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Hello readers! I'm Kristin Carter, a junior at Old Dominion University. I am an Interdisciplinary Studies Teacher Preperation PreK-6th grade major with a minor in Special Education. I am originially from Fairfax County, and plan to return there to teach children with Autism that are in first or second grade following graduation. I also plan to teach abroad once I have gained experience as a teacher. I am currently an in home trainer for an eighteen year old young man with Autism and have worked with the family for over a year. I enjoy a number of things from playing basketball to relaxing with friends.

I believe that Education is one of the most important things in a child's life. Elementary school should teach not only academics, but also 'life lessons'. First, and most important, is the three way relationship between the teacher, parent and student in educational settings. It is imparative that teacher and parents communicate about the specific child's work, what the class is doing, any problems the student may be having, etc. It is also imparative that parents are apart of their students school life, giving advice, helping with homework, working with the teacher to meet their children's needs. However, there are those students whos parents are not involved in the child's life as most would hope for. In this case I believe teachers can be a students number one 'mentor'. A teacher that goes beyond what is expected, cares about his or her students has the opportunity to make a lasting impression on a students life. I believe this is the most important aspect of education at the elementary level.

Diversity is a positive thing to have in the classroom. My ideal classroom will be full of students from different backrounds, with different behaviors and disabilities. I believe diversity helps students see that everyone is different and gives the opportunity to learn the importance of giving people a chance without judging. Also, I think it is very important from the get go to let students know the only bad question is the one that is not asked. By the end of the school year my students will be comfortable enough to ask any question that comes to mind. I believe it is very important for teachers to remember that although they are teaching the majority of the material in the classroom, we never stop learning. Our students, even when they are in kindergarten, will teach us a number of things we may have never learned otherwise. A teacher that is open to learn from his or her students also will make the classroom more comfortable. The most important things in education are relationships between parent, teacher and student, diversity, discussions as a class and aknowledgement of the fact that we never stop learning.