When I think of education, I immediately think of the teachers I’ve had throughout school. Some may say that the content and curriculum is the most important part of a classroom, but I prefer to think that the life skills gained through the interactions of peers and teachers are the most important parts of a classroom. Looking back on school, I barely remember things like the Pythagorean Theorem or Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. What I remember are the teachers I had and the lessons I learned about life. This is the reason why being a good teacher, who engages their students, is so critical.
First of all, lesson plans should be interesting so that the students become engaged and involved in classroom activities. If a student is bored, they will not remember the content, and certainly not enjoy being there. The information that is being taught must be relevant to students’ lives. Many students, at some point or another, question something they are learning in school. For instance, students typically question the use of mathematical procedures. They say, “When am I ever going to use this in life?” As a teacher, my job will be to incorporate things that students must learn with things they already know. Progressive teachers know this crucial piece of information and take action to develop their skills.
Socially speaking, I think it is very important to inform students on the importance of current issues. After all, these students are the people who will grow up to solve the problems of tomorrow. It is up to them to reconstruct the structural downfalls of our nation. They will be making the decisions about war, peace, and equality. As we educate them, we need to be aware of the “whole child” and the present problems in their lives. For example, a student with problems at home may have the same problems when they are older if it is not taken care of early. Psychologists can tell you that children sometimes blame themselves for parental problems. If a child lives with this guilt for years and years, they may develop permanent psychological damage. However, when one single teacher shows them that it is not their fault, they can potentially live a normal, healthy life.
As I prepare for a career in education, I plan to focus on my students and not simply what facts they need to memorize for their latest test. I hope to be a guide and mentor for their lives. Learning should not be a chore, but rather a smaller part of the grand scheme of education. It should be fun and interesting for everyone involved. The students should be
engaged when learning and the teacher must be enthusiastic about what is being taught. If a teacher is bored in a class, the students will almost definitely share the opinion.
Educators should simply do their best to convey what they know to their students in the most effective way possible.