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As a teacher, children are my primary focus and responsibility. While I am a teacher of history, I am more importantly a teacher of children, no matter what class I am teaching. To lose sight of the needs of children is the surest way to fail as an educator. To succeed as a teacher, I must remain focused on the students at all times. Children are surely our greatest assets. Their ability to grow is astounding – a well-taught child can make leaps that would not have seemed possible at the beginning of the year.
While they are amazing, children can also be very difficult for a teacher who cannot keep them focused. Maintaining control of the classroom is vital – no learning can happen without control. While children can make the teacher’s life difficult, this should not frustrate the teacher. Education is, despite its difficulty, a vital task. Education prepares our children for potential success in a difficult world, a world in which education is vital. Ideally, education should also help to reduce the class inequality that is so pervasive in our society. It is my hope that, education can provide students with an opportunity to get out of poverty, instead of maintaining the poor quality of life that many students experience.
As a teacher of history, it is also important for me to make history interesting and immediately relevant for my students. For too long, history has been taught as a boring mass of facts that students must memorize, repeat and then forget. Few students ever really remember, much less understand, the history that they learn in high school. Instead, they often hate history, and see it as a dead discipline and a waste of time. One of my goals as a history teacher is to change this perception and to make history an interesting and engaging subject that students will like. This will not be an easy task; however, I am dedicated to getting my students interested in history.
In order to make this happen, my primary resource will be a higher-level approach to history. My students will be exposed to the causal nature of history, and asked to consider the causes and effects of historical events. My students will be able to place historical events in context and, as a result, will understand why they happened.
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In addition to understanding history at a higher level, my students will also develop skills that will aid them in other classes as well as in life. They will develop the ability to read documents critically and analyze them for content. Class discussions will force students to think critically about historical materials, an ability that will translate well to other situations. Students in my classes will also sharpen their writing skills and learn basic research methods.
Most importantly, I will always be dedicated to teaching and to my students. I will strive to do the best I can for my students to ensure that they learn as much as they possibly can, so that they grow not just as students but as people as well. Teaching is not something that I take lightly – it is my intention to give all that I can for the well-being of my students.