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?
Inspiring kids to love learning
By AMBER DANAE PURSER
New BAE '08 graduate (elementary education)
When contemplating what is good within education, numerous things come to mind. However, the best thing about education, in my opinion, is the ability to make a difference in the life of a child. I was lucky enough to have an inspirational teacher during my elementary education experience that influenced my desire to become a future educator. I believe that if I make a difference in the life of just one child and inspire them to love learning, then I have accomplished my educational and career goals.
I strongly believe that to make a difference in the life of a child an educator must first and foremost instill students with a lifelong love of learning. I believe that instilling children with a love of learning can be accomplished through inspiring, encouraging, and educating children in a creative and imaginative fashion. Exceptional educators must acknowledge that each child has a gift that it is waiting to be unleashed. Each child has individual strengths, weaknesses, interests, prior knowledge, and life experiences that help him or her learn.
To instill students with a lifelong love of learning, I believe an exceptional educator's role in the classroom is to serve as a facilitator of learning. Acting as a facilitator of learning, educators can model, guide, and encourage students to take an active role in their own learning. Students are often encouraged to learn additional information about topics when educators incorporate real-life examples, hands-on activities, and exciting, interactive, and engaging lessons.
As children inquire about knowledge, they become excited, encouraged, and eager to learn. Instilling a love of learning can be further encouraged through modeling respect and love for others. Educating students about diversity and multicultural education further instills cultural awareness and encourages students to recognize that differences are what make us unique, and that we can all learn from one another. Furthermore, students love learning when they are aloud to do so in a fun, exciting, and collaborative environment. When students are encouraged to work
cooperatively by communicating, collaborating, and building relationships with their peers, they are more likely to enjoy learning.
I believe in education that includes not just academics, but also life skills. I believe students possess a love of learning when they are taught to excel academically, emotionally, and socially within the educational setting. Children's life-long beliefs about learning are greatly influenced by their experiences in childhood. If children are inspired to believe that learning can be fun, they will too develop a love of learning. When students develop a love of learning, the knowledge they gain at school will transfer to their everyday lives and future educational experiences. Inspiring students to love learning is what's great about education.
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