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Educate Reflection Deanna M. Clark Loyola Marymount University


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To educate is not just to teach grade-level standards, but also to nourish the mind, body, and spirit of students, and to instill a love of learning that will last throughout their lives. Standards should be met in relevant and creative ways that allow students to experience art, movement, nature, music, inter-personal communication, and intrapersonal reflection (Vardin, 2013). Furthermore, the education that I provide to my students should be just a seed that continues to grow both through the work of teachers to come and through the passion and curiosity of the students themselves. While academic excellence is an expectation in my classroom, it is but one part of the education that I hope for my students to receive during the year that I am in their lives. It is the role of a teacher to develop the whole person, far beyond their speed of multiplying two numbers or the quality of the paragraph that they write (Loyola Marymount University Department of Education, 2009). Students should be given opportunities to think critically, to experience emotions, to learn organization, to explore topics that interest them, to use technology, to be creative, and to learn about current events. While this may require extra work on the part of the teacher, it is necessary for the well being of the students, and in turn, of society. I plan lessons that allow my students to experience math, science, social studies, and grammar through pictures, songs, and movements. I facilitate many content-based discussions that teach my students communication and cooperation skills. I believe that there is no point throughout the school day that cannot be used to cultivate some facet of the students person.


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It is useless, however, to invest so much time and effort into the students learning, if it will simply cease once they leave the classroom. Teachers must inspire a love of learning in students so that they may become lifelong learners, pursuing and expanding their passions and knowledge of the world long after their formal education has ended. Teachers must therefore ensure that days are filled with opportunities for independent discovery, with a relevant curriculum, and with a model of this love of learning. Students must first be engaged in the daily tasks of learning math and reading through fun and varied pedagogy. The teacher should use humor, games, and appropriate challenges so that students enjoy being at school each day. I have a personal goal to make my students laugh at least one time everyday, and to take the time to readjust the mood in the classroom if it seems low. Additionally, the students must understand why they go to school, why they learn, and must feel confidence in their abilities, in order to find an intrinsic motivation in these things (Bandura, 1997). The teacher must also pay attention to the interests and aspirations of her students, incorporating these into their education so that they can further realize their goals and passions. Finally, the teacher must show her students what it looks and feels like to be a lifelong learner, modeling enthusiasm, curiosity, and drive for them. While it is important for my students to be high achieving, and I push them to strive to be their best academically, when I think of myself as an educator I hold myself accountable for much more than meeting academic standards. It is my hope that my students leave third grade having grown in all aspects of their being, and with an innate excitement to continue their growth far into the future.


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References Bandura, A. (1997). Self-Efficacy: The exercise of control. New York: Freeman Loyola Marymount University Department of Education (2009). Conceptual Framework. Retrieved from http://www.lmu.edu/asset5375.aspx Vardin, P. A. (2003). Montessori and Gardners Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Montessori Life, 15(1), 40-43.