Reflection Paper on Becoming a Teacher

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Reflection Paper on Becoming a Teacher
Introduction
I come to education later in life and with a passion.  I did not expect that I would have a second career.  I volunteered last year in my daughter’s kindergarten class for a few hours a week to be generous to the community.  Quickly, I discovered that I was the one receiving the gift.  The children were extraordinary; exciting, challenging, and loving.  Her teachers and the other teachers I met at her school were extraordinary as well.  Their caring, professionalism, and openheartedness moved and inspired me. Reasons for Wanting to Become a Teacher

I believe that teaching is an essential and noble profession.  Next to parents, teachers are the most important foundational element in our society.  Everything important begins in childhood, especially knowledge, self-knowledge, resilience, and character.  Proper preparation is fundamental to living a full, rewarding life.  Without self-knowledge, children may follow wrong paths and end up far from their true callings; lost, sad, and unfulfilled.  Without resilience, the storms and challenges of life can turn children from their highest path, leaving them far from who they might have been.  Finally, character is the intangible force that raises society as a whole, minimizes shocks and collisions between people, and balances self-interest and social good.  Ideally, all of this education starts in the home but often the parents themselves may be inadequately skilled in this regard.  School is a necessary complement to and supplement of this learning. As I began to read about children and education, a new world opened.  I understood that I had the opportunity to make at least a few children’s educational experiences more nurturing and productive than my own had been.  The brilliant body of work I was reading was ripe with opportunities to improve the outcomes and experiences of students today.  In not much time, it became clear to me that the second half of my life would be about children and their education.

Personal Characteristics That Will Make Me an Effective Teacher I have been a teacher all my life in various ways.  I have a love of learning.  Sharing that learning is part of the fun.  I never imagined that I would, but I love the students.  I love their innocence and their simple joys and their fresh eyes as they look at the world.  I love the challenge of communicating ideas and skills.  I love the idea of leading a team of learners toward a goal of demonstrated mastery.  I love the idea of giving these children a set of skills and an outlook that will hold them, solid, brave, and capable, as they move through the balance of their academic career and through life. I have no doubt that I can be effective.  I succeeded in the competitive world of Wall Street with a fraction of the passion, enthusiasm, and dedication I bring to this work.  By the end of 18 months of academic training, I will have the knowledge to be effective.  I have been in the classroom since the fall of 2009 and will remain there throughout my academic training.  I will have an added 14 weeks of intensive student teaching as the culmination of this program.  I am a SCUBA instructor and an Emergency First Response Instructor.  I am a trained sky diver and I worked as a trader and trading manager.  I noted with surprise a few months ago that when the atmosphere in the classroom becomes chaotic and loud, I just about reach my optimal operating level of stress.  I much prefer organized, calm, and quiet but I will have no trouble keeping a clear head during the challenging moments.

How I Will Stay Current as a Teacher
My love of learning will be a powerful force, driving my continued acquisition of pedagogical and content knowledge.  I am highly creative and will continue to experiment with learning tools and strategies.  I also have a high level of technical competence and look forward to exploring and expanding the limits of SMART boards ™ and...
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