Teacher Self AnalysisFor the majority of my life, I have been a teacher in some regard, whether helping fellow students with problem areas as early as elementary school, working as a student teacher, or acting as an official teacher. Through my various experiences, I have come to recognize that teaching is one of the most important professions an individual could choose
, and have therefore always tried to excel at teaching, regardless of the circumstances. At present, I know that there are many ways in which I excel at teaching, and many areas in which I could still improve.
As one of the ?brighter? children in all of my public school classes while I was growing up, my work was often selected by teachers to serve as an example for the rest of the class, and I was often selected to assist other students when they were having trouble with their work. This was both a blessing and a curse. I lived in a rural community where intelligence was not praised, but rather ridiculed. I quickly learned to hide my intelligence as best I could, and subsequently learned to explain things to my peers in the most basic, simple language I could, knowing I would be made fun of if I sounded ?too smart.? Although this was very frustrated at the time, I believe it taught me a valuable skill. I learned how to adapt each lesson from the level I understood it on to the level the student I was helping would understand it on. I believe this skill has made me a better teacher in every teaching position I have held.
After graduating, I moved to new york
City for college. Several of the classes I took at my school placed students in nyc
public high schools as student teachers. The first semester I did this, I taught at a high school in the Bronx and at an international high school in Brooklyn. At the international high school, all the students had recently moved to the US and were learning English as a second language. The following two semesters, I taught at the high school for students incarcerated at the NYC prison, Rikers Island.
These teaching experiences taught me many things. The students I was teaching in the Bronx and at Rikers had grown up with much harder lives than I had, and didn?t have the time or patience for heady academic theories. If I wanted to teach them something, I had to give it to them straight, show them why it had anything to do with their lives, and give them a reason to care about what I was saying. Each class was an eye-opening experience, and as I learned more about the students? personal lives, I learned I was playing on their turf and needed to play by their rules concerning academics, not the rules I had learned at my college. It was a very humbling experience, and taught me to bring my lessons down to the level of the students in a new way.
At the international high school, I learned yet more lessons. As all of the students were struggling with English, I learned how to slow down my speech, use simpler language, and learned many creative ways to communicate through mime and gesture. As the class was an acting class focused on giving the students a safe environment to practice their English, I believe it taught me many activities and techniques that will be helpful in teaching english abroad.
My latest teaching experience was drastically different from all of my other experiences. For the past year, I have been working as an Early Head Start Teacher, teaching students aged one to three. I believe this experience has taught me many valuable lessons that will come in especially handy when teaching english abroad. I have learned a wide array of methods to engage young learners, have been working with all of my students on basic language acquisition, and have learned how to be more patient than I thought possible. I believe all of these skills will help me in the future.
I know that although I have a wide array of experience, I still have much to learn. I know I still need experience in lesson planning, in independently running and managing a large classroom, and in creating materials and grading assignments. However, I believe that I have a solid base of knowledge and know-how that will make me an excellent teacher once I master all of the more bureaucratic aspects of the job as well.