Being born and raised in the same house has its advantages. You can see the culture around you change, you will always be close to at least some of your friends, and you can see your teachers everywhere. I remember the first time that I saw one of my elementary teachers outside of the classroom. My mother and I went and said our polite hellos to her, but throughout the whole event I could not believe that this person actually lived outside the boundaries of my first grade classroom. Looking back, it was this realization that teachers are people that started my interest in becoming an educator.
Throughout their most malleable years, people spend their lives in school, surrounded by peers and their teachers. I had my fair share of teachers that were both good and bad. I have no doubt in my mind that because of the experiences I had in the classroom, as an adult today I view the world through a unique perspective. The idea of being able to have a permanent impact on a person’s life sounded fulfilling and it is because of this that I think being a high school teacher would be the best place for me. My memories of high school consisted of eating lonely lunches and trying desperately to figure out who I was throughout the flurry of preparing for college. Looking back it would have been nice to have a teacher where I could come to and feel wanted and valuable. This is the kind of classroom that I hope to provide for my students. I have always been someone who was a mentor towards those younger than me, whether it was in youth group, babysitting, or swim lessons. I frequently am stopped in the grocery store and random people will start conversations with me about the intimate details of their lives. When this first started happening, I was disturbed by these transparent encounters and simply brushed them off. As I have grown older, I have learned to cherish and love having these conversations. They have taught me to listen and realize that every voice is important. Even if what they are saying is completely irrelevant, taking the time to look someone in the eyes and really listen to what they have to say makes a special bond. I think that this ability to listen and really care about what people are saying is going to be my biggest asset when it comes to being a teacher.
Forging these connections with students would be difficult for me if it were in a formal setting such as math or history class. However, I have a deep rooted passion for art. Art is something that can be very therapeutic. I think that you can learn intimate facts about people just by looking at the kind of art they create. I want my classroom to be one where students feel safe. High school can be an unwelcoming place. By making these person connections with each one of my students, I want them to realize that they are valuable and worthy of my time. I want to use art as an escape from their daily frustrations and be used to constructively display their passions, feelings, and opinions. Art provides a way to communicate in which voice or writing can never express. By having an outlet and visually being able to witness their progress as the year goes, it is my hope that students will see how unique they are. Having this confidence and optimism is something that would have helped me when I was in high school, it is my hope that by applying my natural skills and talents here that I will be able to leave a legacy and encourage students during one of their most valuable transitions in their lives.