Personal Reflection: What Does It Mean to Be Educated

In what does it mean to be educated essay I will answer this quastion from personal perspective. Ever since I was young, I loved the idea of school and teaching. I have a passion for learning and always knew that I wanted to teach one day. The first time I truly realized that I wanted to be a teacher was when I taught my little sisters their ABC’s, I was nine years old. I worked with my sisters and soon when they started kindergarten, they were able to write their own names and the alphabet. When I think back, I realize I was proud of myself. However, I can remember that I was also proud of their accomplishments as well. I think one of the most important concepts of teaching is letting the children know they are the ones that have accomplished a goal.

To me, the purpose of being educated is to implant a basic sense of knowledge in individuals and expand the horizon of the world. I do not think education is something that should be forced, but I would highly recommend the entire education process. However, I do not feel that education is meant for everyone. I feel that people are born with an inner desire to learn. Gradually, those people turn that desire into a lifelong career. I hope to encourage my students to try their best and be content with their abilities. I do not believe that all children are able to reach the same academic level but I do feel that each individual child has his/her own way of understanding things that will make sense to him/her. I hope to emphasize the variety of ways to learn in my classroom. Different ways of learning include, but are not limited to include: visually, verbally, and physical learning. I am aware that classrooms have students that use one or more ways and I plan to incorporate these diverse ways throughout my teaching. I want my students to be able to learn in whatever way they are capable of. With my goal to exhibit different ways of learning, I feel that my future curriculum would include a combination of subjects that come with different learning styles. This idea brings me to the question of which philosophical approach to education I agree with.

As a person training to be a teacher, I think educators are the most valuable resource our country has. Many of the jobs and careers in this world none of them would be possible without teachers. My philosophy is mainly a combination of hands-on work and discovery. I want my students to gain knowledge from the past, present, and future possibilities. I do plan to enforce procedures and rules because discipline is an important part of education. However, I do not want to be too controlling. I will include the traditional academics in my classroom. Through the traditional structures of education, a sense of balance is formed for the students. I think students need to know the basic, common facts for academic and even emotional development. I also think the majority of subjects can be related to one another and generally call for basic knowledge in other content courses. I find myself agreeing with the progressive approach because I understand that teachers need to do certain things to help their students. Students need the guidance of some sort to challenge and motivate them. Students do need to learn to do things on their own, yet with a push from their teachers. Classrooms should be a place where students can interact freely with their teachers. Students should not be hesitant to ask the teacher questions.

Growing up I always thought the only teachers that are in my life are the ones in school. I soon realized that I was wrong. Teachers can be anyone; they can be aunts, uncles, grandmothers, fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters. For anything to be learned it must be taught. I remember many times my mom and dad sitting me to talk about some situations that might happen to me as I get older and what I would do to solve them. Classroom teachers are the ones that students will see throughout the day. They will learn social skills and manners from them. Teachers are role models whether they want to be or not, it is part of their job.

Teachers are very important in our society because we need them to provide our youth with the knowledge and social experiences they will need to improve their lives. As a person training to become a teacher, I hope to influence many lives and help students understand what education can do for them and their future. I can recall a teacher from high school who actually talked about college and what we would need to do to be better prepared for college. Mr. Chambers was my twelfth-grade literature teacher. He had been a college professor before deciding to teach at a high school. He explained many concepts about college that many of us students did not understand. He helped me and many others to prepare for the way things would be in college. This is just a small example of what teachers are for, to educate students on more than just books or academics but on life. Teachers are more than just people who relay information about a certain subject.

I chose education as my career path because I hope to be able to make a small difference in a student’s life. I felt that I was not academically influenced in school. I feel that as a future educator I can transform students’ progress in learning. Progress in the classroom can teach students respect for individuality. The person most responsible for the success of progressivism was John Dewey. Dewey taught that people are social animals who learn well through active interplay with others and that our learning increases when we are engaged in activities that have meaning for us. Book learning, to Dewey, was not a substitution for actually doing things. This goes to Dewey's theory that knowledge is acquired and expanded as we apply our previous experiences to solving new, meaningful problems. Education, to Dewey, is a reconstruction of experience, an opportunity to apply previous experiences in new ways. With the use of the scientific method, Dewey proposed a five-step method for solving problems: becoming aware of the problem, defining it, propose various hypotheses to solve it, examine the consequences of each hypothesis in the light of previous experience, and test the most likely solution.

I will try to create a comfortable atmosphere in my classroom by giving my students a chance to get to know one another and not just sit in a desk the entire class day. I plan on having activities that involve movement and entertainment. Although I want my students to have a sense of freedom in class, I will enforce behavioral rules. I plan on using many different topics using different teaching styles to teach. I do not want to be the boring teacher that goes the same thing throughout the years. I want to experiment with new teaching techniques in hopes that students will learn to analyze certain topics on their own. I want my students to learn to analyze things when the situation may call for it; however, I want them to be able to rely on facts and primary reasoning. I also want my students to feel free to explore their creative sides, but of course, without interrupting my teaching. I will make time for my students to show their creativity and individuality in subjects such as art and writing. I will base my curriculum on genuine facts because I feel that such traditional teachings will provide students with balance and stability.

From my educational experience, I learned that many students learn best from what they consider relevant to their lives. I will try to center the curriculum on the experiences, interests, and abilities of students. I want to plan lessons that raise student curiosity and push them to a higher level of knowledge. In addition to reading textbooks, the students must learn by doing certain hands-on projects. In school, students are encouraged to interact with one another and to develop social virtues such as cooperation and tolerance for different points of view. Also, teachers feel no compulsion to focus their students' attention on one discrete discipline at a time, and students may be responsible for learning lessons that combine several different subjects. Teachers try to emphasize in their curriculum the study of the natural and social sciences and expose students to many new scientific, technological, and social developments, reflecting the notion of progress. Students are also exposed to a more democratic curriculum that recognizes the accomplishments of many people. In addition, students solve problems in the classroom similar to those they will encounter outside of the schoolhouse; they learn to be flexible problem-solvers.

I believe that education should be an enriching process of ongoing growth, not merely a preparation for adult lives. I believe that the study of traditional subject matter is appropriate for all students, regardless of interest and personal experience. By including instruction in industrial arts and home economics, teachers strive to make schooling both interesting and useful. Ideally, the home, workplace, and schoolhouse blend together to generate a continuous, fulfilling learning experience in life. It is the dream of many teachers that their students will take the knowledge they are taught to use in their life experiences.

I felt that I am learning more about myself as an educated individual. I felt myself grow into knowing more about the educational field than ever before. Many of the readings in the class can be related to education and many other topics. I felt that the readings helped me prepare to learn the foundations of teaching with a goal. I decided to get out of my comfort zone and challenge myself to teach and learn at the same time. I chose education as my career path because I hope to be able to make a small difference in a child’s life. I want to be an appropriate role model in my future student’s lives. I feel that an educator must not only be able to convey to the student the classroom material, but also to the parents. Failing to fulfill these roles gives a child the chance to slip through the educational system without having the opportunity to influence them to some degree.

To end up, as I look into my future, I can see myself working towards a position with Chicago Public schools or other neighboring suburban schools. My dream is to successfully teach in a 3rd- 5th classroom. I have plans to continue to further my education by receiving further education training and possibly working on completing my master’s degree in teaching. I am excited and looking forward to working in the school system. I am interested in touching the lives of many students just like many teachers before me. I want to inspire children of all ages and install a sense of desire and fulfillment in their lives. I want the students to know that they can do anything and be anything, as long as it is what they want. I want to one-day grow and become the person that leaves students with the motivation of learning.  

05 January 2023
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