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Transcript of Life Map
My Journey to Teaching
design by Dóri Sirály for Prezi
Madame Fournier was my grade 3 teacher, and she helped to influence my career path in becoming a teacher. She was a very structured teacher, but was caring and patient with all of her students. She always encouraged us to do our best, and if one of her students seemed to be falling behind, she would work with them until they improved upon it. She was a crafty teacher, and to this day I still remember the wonderful art projects that we did in her classroom. When I went back to her classroom to do my Grade 12 COOP placement, it was there where I realized just how much she had impacted me. She was dedicated to her class and still after so many years of teaching was engaging and encouraging to her students. She supported me in my decision to become a teacher, and encouraged me to continue with it. It was the way she dealt with each student individually that helped me as a grade 3 student, and showed me as a grade 12 student just the kind of teacher that I should aspire to be like.
During my years in Elementary school, I took piano lessons with a lady named Bonnie. Although I didn't realize it at the time, she was someone who impacted my decision to become a teacher. She took me on from the beginning and opened my eyes up to the musical talent that I never knew I had. She was constantly teaching me new techniques and scalding me for not practicing enough - although practicing wasn't something I liked doing, I became a stronger piano player because of it, and it lead me to do very well in it in the end. She taught me the dedication that a teacher must have, and studying under her helped me to realize that keeping at something is the only way to improve on it.
Social Service Work
After I completed my undergrad degree, I took a year long Social Service Worker program at Algonquin College. Here I had the opportunity to do a placement with a violence prevention worker at the Eastern Ottawa Resource Centre. Her job was to go into classrooms and facilitate a violence prevention and bullying workshop to a classroom full of students, who had been having specific issues within their class. Here I took on the role of a co-facilitator and ran the workshops with my mentor. I loved speaking with the students and giving them activities and ideas to help them help themselves with problems they were having in the classroom. I enjoyed the Social Work aspect, however it was being in the classroom and working with the students, both one on one and as a group that I really loved doing. The fact that I enjoyed doing this so much pushed me to the decision of changing my career path from becoming a social worker to a teacher.
My mother was the first person who significantly impacted my decision to become a teacher. Since I can remember my mother has been a teacher in a Junior classroom, where I have visited countless time. Watching her interact and teach her students always amazed me, because she was able to connect with her students and make learning fun for them. It is interesting to see that even though that majority of her students are ESL, she was still able to include each of them and celebrate their diversity as a whole group. However, it was what she taught me outside of the classroom that truly inspired me, and lead me to my career choice as an adult. My mom has always encouraged us to think outside of the box, bringing us on 'field trips' to different places, teaching us different things during fun activities, and read to us every night to teach us that reading was an enjoyable thing to do.
My mother was always such a creative person, and was one of the only people who encouraged my artistic abilities from a young age. This is a strength that I have developed over time that will help me to become a great teacher - Not only will this skill be helpful when decorating a classroom to engage children, but it will also help me to plan specific lessons to bring out the different learning styles of students and engage them in various art projects.
Wilfrid Laurier University
While I did my undergraduate degree at Wilfrid Laurier University, I chose to volunteer at Waterloo Collegiate Institute, a high school in the area. I worked with a French teacher, who rotated throughout the day between two grade nine classes and a grade eleven class. I assisted the teacher with planning her grammar and reading lessons, and helped out with her daily routines and administering the lessons. During my time volunteering, I realized just how big of an impact that a good teacher could have on a student - even if it was only one student and not the whole class. Talking with the students and realizing that I could help them because I could relate to what they were going through inspired me further to become a teacher. I realized that I wanted to be a teacher who could inspire kids to want to learn, and to change the direction of a child's life, simply by being a good teacher. It was here that I realized that I would prefer working with Primary and Junior students as opposed to high school students.
A strength I gained during my time at WCI was effective classroom management skills. Because the students are older, it is harder to get their attention and keep it. By following the lead of my teacher, I was able to pick up useful hints and use my own ideas to capture their attention and manage those who were out of line. I feel as though this is essential to becoming a good teacher because the more you understand about how each child learns and their attention span, the easier it becomes to manage how you deal with each individual child. Not every student will pay attention to you when you are speaking, so it is good to have ideas to pick those students out and change what you are doing to get and keep their attention.
A strength that I learned while taking piano that will allow me to be a great teacher was patience. Although sometimes the pieces were hard, and sometimes I didn't want to practice, I learned to persevere through that to accomplish the end goal of playing the pieces well. Bonnie taught me just how patient teachers are, and worked through each lesson to help me best she could, even if I hadn't done the required practicing. This is something that will help me as a teacher, because I understand now just how easy it is to give up - but being patient and continuing on will ultimately lead to achieving the end goal. It will be something I can model to my students, and keep in my mind when I am frustrated with certain students.
During my four years at high school, and specifically at COOP, I developed my
organizational skills. While watching Madame Fournier, as well as my Mom with the
daily planning and lesson planning, and all the other things that they needed to get
done on a daily basis, it encouraged me to perfect my organizational skills. This will help
me to be a great teacher because I will be able to keep track of all of the lessons, planning, activities, etc. while also keeping a tidy classroom. Teaching students organization is a key lesson to help them succeed not only in school but in life. Being an organized teacher will not only keep my professional life up to date, but it will allow me to model organization for my students.
During this program I learned to be appreciative of diversity. Because I grew up in a higher income area and was some what sheltered, I had never experienced the hardships that many people go through living in Canada. I worked in an apartment building as a community liaison with my mentor. It was our job to go in and help set up March break camps, homework and reading clubs, breakfast club, and snowsuit programs, and many other things to improve the lives of the children there. It was really an eye opener for me, as I had heard about people living in situations like this, but I had never truly seen a child who only ate one meal a day because his parents were struggling to support their family.
It not only made me appreciate what I have, but it also made me appreciate the different cultures that people come from. I feel as though this has given me a strong sense of empathy and diversity, which will help me out in the classroom as a teacher by enabling me to understand the home life of some of the students and accept the diversity that each student has.