For me, there are many reasons as to why I want to be a teacher and many events throughout grade school that made me want to be an amazing teacher. I had many good teachers in the past that I related to, had a good relationship with, and were good at teaching the subject. However, I also had not ideal teachers who I felt did not care about the students, did not understand what they were teaching, who were treating students with disrespect, and were unprofessional. It is through these events that I will explain how I have grown as an individual, as well as learned characteristics of a good and bad teacher in my opinion.
The first event that I learned from was when I was in grades one to four. In grades one, two, and three, I fell behind in school. I was failing pretty much everything by grade three. Teachers tried to send me with the TA to help, but then I rarely got to go because there were more kids who had English as a second language that needed the help more then me. The teachers I had kept pushing me along, thinking that I would eventually catch up. However, without the extra help and attention that I should have gotten at school, and without my parents knowing that I was not doing well in my school, I stayed at a grade two reading and math level until grade five. In grade four, my parents finally realized how behind I had gotten. Now that I had not passed grade four, they were thinking about holding me back. My parents were confused because they thought I was getting extra help at school everyday with a TA. My parents then had a meeting with the principle and my teacher where they told my parents I should get testing for learning disabilities. When the test results came back and I did not have a learning disability, my parents had a meeting with my teacher, and learned that I was not getting the extra help that I needed in school. From this experience I learned that as a teacher I want to help student’s individually who might be struggling. I am so excited to personally help students succeed, because I never want a student to think that they cannot do something.
My family then moved to a small town just outside of Regina. In this town my grade five class only had fifteen kids, so it was significantly smaller than the class sizes in Regina. My teacher for grade five and six was my friend’s mom and my softball, track, hockey, and cross-country coach. She knew me personally, so she knew what my best work was, and what was less than adequate. She also knew my personal life and helped keep me accountable with my time and homework that I needed to finish. Because of her, I learned how to push myself, to work hard at school, and how to manage my time. And for being a teacher I learned how important a personal relationship with your students is and how much of a difference it can make in the grades that the student receives.
I then had a not so good experience in grades seven and eight. I had the same teacher for both years and in these two years I was severely bullied. I believe that it stemmed from the fact that he wanted to be friends with all the boys in my class and did not want them to hate him, so he allowed anything to pass. What I learned from this experience is that there is a line between wanted to be friends with your students and letting that affect the respect that the students need to have for you. Because when he finally tried to stop the bullying in grade eight, he no longer had the authority that a teacher must have so that the students will respect and listen to him. So, I got bullied for another year because he had now lost the teacher relationship he had with the students and he was treated like a friend that they did not respect or listen to. I hope that from this incident I can find the line so that the students respect and listen to me but also, we can laugh and have fun together.
Most recently I had the same English teacher for grade eleven and twelve that I really looked up to. She was so amazing with relating to the students, having fun but also getting work done, and having a safe learning environment. Having her for three semesters in grade eleven and twelve I really got to know her. She helped me so much from working to improve my essay writing skills to editing my application for university. I really felt like she cared about me and how I was doing in her class. I felt very comfortable with her and safe to tell her anything. Until one day when we were having a discussion in class, and I stated my opinion on a topic we were discussing. A student disagreed with me, and the teacher said she agreed with the other student and said something along the lines of, “if you do not agree with this opinion, then you have not done your research and should check your facts. This really hurt me and made me feel stupid and like I could no longer trust her and talk to her. From this experience I learned that keeping the respect for the students is more important then whatever it is you believe.
Through these many events I believe I have gathered the information needed to be an amazing teacher. I love the idea of being able to shape the lives of many students. I am so excited to work hard and be a dedicated teacher that challenges, loves, and respects all their students.