Ever kids as a “Kindergarten helper” throughout my

Ever since I was a little girl, I have always wanted to be a teacher.  I grew up with all different levels of teachers in my family.  Some were college professors, high school teachers, elementary school teachers, and even a counselor.  You could say it was in my blood.  I would play “school” with my cousins and I always wanted to be the teacher.  From then on, I started working with kids as a “Kindergarten helper” throughout my elementary school years, worked for the Chicago Park District during my teen years, and was a tutor through my early adult years.  Teaching students new things and watching them light up when they understood something became a passion for me.Personal Philosophy of Learning Through the classes I have taken at Northeastern Illinois University and American College of Education as well as my experiences in the classroom, I have developed a personal teaching philosophy that will be implemented into my classroom.  My personal philosophy is to educate, inspire, and make a change in my students.  Nelson Mandela once quoted “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. (Durando, 2013)”  This quote really means alot to me because through my teachings, I want my students to know that having an education is the most powerful tool you can have and not take that granted.Goal Statement One: Educate I want to be the best teacher I can possibly be for my students.  I want to give them the education that they and I both know they deserve.  It makes me extremely happy to educate my students on new things and working with them to ensure they understand, not only concepts, but practical applications as well.  My students should feel my passion of teaching and I want them to be able to portray it in their work.  If a teacher does not love what they do, the students will see right through that.  I want them to be motivated and engaged in their work so they can be the best that I know they can be and strive for greatness.  Students should shine through their creativity and strengths which is why for all my assignments and lessons, I give them choices on how to accomplish it.  Some students understand the concept differently than others so I want them to show me in the most knowledgeable way they know how too.  I design my lessons to their different learning styles and strengths.  “If learning from a teacher requires being influenced by that teacher, then the possibility of being influenced at all requires vulnerability to that influence; that is, we can now situate simultaneously in both a love of life and the continuing possibility  of interrupting that complacency (Joldersma, 2008, p52).”  My goal in educating my students is that they remember what I taught them for a lifetime and to be confident in their work.  I want to be that teacher that they come back to years down the road and say “Hey, remember when you taught me this…thank you”.  That would be the most satisfying accomplishment in the world.Goal Statement Two: InspireI came into this profession knowing I wanted to inspire young minds for the better.  My goal is to be someone’s role model.  I have had plenty of teachers who were my role models and still are today as I am still learning as well.  Helping them to strive for greatness and letting them know they can really do anything they set their minds too.  I inspire my students to find the creative side of them and let them learn through that.  Computer Science is all about critical thinking and applying knowledge to applications, I let them free play and design their own games.  Another way I inspire my students is giving them the confidence that I know they have deep down inside.  If they say they cannot do something, I tell them practice makes perfect and there are plenty of things that I cannot do either.  Some students need that extra assistance or encouragement of “teachers are humans too”.  Students need to understand that mistakes are our first attempt in learning and mistakes just show us that we will come up with something better in the end.  The greatest moment of my life was inspiring one of my former students.  I never truly knew I left that kind of mark on her until she wrote a paper about me calling her “second mother”.Goal Statement Three: Change As an educator, I want to make a change in students’ lives.  My goal as a teacher is to also have students make a change in their community.  Every year, I teach my students about making a change in the world.  We talk about what service learning is and how we can give back to our community.  We created projects based on homelessness.  Students would research what homelessness is, and how people may become homeless.  We would then watch videos and read articles about it.  Once the research was done, it was time to get to work to make a change in our community.  Students collected toiletries and other small household materials and created little care packages for homeless shelters.  We also took a trip to a community garden where students helped plant food, and got a better understanding of what a community garden does.  The garden will sell vegetables, fruits, eggs, and honey at a very cheap price for those members in the community who cannot afford groceries from the store.  Every year, my students beg to go back to the garden to help out.  It shows me that I am making a change in my student’s lives to give back to those who are less fortunate than we may be.Conclusion As an educator and now graduate student, it is really important to enjoy students and everything they have to offer.  I know some days will be harder than others but in the end, we all make mistakes and learn from each other.  I will always be a “student” whether I am teaching a class or still learning from my professors.  There are new things constantly evolving in the world, so many new tools that teachers can use, that we are all learning new things together.  I want my students to be well educated, feel inspired, and make a change in the world.