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Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Why We Teach

In grade seven, I experienced a life changing event within psychological learning environment of my science class. My teacher at the time, Mr. Dean Smith had been a teacher I had upmost respect towards throughout that fall. However, one morning before class commenced, Mr. Smith approached me as he had heard me talking to fellow students about the science project I had done on building a biotic ecosystem consisting of both plants and insects. I brought it to my desk to take my seat; I looked up and saw Mr. Smith walking towards me with his usual cup of coffee. He looked at me, with his subtle, sincere look and said calmly, “Ryan, you have so much potential. You impress me so much inside the classroom and around the school.” That statement has continued to linger in my mind when accomplishments occur in my life. That statement and the time he took to talk to me that morning motivated me to become a teacher. From that morning onward I knew I wanted to be a man like Mr. Smith. I wanted to be a smart adult who could make the difference in someone else’s life. Mr. Smith changed mine that morning and I only aspired to do the same for someone someday.
 I distinctly remember when I walked across the stage for my X-ring, I thought about Mr. Smith and that very distinct learning moment in my life. His comments in his classroom environment that morning was a true example how sensitive a teacher’s word can be. Like Haim implied, teachers are the weatherman of the classroom environment. Their comments can construct or destruct their students psychologically. However, on that morning, Mr. Smith created a blooming classroom environment filled with sunshine and warmth through his words. That is why my vignette is dedicated to him.
               I believe that this presentation is an accurate representation of the event which happened that morning. I chose to use stones to represent my students and Mr. Smith’s students that morning. The stones are all different shapes, sizes, colors and outward appearance. Some look rough, some look smooth, some look healthy, some look jagged. These stones, like all stones, are subject to the open environment on this earth. These stones experience rain, snow, sleet, darkness and sun. They can be warm from the sun, cold from the frost and wet from the rain. Just as these stones slowly change from the environment they are immersed in, so too are students. We as teachers subject our students to a classroom environment which can be cold, damp and dark, or could be warm and bright.
            The iPod touch represents Mr. Smith and us as pre-service teachers. We possess much information and complexity due to experience. However, we possess a light which can be directed towards our students like Mr. Smith did that day. He created a warm, loving and empathetic atmosphere through his actions and his words which ultimately changed my complete outlook on life as a learner. The light on this iPod can shine on these rocks and make all the difference in how the rocks feel when you hold them in your hand. It is important to recognize that we are the weathermen and women for our students not only when class starts, but before and after class as well. Mr. Smith took the time to shine his light on me, thus I plan to do the same.
            I will never forget this presentation just as I will not forget Mr. Smith’s important influence in my life. As I grow as a teacher, I will be reminded each day of the ‘over-the-top’ job
            Mr. Smith did for me. Recalling that will allow me to rehearse that warmth to my students in facilitating a warm classroom environment.

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