All About Me
Hey everyone! My name is Zachary Hill; however, I prefer the name "Zack" to anything else. (This includes different spellings of the name "Zack", such as the all-too-commonly-misused "Zach".) People will misspell it even after they see "Zack" written out, which can get irritating. But enough about that. I was born in Norfolk, VA and shortly thereafter I was relocated to Asheville, NC and then to Roxboro, NC; then Danville, VA; then Bel Air, MD; then to Virginia Beach; and now here I am back in Norfolk. No, I'm not a military kid. But anyway, I am here now and I am double majoring in English and Psychology and, obviously, also going for my teaching license. Books have always been a passion of mine, as have listening to people and giving advice been, so I figured that it made sense that I go for both majors and to be a teacher. My area of expertise, at the end of college, will be British Literature (my favorite author is Jane Austen), and I hope that I will be able to teach it later on down the road in either a high school or college. I currently work as a Resident Assistant for the Old Dominion University Office of Housing and Residence Life.
For recreation, I like to watch TV, shop, play video games, read, listen to music, and write. Some of my favorite shows include: The IT Crowd, The Office, Sex and the City, and Family Guy.And, in case you're curious, I have a Wii, Xbox 360, and Nintendo DS. Here's a link to one of my favorite songs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h09_1qdkFIA.
My Personal Philosophy of Education
What makes a good teacher? Someone who can relate to his or her students and someone who can be a mentor or role model of sorts. A teacher is a source of guidance for students while they are in school. Truly "good" teachers leave a positive impression on their students and impact their lives in a positive way. Good teachers also understand that the world is an ever-changing environment and they must be open-minded to people whose lifestyles and backgrounds are vastly different from their own. Good teachers speak to their students (if the students are at the upper-Secondary level of their educations) like they are adults, not 4th graders. Condescending teachers do not leave a positive impression on their students, nor are they as respected as teachers who talk to their students at an appropriate level.
When I become a teacher, I plan on teaching "bigger picture" ideas more in lecture-form than anything because I think that is the best way to teach students complex ideas. Outlining complex information and breaking it down into very fine, simplistic points is the most effective way to teach, in my opinion. What I would like to do in my classroom is to have my students read various novels that are considered classic works of literary merit and have them do a journal on each novel, noting the literary styles and techniques used by each author. On the due date of the journals, a student-based seminar would take place, with two students leading each seminar. The students would be graded on how well they analyzed the novel, how many times they added to the discussion of the novel in the seminar, and (for the seminar leaders) a paper on their novel. That way, my class would allow the students to express their ideas freely while still being guided in the right direction.
The purpose of schools and teaching, overall, is to teach and pass on cultures and values, keeping certain aspects of humanity alive. For example, teaching students of what the period of Romanticism in British literature and art meant to the people of that time and why it was so important would be ideas that have been kept alive by teachers because they pass them down to their students.