I believe that my job as a teacher is a dedication to the students, not the subject that I teach. My job is more than grading papers, writing lesson plans and lecturing. I should be someone that supports my students in each and every endeavor they pursue. While some students may not receive the support and encouragement they vitally need at home, the classroom should be a place that fosters those needs. I should be able to give constructive criticism when needed, and in a way that does not make the students feel less of themselves. All students, no matter how old or what grade they may be in will always need to know not only what they are doing wrong, but also what they are doing right. Students, no matter what their range of abilities need to be challenged so that they can reach their fullest potential. I will not let my students slack off in the classroom or turn in less than adequate work when they are capable of much more. All students need to realize that work will get harder the older they get, but in a supporting classroom, they will have all the encouragement they need to help them with the tougher lessons. This tells the student that I support him or her, because I will be in a sense telling them, “I know you can do this, I believe in you.”
I also need to take into consideration the interests of my students when planning assignments and activities. In doing this, I will need to get to know each student on an individual basis, for how can I truly teach someone I do not know? Getting to know the students does not mean becoming their best friend, it means listening to the students when they talk and never shutting them out or making them feel as though what they have to say is not important. I believe that when students know that they are truly cared about and feel safe in the classroom that is when “real” learning begins. Children of all ages need to feel valued and have a sense of self-worth, and if they do not come into the classroom with that already, what could be a better place to start?
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