Sunday, May 13, 2012

My Ideal Educational Setting

Being that I'm a teacher, I definitely believe in education. I feel that it is extremely important for students to have a connection to his or her teachers. Without a connection, many of the students don't want to learn. As an educator of hormonal 7th graders, I feel that I have to work extra hard to create that connection with my students. The way I'm able to do this is through the content, life science, and the tools I use to teach the content. In order for me to accomplish such a task, it requires me to continue my own education and stay on top of the newest and best strategies for my students. In my ideal educational setting, I would like for students to want to learn and for me to provide the best way for EACH student to do such a thing.
Some of the obstacles that I currently face is: lack of support from administration, lack of funds/limited resources, students that are in my 7th grade class that are at a 2nd grade reading level, too many students in one class, lack of parental support, stress and pressure of common assessment scores, and the most recent, district barricades with technology.  In my ideal educational setting, all of these obstacles would be disappear.
Ironically, I work in a district that prides themselves on being one of the best districts in the state, yet we still have so many of the same obstacles as other struggling school districts. So, the question is, how do we change it? The first step is at the district level. In my ideal educational setting, my district administration would allow teachers to do what they want. Of course there would need to be a few restrictions here and there, but as long as I'm doing something that is good for the kids and creating a successful learning experience, it is allowed. In addition, I would expect parental support. In other words, I would like parents to respect me as the teacher and support me by having the same expectations of his or her child at home as I do in the classroom. I would also love the opportunity to integrate and collaborate with other subjects/contents and how they can be used in each of the different classrooms. For example, the English teacher would use science vocabulary words as part of her weekly sentence diagrams.
In addition, I would really love to use more technology! Being that I'm teaching in the "digital era," I want to utilize technology that will make my students successful. Currently, I'm struggling with the fact that my students are blocked from so many tools on the internet. I would really like to take down those barricades. If I was given the opportunity to teach digital citizenship the way I would like to, I think that students can really respond to independence with technology in a positive way.
Overall, there is a great deal I would like to include in my ideal educational setting. The question is, how?