I have always known I wanted to become a teacher. I can remember the first day I walked into my own second grade classroom. There were no students there. The room was bare. Even the windows were bare. The only thing there was an old, battered rug rolled up in a corner. I saw so many possibilities. I saw the area that would house my library. I could picture my little donated bean bags all arranged in a circle in one corner of the room. I pictured my white rocker, my husband worked so diligently to restore to its original glory, in the circle time area awaiting duty. I could imagine pictures on the walls, plush and colorful bulletin boards, and smiling faces looking up at me. I can remember the day the students came. The room was all set up. Everything was in place. My bare windows were fully clothed with makeshift blinds I had fashioned from vibrant, fadeless bulletin board paper. My principal ordered my matching color-blocked rug, which had been delivered just the day before. My library was all set up. The pillows and beanbags, the handmade bulletin boards, and the larger than life Disney characters made my classroom one of the best decorated classrooms on campus. However, these things alone did not make me a successful teacher. The school was implementing new reading and math programs. Teachers had been attending training leading up to the start of school. I have always loved reading and language arts and math has always been a simple subject to me. So, I welcomed the experience. I was excited about implementing the new programs. On that first day, I was educated and prepared. I stood there looking over all the new little faces in front of me and I had a brief panic attack. I had no idea what happened. They were all so small and they were all depending on me to get them through this next year. I suddenly felt overwhelmed. I grabbed bottled water from my refrigerator and took a few sips, before downing the entire bottle. I grabbed the book I had set aside to read to the class. I called them all to the carpet and I began to read. Somewhere between the front cover and the back cover, I realized I could relax because I was in the right place. The past few years of teaching elementary school have been rewarding. After been transferred to middle school one year and back to an elementary school the next, I began having an uneasy feeling again. This time it was not the feeling of uncertainty. It was more a feeling of urgency to move on in my career. I realized I needed to begin to make preparations to teach on the secondary level. I knew that if I was going to make that change, I wanted to be able to teach subjects I loved, such as, reading, writing, language arts, English composition or literature. Preparation would be required. For the past nine months, I have been completing those courses which will give me enough credit hours to qualify for state certification in one of the areas mentioned above. My courses have definitely been preparing me for the next course in my life. I have been diligently reading, studying and completing my coursework. I have learned many different strategies which will ensure my success on the next level of my career. I have a refreshed vision on how to teach writing in a classroom environment. I have moved away from the more traditional style of teaching writing and have learned to use strategies which will enhance student learning. I will begin by having a writing workshop to expose my students to writing. In this workshop, I will introduce my students to the Six-Traits writing process to help structure writing. In my teaching I will, apply the different strategies which have been proven to help my ELL students. I will also be sure to incorporate digital writing into my lesson. These are the strategies which I feel will be most helpful in creating successful writers. Writing is not necessarily about learning to write stories and poems....
References: Atwell, N. (1998). In the middle. New Hampshire: Heinemann.
Kent, R. and Newkirk, T.(2007). Teaching the Neglected "R". New Hampshire: Heinemann.
National Council of Teachers of English(2012). NCTE Beliefs about the Teaching of Writing. Retrieved from http://www.ncte.org/positions/statements/writingbeliefs
Spandel, V. (2001). Creating writers: Through 6-trait writing assessment and instruction (3rd ed.). New York: Addison Wesley Longman.
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