I am a fourth year education student at the University of Regina. I am an ordinary, small town, Saskatchewan girl who loves the prairies and is an enthusiastic Roughrider fan. My family consists of my parents, born and raised in southern Saskatchewan, and a younger brother and sister. When I entered Grade one we moved from central Saskatchewan to Naicam; here, is where I went to my K-12 school, and where my love for teaching had started.
When my family and I had moved to Naicam, my mom had got a job in the school as the secretary. Because of this, I have been able to see the inside workings of the school and have come to know my teachers as people. Both my neighbors are teachers, and one of them is a long-time family friend. I have been around the school environment and teachers all my life and have consequently grown to love it and have aspired to join the teaching force.
My love of school had been obvious all throughout K-12. I always took great pride in getting good grades, and was also greatly motivated by doing better, or as good as, my very smart friends. I loved making my parents and teachers happy when I did well, and used this to push me to study harder. I also loved taking part in almost all of the extracurricular sports and clubs that I could. I was president of SADD (students against drunk drivers), member of the fundraising committee in SRC ( student representative committee), and a leader in my school’s volleyball team which I loved doing. I was scared when Grade 12 finished and I was forced to leave the place I had grown up in and had become so comfortable; however, it was exciting knowing I would re-enter school in the role I had always anticipated doing.
Certain extracurricular clubs had further increased my interest in teaching- mentorship was definitely one of these clubs. I had always looked forward to going and reading and helping students in grades K-5. This experience had really shown me my love for teaching and helping students reach a concept they were struggling with. Also, being a leader in SRC, SADD, and volleyball had really shown me that I was comfortable leading and speaking in front of a group of people. The clubs and sports I was in helped me grow as an individual and shape me into the pre-service teacher I am today.
The decision to be a teacher was one I had made a long time ago. When I was in Grade 3, our class was asked to fill-out a time capsule form for which we would re-open in Grade 12. During our graduation ceremonies these forms were read aloud; when mine was read, it said things like “my favorite color was green”, “my favorite food was tacos”, and “when I grew up, I want to be a teacher”. Likewise, it was no surprise to my parents when I had made the decision to apply to the Faculty of Education at the U of R.
I had always known I was meant to be in the classroom, the only decision that was really hard to make was what I would major in. When I was a little girl, instead of playing house, I would make my sister and brother play school with me. I would make them sing “Oh Canada”, make them work in activity/coloring books, give them recess outside, and then happily put check marks all over their pages. I had thought I had known what the duties of a teacher were but it wasn’t until I met my Grade 11/12 chemistry/media studies teacher that that understanding grew. When I had first taken a class from this teacher I was confused why she wasn’t teaching the way a lot of my other teachers had taught- follow the textbook and assign questions relating to the reading. The first chemistry class I had attended by this instructor we had done an activity that was based off the TV show “Amazing Race”. This was such a fun activity and I was surprised to see some of my classmates who normally didn’t participate or enjoy class, to share the same opinion I did. Another example of this teacher changing my viewpoint of teaching was in media studies. Usually media studies was a time when we looked at microsoft and working on our typing skills; however, during one of her lessons we did a unit about video production. The thing that made it stand out is that instead of doing a classic written exam of what we had learned, we instead had made a lipdub with our grade 12 class that still assessed our knowledge. This was a fun assessment method that got everyone excited and involved, still accomplished the same thing as the written exam, and was something we were able to show at our graduation ceremonies. This was the first year this teacher had taught; however, the enthusiasm and desire to get the most out of her students had made up for her lack of experience. The time and effort she had put into our classes, which would have been a lot, had made such a huge difference in how well her students did. Classmates who had usually gotten left behind due to the confusion and difficult concepts were right with the rest of the class and shared the same amount of interest and motivation to do well.
I will never be able to truly thank this teacher enough for the impact she had on my teaching career and understanding of school; however, I will surely try by motivating and pushing my students the same way she did for me. From her actions and teaching methods I have learned to have patience and take the time to learn all about my students, especially their strengths and weaknesses. I have also learned the importance of playing towards my students’ interests when planning lessons to ensure students engage in the lesson. One other concept I had learned, one that I will definitely use when I teach, is to treat my students with respect and not like little children. So often there are those teachers that everyone remembers for the sole reason they were extremely patronizing and condescending. When you treat your students with respect, it is a lot more likely they will show you the same treatment and listen to what you have to say.
Finally, this teacher has sparked a passionate interest in me about chemistry and inclusive education. After talking to this teacher and learning from her classes I was able to make that very hard decision I had not yet figured out about my post secondary education. I had so much fun in her classroom and had became so interested in chemistry I had finally applied to the U of R majoring in chemistry and minoring in inclusive education. With the burning desire to be a teacher, and now the desire to spark my students’ interest in science (like what had happened to me), I was confident I had made the right decision when applying into the Faculty of Education. Since that decision, and after the two years already completed in my program, I am even more excited to finish my schooling and get back into the classroom and invoke the same feelings in my students. I will never cease to stop learning, stop growing, and stop trying for the benefit and success of my students.