“A great teacher takes a hand, opens a mind, and touches a heart”
I decided to pursue a career as an elementary school teacher because I wanted to find lifelong satisfaction and true purpose in positively influencing and improving the lives of children and their families. As I reflect on my beliefs regarding teaching and learning, I find that my mission as a teacher is threefold:

  • To promote positive learning;
  • To spark learner enthusiasm for learning;
  • And to provide a strong foundation for lifelong learning.

To promote positive learningCreating a positive learning environment optimizes student learning, helps to build a cohesive classroom community, and creates a welcoming and safe learner-centered classroom that is based on respect, equity, and support. As an educator, my goal is to encourage student progress both academically and socially. I work to make sure that student learning is fostered through positive feedback and messages communicated in class; discipline is centered upon accountability and growth, versus punishment; and that my behavior management strategies stimulate attention and imagination, while focusing on clear expectations. I also believe that the classroom setting should be colorful and cheerful, one that encourages students to use the classroom as an outlet of expression.
In addition, understanding the learning and personal needs of my students helps me to achieve a heightened sense of positive learning within my classroom. The individual relationships I establish with my students are based on trust and support, and I actively remind students how invested I am in helping them to become as successful as possible. My goal is to foster a high level of respect and support for all learners in the classroom and establish equity amongst all. I firmly believe that in order for students to reach their learning potentials, the learning environment must be one that encourages wonderful ideas.

To spark learner enthusiasm for learningMy second mission as an educator is to spark my students’ enthusiasm for learning. I believe that a good teacher is passionate about the subject matter, and inspires students to grow as learners through example. I feel that the enthusiasm I show for learning inspires my students to be open minded and engaged participants. To achieve this, I instruct with creativity, relevance, and showmanship. I believe that an outstanding teacher thinks outside the box and develops lessons that are engaging and differentiated, yet content focused. Having a sense of humor is also a key component to my instruction. I want my classroom to be a place where students can laugh and learn simultaneously. Lastly, a large part of my instruction is aimed at connecting content learned in class to everyday life experiences. I feel that students are more attentive and interested when learning about something that they find to be relevant and useful.
Provide a strong foundation for lifelong learning.Lastly, my third mission is to provide a strong foundation for lifelong learning and in today’s diverse classroom, it is essential that the learning environment for students be inclusive. To create an inclusive environment, I am aware and able to differentiate my instruction to appeal to the many different learning abilities and styles of my students. I utilize different instructional strategies and approaches that address this challenge – including the use of technology, manipulatives, and other kinesthetic practices and activities. I also maintain realistic expectations for my students – expectations that are attainable and clear.
In addition, my lessons are largely balanced between teacher-led and student-directed discussions with the goal of making my student’s voices heard. I work to stimulate critical thinking amongst my students and consistently self-reflect upon my teaching practices. Group work, student evaluations and reflections, as well as putting theory into practice are also large components of my teaching practice. Because there is no “one sized fits all” approach to teaching, I am flexible with my instruction and time – understanding that all students learn at different paces. I believe that all of these practices contribute to providing a strong foundation for lifelong learning within the classroom and amongst my students.
As I embark upon my career in education, I am looking forward to growing as a teacher and providing students with the tools and experiences needed to promote positive learning; spark learner enthusiasm; and encourage lifelong learning. My goal is to ignite the passion of learning in all of my students for years to come.