How did I become the person I am today? Is it because of the way my parents raised me? Does it have anything to do with the friends that I had growing up? Could it be that my teachers went above and beyond their content to teach me life lessons? The fact is that I had many influences in my life including my parents, friends and teachers that led me down the path to become the adult I am today. The numerous social contexts that I have encountered in my life each had their own part in contributing to my behaviors, personality, beliefs, goals and essentially every part of my being.
As an adolescent, and even as an adult, much of the information and guidance I have received about achieving adult status was acquired from my parents. I am very fortunate to have parents who have made such a positive impact on my life. As an adolescent, I did not always get along with my parents. They were very strict and I was often angry with them for not letting me have as much freedom as my friends. I can still hear my mom saying, “If your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?” Now, as an adult, I understand that they really were just trying to look out for me. As far as preparing me for adulthood, my parents encouraged me to always do my best. My parents taught me that hard work is important and not only did they talk the talk, but they walked the walk. They led by example, and because of them I have an excellent work ethic which will be useful when I begin my teaching career (which I hope is very soon).
Many adolescents do not look to their parents for information and guidance. They often feel like their parents do not understand them or their problems. As a teacher, I can try to help foster strong relationships between parents and students by providing support for those families who need it. I can provide parents with information about raising adolescents as it can be a very tough time with their child going through so many changes. As far as the students are concerned, I can encourage them to go to their parents for advice and let them know that their parents are smarter than they think. I can even provide them with examples from my own life where my parents gave me excellent advice, even though I didn’t think that at the time.
Another influential source of information and guidance in my adolescent years was that of my middle and high school teachers. In fact, one of the reasons that I chose teaching as a career was because of the positive interactions that I had with many of my own teachers. My favorite teachers were the ones who taught me how to be a better person, not just a better student. They had high expectations, taught organizational skills, encouraged self initiative, and provided guidance and advice outside of the content. I felt like they were always open to help in any situation.
I want my students to understand that teachers can make a make a big difference in their life. I want them to know that they can always come to me when they have a problem and that I will always try my best to help them find a solution. I hope to teach them skills that they can use after they leave my classroom. I want what I teach them to stay with them forever, not just while I am their teacher. I also think it is important that they are encouraged to have relationships with other teachers, not just myself. All teachers have experienced adolescence, and each one of us brings something different to the table. If I am not able to help a student with a problem, then I can point them to someone who can.
In typical adolescent fashion, I was also very influenced by my peers. While it may not seem that adolescent peers would provide much information and guidance for reaching adult status that is just simply not true. Interactions with my peers taught me about handling conflict, considering others, and making decisions. These peer experiences prepared me for similar situations that I would encounter as an adult. I think that peer interactions...
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