2008 UF COE Writing Contest Entry
(This is one of 27 entries submitted in the College's recent writing contest on the topic of "What's Good in Education?". Visit the writing contest home page for links to other entries, including the winning one.)
What's Good in Education?
Teachers who learn while they teach
By MICHELLE SICK
MEd '08 (May ProTeach graduate in elementary education/children's literature)
Education is the one thing no one can ever take away from you. Have you ever heard that claim? If so, have you ever considered what this truly means for you? Endless opportunities arise from the educational realm if one takes advantage of all it has to offer.
Education is a versatile word at this current stage in my life since I am both a part-time educator and a graduate student. While some view education as something you do or something that is inactively done to you, I see it as more than this. Education is priceless if viewed as an active process of inspiring others on a daily basis.
For 19 years, I have sat in classrooms tirelessly absorbing facts, like a sponge, into my brain. While this newfound knowledge has certainly refined me as a person, nothing gives me greater joy or contentment than utilizing what I learn to inspire other human beings, especially children. As a passionate educator, the ability to pass on my life experiences and knowledge is something I hope will help my future
Think back to a teacher (or more if you were fortunate) that changed the way you looked at the world, or perhaps at yourself. My eighth-grade English teacher and high school drama director taught me to see through different eyes. Something about their encouragement made me want to be a better person, to see beyond the sheltered box I lived in, and to influence others. A fire was forever lit within me and stimulation filled my learning pail. Because of these two unforgettable teachers, I became an educator. Through pure demonstration, I learned from them that education is the best profession where "the employee" can learn and teach at the same time.
Months ago, as I stood in front of a room full of eager-faced elementary school children, I remember thinking to myself, "If I can be that teacher who enables
these children to break out of the mold, to crave to learn more each day, and to explore the world they live in, as well as their own character, then I am convinced there is no better job in the world." Standardized tests, behavioral management, and subject assessments should never be the sole purpose of coming to work each day. We are in the business of children where none of us ever knows where our influence begins and ends. Can you put a price tag on that? A teacher who effectively inspires an impressionable mind gives the most precious gift in the worldthe empowerment to make informed life decisions and attain far-reaching heightssomething that no one can ever take away from them.
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