I guess you would say that I am a "late bloomer" when it comes to the teaching profession. I was a stay-at-home mom for 20 years until my youngest child became a freshman in high school. I entered the education world at Southmoore as a Highly Qualified Paraprofessional. I fell in love with my job. My years as a mother had taught me a lot more than I realized and enjoyed passing my experiences and knowledge on to the students I encountered. So, I decided to take it a bit further. I completed my degree, which I'd begun 24 years before, obtained my certification, and began teaching in the fall of 2012. I teach Special Education English and still love my job.
I believe that the educational environment plays a large role in whether a student is successful. We could put our most learned people in front of our students, but they may or may not learn from them. My dad used to tell me, "They don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." I take this into my classroom everyday. I recently read a quote that stated, "As teachers today, we don't teach curriculum...we teach civilization." I want to create an environment of respect, mutual appreciation, common decency, and, of course, learning. But without the first elements, the latter will be difficult to accomplish. If a student doesn't want to learn, I will not be able to make them learn.
My desire is for my students to leave my classroom each day with more knowledge and understanding...whether it be about grammar, literature, or reading comprehension, or life, relationships, or self respect...than when they entered. But I think even moreso, I want to instill in each one of my students a desire to know more, a curiosity about life and the things around them. A passion (or even just inquisitiveness) for learning will take them much further than grammar ever could. I believe that if I can accomplish this, then I have accomplished a great thing.