Autobiographical Statement

My desire to become a teacher has grown from a variety of experiences that have helped to shape my personal outlook and career goals. Through my own experiences in secondary and post-secondary schooling, student teaching, as well as various events in my personal life, I have developed a desire to change how students experience schooling. I want to help students find and create meaning for themselves and bring that meaning to their communities, both local and global. Literacy is one of the biggest problems facing schools,
not only what we traditionally refer to as literacy – reading and writing – but the multiple literacies that are essential in the twenty-first century.

When I was in high school, I hated English. Throughout high school I had firmly entrenched myself within the sciences. I struggled with chemistry, biology, and physics, but that was what I loved about it – it had never come easy to me the way that English Language Arts always had. I was curious and inquisitive and loved to learn new things, and science always fuelled my curiosity and pushed me where other subject areas did not.

In the fall of 2004 I was enrolled at Grant Macewan University in the Faculty of Science. After two gruelling years of the subjects that I thought I loved – Chemistry, Biology, and Physics – I no longer felt the thrill of discovery that I had felt in high school. I needed a change. I enrolled in Grant Macewan University’s Bachelor of Arts, majoring in English and minoring in Psychology. I fell in love with English.

During high school and throughout my post-secondary education I was working as a manager at McDonald’s. Every day I was working with and training children aged fourteen through eighteen. I spent many years as the head crew trainer and had begun to realize that teaching was something that I really wanted to do.

Once I completed my Bachelor of Arts at Macewan in 2009, I knew that I wanted to enroll in the University of Alberta’s Education After-Degree program, majoring in English and minoring in Biology. The workload was heavy but invigorating, and I could not wait until the start of my practicums. My first practicum took place at Elmer S. Gish Elementary Junior High in St. Albert. I knew right away that I wanted to be a teacher. My practicum at Ross Sheppard Composite High School only further enforced my desire and passion for teaching.

I believe that being a successful and effective teacher means, above all things, the ability to adapt. The teacher must always be able to tailor their approach, lesson plan, or even outlook on education at any one moment in time. No two children are the same, so they cannot be approached in exactly the same way. By utilizing diverse lesson plans that cater to many different learning styles, more students can be touched upon and educated. By bringing in many different aspects of a topic, you may catch different students’ interests and they will be invested in the topic that they are learning about. Teachers must essentially be a jack-of-all-trades, well versed in techniques, methods, technology, as well as their curriculum in order to be a successful and effective teacher. I believe that a teacher must be someone who values lifelong learning. A teacher must always embrace new theories, new developments, as well as new technologies. However, the teacher must also be able to sift through all of these new ideas and concepts and decide which will best suit their students’ learning and learning environment. Not all technology is suited for the classroom, and not all new theories prove the test of time.

Essentially, it is my belief that a teacher must be a completely and fully adaptable person, who can think on their toes and sacrifice their well-thought out lesson plan if the situation calls for it.

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