Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 6

Autobiography- Giovanni Mirarchi Part 1- My Learning Timeline As I journey back through my school years, I can see that there

have been many experiences that have helped shape my learning and teaching. As a youth, school was always very important to me. My parents always stressed the importance of education from a very young age. They were always supportive in my education decisions, from deciding to attend the University of Toronto, to entering teachers college at UOIT. My parents always encouraged me to pursue my interests, and supported me in every decision that I have made. From a very young age I always enjoyed going to school and being involved in a classroom setting. It provided me with an opportunity to explore, learn and be around others my own age. I enjoyed math and science as youth, and had teachers that kept me interested in both subjects. I found science interesting because it helped me explain things that happened all around me. In elementary school we studied a variety of different topics, and that allowed me to get a broad perspective in the field. I loved learning about why things work and for what reasons they do. A big part of my interest came from the teachers that taught me. My teachers in science and math helped me to stay interested in my class. In high school my science teachers were vital to me pursuing science in university. I remember each of those teachers very fondly because of their teaching techniques. Each of them provided me not only the background knowledge, but through labs, videos, and assignments, a way to further develop my critical thinking skills. Their genuine interest in the material, wealth of knowledge, and ability to convey importance to the subject were all so important to my learning. I found in high school I was an independent learner. The teacher would teach me a lecture style lesson, and I

would work through it on my own to understand it. In science, there is lots of opportunity for lecture style lessons, because of the wealth of material that must be covered in courses. I did not particularly enjoying group work because some students were not mature enough to be an effective member of a group. I found it mostly distracting, and being part of a group was not an effective way for me to learn. Teachers that I didnt particularly enjoy in high school tended to be the ones that I knew did not have a passion for what they taught. If they were teaching a course because they had to, they did not put in the effort that my other teachers did. They would be monotonous, werent particular effective at classroom management, or taught in way that I didnt particularly follow. Throughout university and beyond, my style of learning has definitely changed. While I still see myself as an independent learner, I now value the opportunity to work more with others in groups. The collection of ideas, the problems solving abilities of others, and the learning that occurs between others is something that I know see as vital. Working with others gives an opportunity for many people to share their ideas, and collectively come up with answers, or solutions to problems. As much as I loved to learn, school was also about interacting with others. Although I enjoyed being in a classroom, my fondest memories are mostly from being involved in extracurricular activities. I was always involved in playing on a sports team, or being part of school clubs or councils. The camaraderie that I developed with my teammates, the friendships that were made outside the classroom, those were my most memorable moments in school. Each of these experiences has played a role in what I feel would be an ideal learning setting. My ideal learning setting would be a place where there could be both independent

learning and group learning taking place. It would be a place where a teacher acts not as the only source of knowledge, but rather a piece of the larger picture. I value the idea I could work with others to come up with solutions to problems, and help each other with our learning. I would want experimentation (in a lab setting) to be seen in a positive aspect, where mistakes are not frowned upon, rather analyzed in a critical way. Finally technology would play a role, whether it is the use it in the classroom, or having students use it on an everyday to complete tasks, help with research, and aid in their learning. Part 2- My Teaching Timeline I have been in a couple of different teaching roles in my lifetime. I feel that my own learning experiences have played a role in my teaching careers. Firstly, I was a swimming instructor for eight years, I have also been a sports coach (competitively for the past two years), and I am currently teaching high school science. As a swimming instructor, I loved the fact that I was teaching my students a life skill that they would be able to use for the rest of their lives. Swimming is a big fear to be overcome, and helping my students work to overcome their fears was something that I was always proud of. As a swimming instructor, I found that activities I enjoyed were activities that allowed my students to learn while having fun. I found it most difficult to teach new strokes and come up with new effective drills to help encourage the learning. I would try a number of different ways to get the students to learn the stroke or practice it, and there was always frustration when the drill was ineffective for students. The most difficult part of being a swimming instructor was keeping students engaged when they were struggling with a particular stroke or item. Sometimes, no matter how much time

I spent with a student, or the variety of drills I would do, students would not be successful the first time around. It was difficult for me to see students who did not complete a certain level. I felt that sometimes I failed them as an instructor. I would wonder what I could do better next time to ensure their success. I would put greater effort into preparing my lessons, going over with other instructors different ways to teach a skill, in order to help my students be successful. The experience that I gained as a swimming instructor taught me that I had to be persistent when teaching anything. No matter how difficult it seemed for students, showing faith in them, coming up with new ways for them to learn, and ensuring that they didnt give up helped me prepare for my other teaching roles. As a sports coach I really enjoy my time working with my players to develop their skills. Any sport takes time and commitment in order to excel and when I see improvement in individual players, or with the team as a whole, I feel that I have done something right. Sometimes I find drills dealing with skills difficult to establish. I dont want to do the same drills over and over again, and finding new innovative drills is not always easy to do. As a coach, I find my time management skills to be most difficult. I want to spend as much as I can with individual players, helping them perfect their skills. Due to time constraints, I feel that there is never enough time for me to work with all of them, while at the same time building team chemistry. The most difficult thing I found in coaching was when I was doing it alone. With no one else to work with, and come up with ideas together, I find myself struggling at times to keep everyones attention. I would definitely want to work with another coach next time around so that together we can come up with ideas, and work to ensure that each of our players can improve upon his or her skills. Coaching has taught me patience is really necessary in any teaching role.

I have been in a formal teaching role for the past three years. One of those was as a student teacher, and the last two have been as a teacher. In both of these scenarios, I look most forward to educating students in the area of science. I try to show them that science can be fun and interesting, and help them work through their struggles in certain areas. I am most excited when I perform an activity that appears to help students understand course material. As a new teacher, I try to come up with new interactive ways to explain topics to students in the hopes of keeping students engaged and interested in the material. This is the most difficult part as I feel very tight for time when trying to find items for each of my classes. The most challenging part about being a teacher is trying to keep students engaged who are not interested in the course material. I find it most prevalent in the junior years (grades 9 and 10) because science is mandatory at this point. I find that it is difficult for me to look at science from an uninterested students perspective. I see everything I teach as interesting and fun, while many students have an opposing view. I feel like I struggle trying to have them perform activities, listen during class, or work with others when they dont care for the course. If I were to teach a junior level course again, I would try and include more formative assessment activities, so that students can track their learning at various intervals. Hopefully this will have them reflect on their learning, and try to take out points of interests for themselves. I have learned that when teaching these courses that I need to look at science from an alternate perspective, one where I need to make every lesson applicable to students. Part 3- Where do the timelines overlap Based on my own past experiences, I chose to continue my studies in science, and ultimately become a science teacher. It is because my teachers in high school inspired me in the field that I

chose to study science. It is my hope that I can also inspire my students in the same way. How I teach has also been influenced through the way that I learned. I find that sometimes, I spend a little too much time directly teaching the students, and not enough time letting them explore on their own. My preferred learning style acts a bias for some of my lessons. I find this especially true with my applied level students. Since I was always in academic level classes, it has been difficult for me to adjust to the class. I find that I still do things too similar to an academic class, because that is all that I was exposed to as a student. My courses were very material based, with a little time for self assessment or reflection pieces. This is something that I never experienced in school, so whenever I try something, it is new for me and my students. I hope to be able to implement more of these formative assessments in each of my courses and will continue to work hard to ensure that I diversify my lessons to expose students to a number of different learning styles.