When I was in middle school I noticed a distinct difference in how some students were treated. I was barely a teenager and yet it was still so obvious to me. For a short time, I was naive enough to think that maybe those teachers didn’t mean to treat some students one way and others another way. Finally, I realized that some teachers treated wealthier or more outgoing students one way and poorer, average students in a different way. I believe, with everything in me, that all children should be treated equal, regardless of their family’s income, social status, or their involvement in extracurricular activities.
As a student, I was in a group that I would label “Teacher’s Pets.” Like my other classmates in this group, I strived to be one of the best. I studied more than was required; I joined everything academic that I could; and I judged my success not on the grades I earned, but on the praise that I received from my teachers and my family. Now, I look back and wonder “Why?” The only logical answer I can think of is that it felt nice. I knew that if I worked hard someone would recognize my effort. After a while, if I did not receive some sort of praise for my work, I sometimes felt like I had not done enough and I would do more.
On the other hand, there was another group of students who also did well but they never received any sort of recognition. It seemed like the teacher did not expect them to fail, but they were also not expected to achieve a higher level of success. Of course, in middle school although I noticed this behavior, I didn’t really think it was right or wrong. Now that I am older and an education major, I feel like the students who were not encouraged to be more than just average were failed in some ways by their teachers.
I believe that as a teacher, it is your responsibility not only to teach your students unfamiliar subject material, but also to boost their self esteem and instill in them confidence, hard work, and self worth. Furthermore, it is crucial that all students should be treated equally. I was an over achiever, but I was no better than a ‘C’ average student who didn’t participate in any clubs or teams. Perhaps with a little encouragement, the ‘C’ average student could have become a, ‘A’ or ‘B’ average student and if invited, may have joined in some kind of extracurricular activity.
I believe that praise and encouragement can make all the difference in the classroom and it is for everyone, especially lower achieving students. Teachers must promote personal and educational growth in all their students. If one student leaves your classroom feeling inferior to another student because of remarks you have made, then I believe that as a teacher, you have failed. I am ready and excited to help my students achieve greatness and I know I am going to be an awesome teacher!
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