Hello Hello...Lets see... I have always kind of been that independent, "Jill of all trades" type. I’m still learning how to actually use power tools (lol), but I’ve always managed to figure out everything I’ve put my mind too. I received an undergrad degree in Psychology (04') that never really got me anywhere, except for the free counseling of all the loved ones around me. I don't blame them, after all, I am a logical individual, but I also have a quirky, creative flair. I have lived three places in my life. I’ve traveled more. I’m originally from Western MD, then the Shenandoah Valley, and now here. Time passes so quickly. It’s crazy that I’ve been here eight years already. My family still loves the mountains, but I just love the beach. Between all of us, I get the best of both worlds. When I visit home, I get to ski and ride four wheelers. I’m a fool for sun and sand though. Somehow, I’ve managed, over the past few years, to find peace and balance in my life. I work at a restaurant in VB Towne Center (very good seafood). Luckily, my job seems to pay the bills, as I have been fortunate enough to purchase my own little condo two years ago. I am currently pursuing my PreK-6 licensure, but long term see myself somewhere in school counseling. I can never determine the age group I really want to work with.
Between work and school, I have soooo many hobbies it's amazingly difficult to squeeze them all in. I have two dogs that are mouthier than any dogs I know. Really, they are mouthy hound dogs. I love, love to cook and have my wine (am I allowed to mention that here?). :) I love to creatively write, read, exercise, be outdoors, shop, garden, and be with the people I love. I am a hardworking type and am looking forward to a new semester. As with all my classes so far, I trust this course will better prepare me for a new occupation.
EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY... A RECIPE FOR SUCCESS
Not too often in my life do I find it difficult to answer questions. However, when one asks me, “why do I desire to teach or what would I like for my students”, it is daunting to only state a few, brief components. It is comparable to not having all the ingredients to a great recipe. Nonetheless, there is a foundation or base for all cooking; as there is also a foundation or base for a solid education. As I’ve grown from my direct experience in the kitchen, I desire to grow in that direction in my classroom.
One of the most advantageous skills we can learn in this life is the ability to self-regulate. For some of us the acquisition of that skill may take longer than others. At a young age we develop quite a consciousness of emotions. We observe responses from others, we observe behavior, and we have intuitions about environmental stimuli. We see and feel emotions long before we comprehend them. However, it is not long before we all understand that we need emotional competency in order to participate successfully in society. Our emotions are a valuable ingredient in the recipe of our academic, and life success.
Early childhood educators need to understand the significant role they play in the healthy, emotional development of their students. Self-regulation is imperative to learning and teachers have the responsibilities of fostering strong, kind, and stable characters in their classrooms. Teachers can affect this emotional development of their students in various ways. They should be clear with expectations and consistent in their actions. They should never punish or find themselves in vicious cycles of negative reinforcement. They should explain emotions and model effective coping strategies. They should work diligently to always provide a positive, reinforcing environment for each student.
Although the ability to regulate our emotions is what truly enables us to begin the learning journey; it is still just the beginning. Students need to be able to explore personal interests. They need to work independently and collaboratively to discover answers to questions; without being confined to narrowed, stringent curriculum. While incorporating a more integrated, project-based approach, children are more thoroughly engaged and are able to move beyond minimum curriculum standards. Children become better goal setters because they are more accountable and autonomous in the classroom, just as they are in life.
Teachers have the responsibility of providing their students with authentic assessments and genuine feedback. They must use effective assessment techniques to monitor and chart individual progress. With goals of successfully accomplishing a more integrated approach, it is essential for children to discover their own strengths and weaknesses. It is vital for teachers to assess and offer genuine feedback so that students can work within their individual potential and progress accordingly.
Although safety in my mind is presupposed, it is necessary to mention the importance of feeling safe and being safe. Teachers need to ensure that children always feel comfortable and never vulnerable. Research supports ideas behind building a community of learners in the classroom. Once a strong community has been established, children tend to take more risks. They trust enough to move from their comfort zones into more challenging tasks, without focusing on fears of failure. The classroom and other students, in essence, becomes a safe haven for them to explore according to their own inquisitive nature.
Everyone has their own ideas about what the exact components are for creating a successful classroom environment. Teachers can vary slightly or vastly in their overall approaches, but some things still remain necessary. Teachers need to be equipped with hard work, diligence, patience, and passion. These particular credentials should be non-negotiable. Teachers hold an extremely valuable position in society. They are liable for shaping the minds and spirits of our future through our children. They are responsible for creating virtues and academics. They are responsible for laying the groundwork to a solid education. It is a true challenge, but also a great calling. I will utilize every resource available to ensure each child in my classroom receives the very best.