When I grow up, I want to be a teacher. I have been saying this since I was 6 years old and I am now 21. For 15 years I have been playing school and attending school and watching everyone around me. I watch my teachers in high school and try to look for traits I want to incorporate into my own teaching technique. I thought I could be a kickass teacher but when I got to UNC I realized I did not know anything about what it really meant to be a teacher. My professors here at UNC are the best role models a girl can ask for. More specifically my education teachers are the ones who teach me the most about myself and about how I can incorporate myself into the system.
In politics of reading, Professor Hall has created this space where opinion s matter and where every student is in charge of their own education. She created an end of the year project which we receive little guidelines for because she wanted us to just run with an idea and see what happens. My entire life teachers have given strict instruction with assignments and even at times heading on papers, which is ridiculous). This freedom allowed me to research grades and the argument of no grades in a classroom. For a wannabe teacher, this is huge. I researched grades and talked to teachers who had drifted away from the normal grading systems in school. I was able to meet teachers who cared so much about their students that they would put in the extra work and face criticism from peers and parents. Every time the teachers would say it was all worth it because the students would finally be able to learn and stop worrying about being graded.
The one assignment I am most proud about in this entire year was for this class. It was my blog post call Anxiety in School. I wrote that blog with tears in my eyes as I typed all of my frustration that has been building for the last 8 years of my public education. It was so cathartic and really forced me to confront a lot of my own troubles with public education. I was so proud of that piece of writing because I thought it was so accurate to how students felt about the competitive nature of education. This will serve as a constant reminder to me when I become a teacher to keep in mind how I felt as student and the overwhelming nature of competitive academics.
This class has been an amazing opportunity for me to self-reflect and also listen to my peers about subjects that are so relevant to us. We discussed everything from No Child Left Behind to Scripted Curriculum. Listening and watching my peers with this material has given me the opportunity to pick at their own ideas and incorporate them into my own thoughts for how I want to teach. This class taught me how to approach the difficult subjects of curriculum but also how to make your own way in schools. We skyped teachers who have implemented new programs in schools and discussed how they were able to accomplish their own goals in a system full of state laws. This class has highlighted many problems with the school system in America but more importantly it has taught me that no matter what don’t give up hope. Education is greatly affected by who is teaching it. So thank you to my classmates and to those who have read this blog! Most importantly, thank you Professor Hall for this awesome semester and for everything you taught me!