What is Most Important to Me as a Teacher
My reason for teaching will always begin and end with my students. When I first began teaching ten years ago, I would have said making a difference is the main reason I teach. It is still a key factor, but after several years and several groups of students, my focus has shifted more to the students themselves and their needs. The needs I seek to meet are not only academic, but also the social and emotional aspects of these students. I want to help them become good people as well as good students. I teach middle school where students are more vulnerable than ever. They are trying to figure out who they are and where they belong in the world. I want them to know they matter and to spark their curiosity about the world that exists around them. I want them to develop their own understanding of the purpose history serves and how we can learn from our past. I enjoy making connections with students and watching them grow in their understanding of the world and history. History is all about people and teaching it requires connections to the past and an understanding of human impact on our world. I feel like I have done my job well when students can come to me and share ideas or personal connections they have made to history. I would like to see the focus of what I teach shift from the memorization of facts and dates to making connections between historical events and giving students opportunities to draw conclusions about what history means to them.
My Fixed Mindset
As a kid, I was taught that I was who I was and there was little to be done about it. I was not upset about that at the time. I felt like I was smart in elementary school and had good grades in all my classes. I saw some of my friends doing better than me and some doing worse, but it did not really affect me until my 8th grade year and things changed because of one class, or so I thought.