Education and teaching. While both relate to each other, these terms do not share the same definition. Education is what one learns: facts, concepts, practices, and skills that were required to become an active citizen as adults. Teaching is the process of how one learns those facts, concepts, practices, and skills. For example, a student who is interested in biotechnology in the agriculture sector would attend a class on micro propagation. During this course, they would learn the proper procedures required to complete a successful micro propagation of a certain plant. This exhibits that education aspect. The instructor of that course utilizes several different teaching strategies to enable to students to retain that knowledge. Such as a hands-on activity were the student practices the procedures. This displays teaching as a process.
From a very young age I knew that I wanted to become a teacher. When my cousins would come, and visit we would play school. I would always insist on being the teacher of the class. My grandmother saw this and always encouraged me to become a teacher. She would say that people are born to do many different things, and for me it was to become a teacher. Personally, I find nothing more rewarding than helping someone understand something. One experience that I had in high school was helping with an elementary after-school program. I was teaching a lesson on pumpkins. Discussing their importance and how that they are grown. Many of the children did not realize or understand how much time and labor are required to grow a crop. Even more did not realize that they could grow their own pumpkins from seed. All the students became excited and wanted to go home and plant their own pumpkin seeds. For many people this might have seemed silly, however, this was monumental. The students not only realized that they could grow their own pumpkins but they also discovered that they could grow their own food. Personally, there is nothing more important than teaching someone how to provide for themselves. This ties in with one of my goals to teach all of my students the importance of agriculture, as well as, education. The saying knowledge is power has never been more true.
Student-centered teaching occurs often and is extremely successful. I believe that students need to be given responsibilities and be held accountable for their actions. Having a classroom environment were students are actively involved in the lesson each day provides those responsibilities. For example, a teacher has introduced the topic of landscape design to her horticulture 2 class. She then states that the class will divided up into groups of four people. Each group will then research landscape design principles, chose a small site to be landscaped on campus, develop a landscape design plan, and create a budget for the project. Upon completion, each group will then present their work to the class. While this project gives guidelines on what the students are to do. The students are the ones who control what they learn and how they decide to learn it. However, I do grant that students cannot have full control over the classroom and instruction. As a teacher, it is my responsibility to guide students in a direction that is conductive for a positive learning environment. The above example, perfectly illustrates my second goal of striving to create an engaging, positive, and safe learning environment for all students.
Progressivism, is the driving force behind my actions as a teacher. This belief is grounded in integrating education with real life experiences. Real world application is one of the most effective teaching tools an educator can utilize. When a student realizes that they will use a practice later in life they are more likely to want to learn it. For example, an agriculture education teacher can utilize real world application when teaching a unit on forestry to an agricultural science applications class. This can be accomplished by showing the students how to use a Biltmore stick to calculate the number of board feet that a tree has. Measuring board feet is a practice that foresters use often. Due to the frequent use of this technique and the real world connection students are more inclined to learn and retain the knowledge.
As a teacher, I would like for my accomplishments to include being a positive role model to my students. I also want to be able to create a learning environment that students love being a part of. I know many students who have difficult personal lives. Therefore, school is like an escape for them. I want students to feel empowered to be able to achieve their goals and dreams. My belief is that by being a positive role model and providing an encouraging and engaging learning environment for students that they will be able to do just that. My third goal will be achieved through these accomplishments. To make a positive differences in the lives of my students, not only through teaching them, but also leading by example.
Education is one of the most valuable assets that a person can improve and advance with. It is equally valuable to have good study skills and research abilities to get a more in depth understanding of subject matter. A great example of someone who embodies this belief is Doctor Ben Carson. He grew up in a single parent household. However, with guidance from his mother, a lot of determination, and belief in his abilities to achieve whatever he set his mind to, Carson realized that education could advance him to achievements he could not have imagined. He became a successful neurosurgeon and even ran for the Republican candidacy this past year. This shows how education can help someone achieve fantastic goals in their lives.
When my students leave my class I want them to remember me as the teacher who cared about them. I want my students to know that I believe in them and that I want them to excel in whatever they decide they want to do. Becoming a positive influence on students by encouraging each student and helping them to develop their strengths and improve their weaknesses is of the highest importance to me. As a teacher, I want my students to remember me as this. I believe that this is the role that a teacher plays as well. They are the facilitators of learning. With that responsibility comes many different characteristics including: encouragement, energy, positivity, and compassion. Students are more excited about learning when the educator is excited about teaching their subject matter.
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