“A critical incident is one which causes a person to pause and contemplate the events that have occurred to try to give them some meaning. This may be a positive experience or a negative one. Using a critical incident as a way of reflecting involves the identification of behaviour deemed to have been particularly helpful or unhelpful in a given situation” (Hannigan, 2001). Generally, everyone in society has been taught by a teacher, they made a difference in children and influenced them to become the future generation of tomorrow. There are three critical incidents that have shaped my thinking about teaching from my experiences in primary and secondary school.
While reflecting back on my time at my primary school, I could vividly remember my teacher Miss Cameel , she was my Standard Three teacher. Miss Cameel inspired me to become a teacher by the way she interacted with us, she was very patient, caring and understanding to all her students and I admired that about her. The manner that she taught was creative, fun and it was easy for us to learn and concentrate. She treated us like her own and that made me appreciated her even more. I remembered after school I would impersonate Miss Cameel, I would pretend to teach just like her and while growing up becoming a teacher was always my aspiration.
Another incident that I encountered was in Standard five, my teacher Miss Sherry was a very strict person when it comes to teaching. She would always say that punishment was the best way for a child to learn faster and that’s exactly what she did to us. We were preparing for SEA Examination, we would practice past papers then corrected it and the amount we got wrong, she would strike us on our hands with her long, thick ruler. This made us became afraid of her and everyone disliked Miss Sherry because of that. Despite of the punishment, it helped us improved and focused alot better at the end. I personally dislike this method of punishment because it wasn’t the appropriate way of teaching us to learn, I believe that there are other methods of dealing with this situation without harsh punishment.
Also when I was in form five attending Barrackpore West Secondary School, I took extra lessons and I encountered a critical incident that I dealt with. One day in lessons I came across a young girl, Chanel, who attended my same school but was in form one, she was behaving impolite to the lessons teacher and using obscene language. I approached her in school and started a conversation, she told me that she lived in a contemptible environment without responsible parents to guide her. Chanel was an intelligent person, she did really well in her school work but she had an attitude towards people due to her experiences in her home. We would communicate with each other and I assisted her in any possible way I could because she wanted someone who would listen and helped her.
Furthermore, I am currently attending The University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) doing my Bachelors degree in education and later on would like to specialize in Primary Education. I enjoy being apart of children’s life and making a difference for them. I would like to follow in Miss Cameel’s footsteps by being the best teacher I could be. I am very attentive, creative, caring and patient when it comes to children and being a teacher is my destiny. When it comes to punishment, I disagree since it makes children fail focus and lose interest in school, incase a matter arises I would deal with the situation by communicating with my students and further explain the lesson or by giving extra homework rather than punishment. I enjoy consulting with children and helping them overcome their problems and become independent on their own.
The three critical incidents mentioned shaped my thinking about teaching in a positive way. The experiences I encountered throughout primary and secondary school, I was able to attain a lot of knowledge about being a teacher. I would like to become a teacher because I have a passion for children, I enjoy spending time listening and experiencing new challenges in life. Being a role model to my students would be an honor, I want to be able to make positive changes in my students and inspire them that anything is possible once they put their minds towards it.
Hannigan, B. (2001) A discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of reflection in nursing practice and education. Journal of Clinical Nursing 10: 278-283.