University of Pittsburgh (History)
University of Pittsburgh (Graduate Coursework)
I live in a very diverse school district, Woodland Hills. I've coached local kids including my own four children in soccer, little league baseball, midget football and was the Woodland Hills varsity football statistician for six years. At a residential school of about 300 students from 3rd grade through 12th, I worked two years in the midst of those children, the majority of whom were from inner city Philadelphia.
One of my greatest personal assets is my love of learning and if there is something, some topic I’m not strong on, I research and absorb it immediately and can readily pass the information to my students. One of the great things about my student teaching experience was this very situation and, actually, I’m a history buff and voracious reader and that particular subject is an unquestionable passion of mine.
Personally, I am a visual learner and I gain much from images, captions and other viewable sources of information. To that end I plan to utilize whatever technology is available and having my students reap the benefits of using it as well. It is worth noting that I have an extensive collection of a wide variety of historic topics spanning from ancient times on. This generation has grown up using computers and various media technology and this must be regarded as an asset. So, it only seems logical to use that asset to help teach them and help them learn. I also feel that kids naturally learn from each other so I want to implement ways of using that as a teaching tool and getting every student involved in every class as much as possible. Of course I do realize some kids don’t want to be involved for whatever reason. However, I will never let that dissuade me from trying to find a way to reach them and include them. Once again, I feel my training at Pitt has prepared me for this very well.
In the past few years I rediscovered the joy of learning by becoming a non-traditional student and returning to college where, I not only earned my BA degree but continued to learn and grow by attending graduate school in pursuit of teaching certification. The joy I've mentioned is a key component in my approach to both learning and teaching. To me, it is an enthusiastic undertaking at both ends of the spectrum.
It is my sincerest wish that I will be successful in spreading the contagion that is my enthusiasm for both learning and teaching, but I wasn't always of this frame of mind. Growing up in the 1960’s my education was something I merely paid lip service to. I was neither a good student nor an interested one; I merely went to school because it was required. Years later, but not too late I realized the error of those ways and made amends by resuming my education and achieving success like never before. Today I recognize very similar traits in many students and it my sincerest hope to help them avoid the delays and missed opportunities that I suffered because I wasn't focused on my studies soon enough.
That success, belatedly experienced, came in the form of good grades and ultimately graduating from the University of Pittsburgh and it all just energized me. Those first semester grades made me hungry for more success and once I received an “A”, it kindled within me a passionate pursuit for more of the same results. Upon becoming a teacher in my own classroom I want to kindle that kind of enthusiasm in my students. I believe all students can achieve and succeed in their own unique way. Key is the understanding and accepting of each student’s uniqueness and finding whatever will motivate and produce within them a will to do well, to succeed.
I am so proud of my college transcript and want my future students to be proud of themselves and their academic achievements. More importantly, I want them to feel that way now, not to procrastinate and look back ruefully at what might have been. Class periods are so short and the time together with the students is all too fleeting; so it will be my intent to instill in my students a sense of urgency and desire to garner success and achievement in the here and now. Furthermore, it is my hope that such an approach to academics and learning in general will be a part of their psyche that drives them through the rest of their lives, in everything they do.
I live in a very diverse school district, Woodland Hills. I've coached local kids including my own four children in soccer, little league baseball, midget football and was the Woodland Hills varsity football statistician for six years. At a residential school of about 300 students from 3rd grade through 12th, I worked two years in the midst of