As an educator, I have several roles to fill: 1) a performer, 2) a promoter of growth mindset, and 3) a counselor and advisor. Every student who goes through my class should leave with an increased mental plasticity. As I teach, especially if I am lecturing, I make sure to treat the lesson as a performance art. I also believe that a teacher should teach more than just their content area; a teacher should aim to be a resource for their students as they progress through school and life.
I have had a few truly excellent professors at CU. Through being cognizant of my own education, I have noticed how the energy of a lecture impacts learning. This really began to click with me when a professor described his teaching style as a performance art. I try to adopt this mindset in my lessons. I believe lessons and units should build and have a narrative. As a science educator, there is no reason that my lessons should not build excitement in my students because science is exciting. Science is a journey to solve life’s biggest mysteries. My goal is to frame it that way.
As cliché as it might be, I was deeply inspired by the film The Ron Clark Story. I often find myself thinking about the immense effort that Clark put into his teaching and the incredible pay off that this had. I am eagerly awaiting my opportunity to do the same. Like Clark, I want to show each of my students that success is determined by hard work far more than inherent ability. From the first day of my class, I intend to make it very clear that the only route to success in my class is putting in the effort but, if they work hard, every student will be successful in my course. This does not mean, however, that I am not actively responsible for struggling students in my class. It is my job to address the causes of student difficulties. This may manifest in me helping to promote academic literacy in my classroom or it may mean I need to teach study habits. It is very important to me that every student in my classroom has the tools they need to succeed.
I believe that every student deserves more from a teacher than just course content. It is important to me that my students feel that they can come to me with personal issues. I aim to be there to help my students apply to the right colleges and scholarships. I aim to be there to help them find the right extracurricular. I want to push growth mindset as often as possible, inside and outside of my class time. I hope to coach track, specifically hurdles. Track is where I first developed a growth mindset in my own life because it is where I experienced failure. My coaches helped me to see that I could only excel by putting in the extra effort. I hope to do the same for my students.