Habit of Mind 4

Habit of Mind #4: To be youth advocates, desiring, a more fair, equitable, and democratic society.


            For this I think that if I wasn’t a youth advocate I would not be in teaching in the first place.  I have always taken pride and loved working with youth.  I think role models are the best thing a young student can have in their life and they can come in many different forms.  When I was growing up I had role models I looked to like my uncles and older athletes who always seemed to take me under their wing.  Without these people to look up to it would have been easy for me to get lost.  The transition of looking up to a role model and being a role model is tough.  When I started observing for my education courses I did not know how to be a good role model since I did not see myself as someone people looked up too.  Teaching high school it is easy to feel this way since at my age I am not much older than these students. However, I think this closeness in age was what allowed me to relate to my students during student-teaching so well.

            I started out my year in mid-August with the start of football camp. I was able to coach the freshman football team at Marshall and by doing so got to know a lot of the kids I would eventually have in class before the first bell of the school year had sounded. This was a major help once I got into the classroom and stood in front of the class for the first time to teach. One thing that was an early battle for me was giving away information about myself because I didn’t know how far these kids would run with it. I found out they were just trying to get to know me just like I was trying to get to know them. I realized the more I told personal stories the more they felt comfortable because I could relate to them. I gave the kids a lot of different options within the class because I wanted the students to feel as if they had a voice in the direction we were taking the lesson. One student said to me that he wished we did “cool art projects in English like I gave my History students.” This really stuck with me and made me challenge myself to create a lesson that was a creative art project.  I came up with what was a very successful lesson where I had the students make “monsters” just like Victor Frankenstein had made a monster in the novel we were reading. I’ll never forget how I felt when that student came up to me and thanked me for listening to him and not blowing him off. I really felt like I grew during the student-teaching semester here in this Habit of Mind because instead of saying this is the assignment deal with it, I listened to my students and created lessons based on their passions and skills. create your own monster artifact

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