Habit of Mind 1

Habit of Mind #1: To be thoughtful and caring learner-teachers, open and eager to know and to be known and to respect self and others.

 

 

            Over the years of my professional development I have learned how to connect with my students in productive ways.  At first, when I started taking education courses I thought that it would be easy for my future students and I to relate with one another. I thought this because I figured that I was a “cool” guy and I had good relationships with most of my teachers so why wouldn’t my future students not like me.  Well, I was wrong because I was ignorant and immature in my early education days.  I have not changed the reasons why I want to be a teacher but rather the ways I will reach these goals.  I knew back in high school that I wanted to become an educator because I wanted to help kids like my teachers had helped me.  I wanted to be involved in helping our future as a country by teaching our youth how to be upstanding citizens.  Lastly, I wanted to have a close relationship with my future students.  This means to be on a personal level with all my students, truly knowing them instead of just knowing their name. 

            These goals are still intact however; I have found that they do not come as easily as I originally thought.  I had to learn HOW to be a great teacher, one that meets each of the 3 goals I mentioned above.  This was much more difficult than I imagined it would be.  I had to get to know myself and be truthful in this learning process.  Through my self-paper that I wrote in Education 201 I had for the first time taken the step in getting to know who I was as a person and professional.  Although I had good ideas and made important steps in my development as a teacher, I was very naïve and too idealistic about teaching.  It wasn’t until I was able to get into classrooms and actually begin “teaching” not just observing did I realize that in order for me to meet the goals I had set out for myself I had to put my views and beliefs of the past out of my mind and begin to adapt new ones.  I had to not only get to know myself on a deeper level but I also had to learn how to get to know my students on a personal level. 

            This semester student-teaching there was a constant struggle for me to learn how to build that rapport with the students. I had implemented solid lesson plan and creative ways to asses in all of my classes.  However, it did not matter I still did not know my students on a personal level. By getting myself involved in Action Research I was able to learn how to effective build rapport with students in order to make my teaching more effective. I started each History class with current events which gave us the opportunity to talk and get to know each other on a personal level. I found through researching the most effective way to build rapport was to communicate with the students. Taking time not only to talk to the students but listen as well. I was fortunate once I established the rapport with my students to have a few “allies” within my classes. These were kids that I could go to when I was going to try a new lesson or when I wanted to know if they would like the activity we were doing for the day. I have not found the exact key to building rapport with my students, but I have learned many new techniques to start the process.

            In the future I hope to continue to stay in-touch with myself and my students by constantly reflecting in a journal and by staying interested in their lives.  I can’t tell you how much it means to a kid when a teacher shows interest in their student’s lives.  I want to go to a band concert, or art show that my students put on. Going to after school activities shows the students you care and you can learn a lot about who your students are outside of school.  I also want to always let my student’s have a say in the material we learn in class.  If I don’t let them have a voice in the class how can they enjoy their time in school?Action Reserach artifact

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