment, students will be free to learn at their highest capacity. Creating and
posting class rules on the first day of class that drive home the concept of both equality and
respect will help the class as we regularly refer back to them through the year. I will also discuss
with students that the classroom must be a safe learning environment. We will not judge others
for having the courage to share their thoughts or trying to answer a question, whether their
answer is correct or not.
Students will learn that we are all different and smart in different ways. Throughout the
year, we will look for ways in which we can learn from each other, while sharing our own
knowledge with classmates as well. Discussing the multiple intelligences with students and
allowing them to see first-hand how great it can be to learn in different ways can help to create a
classroom environment full of healthy curiosity and sharing. This will also allow students to see
that diversity is acceptable, fun, and beneficial for everyone.

IM A TEACHER

Another important step in providing a healthy and positive learning climate is to include
issues of diversity in the learning goals of the class. By tying in current events and local history
whenever possible, students will learn real examples of how diverse groups of people can make a
difference, have the opportunity to learn from the mistakes of others, and discuss real issues that
have shaped our world. I plan to give students the opportunity to explore and share about their
own culture in a positive way as well as learn and share about the cultures of others.
Incorporating the cultures and ethnicities of all students throughout the year along with
numerous others will provide meaningful and interesting learning experiences for students. I will
also take care to represent all groups accurately and fairly. Providing unbiased materials,
artifacts, and lessons will help to ensure that what students learn is untainted by prejudice or the
beliefs of others.
Alongside the concepts of a healthy and positive classroom environment and the multiple
intelligences, I want each student to learn that they have something important to offer the group.
I will remind students regularly that we are all smart in different ways. Additionally, students
will learn that the purpose of group discussion and collaboration is to share and learn from each
other in the ways that we are smart, while attempting to improve on our weakest intelligences.
This should help set the stage for an environment in which students feel comfortable sharing
their thoughts and ideas. Using techniques such as think-pair-share to encourage both
independent and collaborative thinking and learning can also help to encourage an environment
that emboldens students to take risks.
The key to getting students to be risk-takers in the classroom is to show them that it is
acceptable to make mistakes or have a wrong answer. Recognizing that failures will occur and
are a natural part of the learning process is an important step in getting students to open up. By

IM A TEACHER

sharing personal learning experiences students can relate to and being a model risk taker, I will
set the stage for the class to follow suit. A teacher should never ask a student to step outside of
their comfort zone if they are not prepared to do the same thing themselves, and I am prepared to
be pushed out of my own comfort zone for the benefit of my students.
I will make it clear that we as a class do not judge one another for having the wrong
answer, and we will appreciate the efforts of those that provide a new opportunity for learning. I
was often told in school that if I didnt understand something, there was someone else in the
class who was also struggling with the same concept. This helped me to feel more comfortable
asking questions, and I plan to use this regular reminder so students wont feel alone or ashamed
by sharing their own questions or answers. Focusing on the learning process itself and not on
having the right answer as quickly as possible will help students gain confidence in the learning
process instead of always being right.
Another important component to being the best possible teacher is to ensure that we are
continuing our own education and staying abreast of the newest teaching strategies, technologies,
and theories in education. This means furthering my professional education throughout my
teaching career and looking for ways to give students the best education possible. I want to
ensure that I am prepared for whatever changes in education occur through my career, and
staying abreast of the newest information and innovations in teaching will ensure that I am
prepared to for whatever occurs. By regularly addressing ways to improve in every area as a
teacher, I can offer the best that teaching has to offer my students.
Continuing my own professional education wont just occur at staff meetings and
conferences, though. It can happen at any time by discussing issues and questions with
colleagues, and keeping an open mind when listening to what mentors, veterans, and new

IM A TEACHER

teachers have to say. We should never dismiss a strategy out of hand without at least giving it
some thought, and finding out what works for others can give first hand insight into how we can
most improve upon our own teaching skills.
I look forward to the opportunity to collaborate with other teachers in order to create new
and unique lessons and units for students through my teaching career. I view myself as a team
player, which is an important skill to have when working with a group of teachers possessing a
wide range of experience levels and expertise. I hope to share some of my own ideas and
strategies with others, and look forward to a time when I can offer advice while also learning
from a professional teaching discussion.
There are innumerable opportunities for teaching students well if we allow ourselves to
open up to them. I want my students to look back upon their experiences in my classroom with
pride and fondness as they see the remarkable and difficult things they accomplished. I hope to
raise the bar and accomplish the goals of Common Core Standards by challenging students to
think critically, and receive the most from their classroom education. In order to achieve this, I
know I will work hard to create lessons that are demanding, interesting, and meaningful to
receive the most benefit from the time I have with each class. I look forward to integrating the
multiple intelligences into my lesson plans as well as peer collaboration, technology, and subject
integration. By using all of these techniques as well as providing a positive attitude and
consistency to my students, I know I am on the path to becoming a great educator.