Saturday, January 5, 2013

Hard to Write!

I hate answering questions for applications. However, the application process will be worth it in the end. Here are my answers to the application I completed today, as I'm looking to teach in the Dominican Republic in the fall.

1.       What is the most important thing a teacher does?
The most important thing a teacher does is show love to the children. Everything I do as a teacher is a result of love: teach, encourage, discipline, set an example, and share the Gospel. A teacher who loves will do all of these things with passion. Love motivates me to reach each child’s needs. I want each child to learn, to grow, and to love Christ.
2.       What do you consider the proper classroom atmosphere for learning?
Children need to feel comfortable and accepted in a classroom for learning to take place. If a student is insecure, he is more likely to react by shutting down or acting out. As the teacher, I have to set that tone by exemplifying kindness and patience with every student. I also have the responsibility of guiding the students to create the same atmosphere for their classmates.
3.       Describe assessment of academic achievement and how this is best done.
Academic achievement can be assessed in multiple ways. Any time a student improves or learns a new skill, there is achievement. This progress can be assessed by written assignments, verbal explanations, presentations, drawing, and other projects. The topic and the level of learning expected will determine the best assessment. In all learning though, students should be assessed as they are learning so the teacher can monitor progress.
4.       How would someone who knows you professionally describe you as a teacher?
People tell me that I love my students, that I am passionate about what I do, and that I am good at it. I have a hard time writing this because although I know God has gifted me, I always feel like I could do more, or do better, or that I am not as good as people say I am. My former students tell me they love my class because I made it fun for them. Parents have told me their children look forward to being in my class.
5.       How will the students benefit from having you as a teacher?
As I stated in the previous response, this is the type of question I find difficult to answer. I know that God has blessed me with the gift of teaching, and I also believe He has given me the gift of building relationships with the students. I like to view myself as “real” with my students. I do not pretend to be perfect, nor do I expect perfection from them. I expect effort and respect, and my students should expect the same from me. I also think students will benefit from having me as a teacher because my goal is for them to learn how to learn. I can easily teach facts, but my desire is that my students can think, process, create, and solve problems.  I want my students to be independent learners as a result of being in my class. 

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