When examining what I am passionate about, I came up with two areas of interest: teaching young children and encouraging others to pursue a higher education. After examining what I do consistently when I teach to cultivate learning, I came up with the following things:
Establish the trust of the students. Young children are easier to teach when they trust you. By trusting you, they know that you will be fair and honest with them plus their needs will be met on a daily basis. I always smile and say, “Good morning, ________” to each student. I compliment them on some feature of their appearance such as a smile, a color they are wearing, their happy look, etc. My rules apply to everyone and they are consistent. No one is ridiculed or made fun of.
Come prepared teach. I come prepared with a variety of activities, mixed with things that are standard routine, to encourage discipline. I incorporate science, technology, art, music, drama, and dance, to engage children to keep the children engaged. For example, I regularly take students to the Museum of Fine Arts to view exhibits. After viewing the exhibits, they are given an opportunity to create a personal replica of art that they saw at the exhibit.
Learning social skills is a part of all curriculum. Children are naturally selfish and can sometimes be inconsiderate of the feelings of their peers. By teaching compassion and empathy, this will promote more collaboration as a team. Understanding others differences can help everyone feel that they belong. Also, offering correction of how they treat others is done on a daily basis.
Technology of some form is incorporated in the curriculum. Young children are exposed to technology regularly that has content that does not relate to the world they live in. This can cause them to be confused about what is real and what is make-believe. Using technology to supplement the curriculum, reinforces content that can help them understand things that are around them, such as nature, their family, and other cultures.The use of technology can allow them to develop and analyze how things relate to one another.
Regularly communicate with parents on their child’s strengths/weaknesses. All children have different aptitudes; therefore, they will not be good at everything they learn. A good way to encourage students is to compliment on their strengths. Curriculum should also give them a chance to participate personally and dialogue about what they learned. Also giving feedback to parent’s helps the parent to share in the education process and allows the student’s to see the parent taking an interest in their education. This is to motivate them in areas that require more practice by showing the importance of not quitting and continuing to work at it.
Encourage others to pursue higher education. I have always encouraged others to pursue some form of higher education. Whether it is at a community college or at a university, it has been one of my goals as an adult learner. I regularly talk to high school students and people who are seeking a career change without a college degree, to pursue higher education. I tell them that if I am able to go back to school and get a degree, they can, too. Technology makes it possible to work and get an education.
There are some other issues at this time within the education system implementing technology uniformly. These are a lack of funding for devices and lack of training teachers on how to use the technology. In an article in Education Week, it was noted that student centered technology was lacking because teachers did not understand how the technology worked enough to adapt it into the classroom. Providing teachers with the training they need to supplement curriculum with technology to engage students can be beneficial in cultivating learning. One of the advantages in the use of technology in the classroom, is that high school students can earn college credit. Some can even go on to graduate from college early and become employed. One example of this is Grace Bush from South Florida that graduated from college and high school in the same week. Being home schooled by her mother, she and her sister’s accomplished college degrees before turning 20 years old. The access to higher education for all is what benefited these students to get their degrees early from college. Let’s take a look: