When looking back on my education experience there is one moment that really stands out. It happened when I was in grade one, and the fact that I still remember it so clearly so many years later indicates that it most definitely affected my schooling experience in a drastic way. During recess one noon hour, a girl who I was not really friends with asked to play with my friends and I and I told her that since she did not have the same colour shoes as me she couldn’t be in the same “group” as us because her shoes were purple not pink but she could still play with us and have a different role in the game. Yes, I was excluding her in a way and could have been more inclusive but I the repercussions I received for placing these conditions on her inclusion were far worse than they should have been. After recess, we had show and tell and I was standing at the front of the room sharing whatever I had brought that day. Once I was done sharing, still standing alone at the front of the room, my teacher said to me “Laura, you are a bully. You were excluding (this girl) today at recess by not letting her play with you” and when I tried to reply and explain myself to her she said, “I don’t want to hear your excuses, now sit down”. The way that she called me out and accused me in front of my whole class was so embarrassing and made me feel extremely awful about myself. She did not once talk to me alone about what happened at recess but rather, it seems, felt as though embarrassing me in front of my peers was how I would learn my lesson. She handled the situation very poorly and I disliked her a teacher the whole time she worked at our school and she made my education much less enjoyable when she did this. When my teacher called me out publicly it did not make me want to change the way I was, rather, I wanted to act out and only play with certain people and not give her the satisfaction of changing my ways because she hurt me so badly. I feel as though this made me a much more “cliquey” child growing up and for this reason, I was involved in lots of drama and this was a reason my educational experience was not very enjoyable. If she would’ve talked to me and the girl affected alone and allowed us both to talk about our problem and apologize to each other then it would be more likely that I would’ve understood the situation more and been able to change my attitude. Looking back on this moment now makes me, as a future educator, never want to make any of my students feel that way. I want to talk to my students privately about what happens in situations such as this because I know that it would be a much more effective way of teaching them what is right and wrong. I do not think it is appropriate at all to inform every student in a class about the disputes and disagreements between other students. When I am a teacher, I will handle these situations in a much different way because I know how much better I would have felt if the issue would not have been addressed in front of twenty other children. I do not want any child, especially one that young, to feel the embarrassment and resentment towards a teacher and education that I did. So, though this teacher did affect my personal education in a very negative way she showed me how to better handle situations like these and this will truly make me a better educator and role model for the students that I will have in the time to come.
When I take time, close my eyes, and really think about my future as a teacher there are many things that I imagine. In 5-8 years at the beginning of my career I see myself figuring out what methods and teaching styles work best for me. I see myself being challenged every day by my self, students, parents, and staff. I see these challenges forcing me to grow as a teacher and all my experiences allowing me to see what works and what doesn’t in my classrooms. Everyday will be filled with learning on my student’s behalf and my own. I want to be able to make my students feel like I care about them and have them enjoy their learning experience. I see myself asking my more experienced colleagues for advice when dealing with new problems that I am not as prepared to deal with. I will remember the advice they provide me with so I can eventually become more independent and be the one people come to for advice some day. After about 10-15 years of teaching I see myself better adjusting to my surroundings and understanding my students better than I used to. My observations over the years will help me to be able to communicate with my students and colleagues better than before. I see myself being able to effectively react to the varying personalities I will encounter, including parents/guardians. I want to be able to be comfortable even when the situation is not. I see myself keeping composure, even though it will be a challenge, when things get tough and using my words to discuss problems with parents, students, and colleagues. I hope by this time to have a classroom that students feel comfortable in and I hope they feel as though they can be vulnerable in the safe environment I have created. I believe that if I, as their teacher, can really put my self into my teaching and be open with my students they will be able to do the same. This part may take a few years because it is not easy to be vulnerable, but, nevertheless, I see myself being able to do so. Along with this, I see myself being more involved in extracurricular activities within my school because I am more comfortable with the teaching aspect and will be able to manage more. I will enjoy this very much and it will help me further build my relationships within the school. After about 20+ years of teaching I see myself having an repertoire of teaching methods that I have developed over the years. I hope to be able to easily adjust my lessons according to the class I have and use one of the methods I have already used in the past. I see myself being able to deal with problematic situations in an effective way and needing minimal outside assistance. I am going to be the staff member that students and staff come to for advice because I have experienced so much. I will be very involved in extracurricular activities because I will be able to manage my time in the best way possible. The most important thing though, is that I see myself enjoying every minute of my teaching career. Looking into the future and thinking about all of these experiences, even if they will not all be pleasant, makes me so excited and I cannot wait to be a teacher for the rest of my life.
When I look in the mirror at my appearance I see a 19-year-old girl. I see long brown hair and green eyes. I see a first-year education student that cannot wait to be a teacher. I see a woman who is enjoying her university experience. I see a girl who wants to do better in her school work and is working on doing so with every new assignment she receives. I see a girl who is broke because she spent too much money when she came to Regina I see a girl who loves watching Netflix and eating Kraft Dinner. A girl who would rather lay in bed all day than go out most days. I see a girl who is becoming more independent every day. I see a person who has matured and is becoming a better person every year. I see a person who tends to over analyze situations Little things bother me less and I find myself constantly being the better person and forgiving people when I am involved in conflicts. I find myself not holding grudges like I used to and avoiding conflicts whenever possible. Below the surface I see myself as a person who cares about her friends and family. I see a girl who still finds it hard to be away from her parents. I see myself as a person who wants other to be happy and wants to be there for people in need, even though I don’t always show it. On that note, there are parts of me that I do not like either. I see a person who cares what other people think of her and a person who tends to unintentionally hurt the people she loves. But I am working to change these flaws because that is not the kind of person I want to be. I want to be the kind of person that people want to be around because I make them happy. I see myself working towards being that kind of person in everything I do. I am happy with the person I am becoming, even though I may not be perfect. Yes, there are things that I would change but the fact that I am working on changing these things makes me happy and proud of myself. I feel as though rather than focussing on what is wrong with me, I can focus on what is right and do whatever I can to be the best possible version of me and that is what is important.
When I took the time to read over the regression, progression, and analytical parts of my currere essay I notice many connections. It is clear that all aspects of my life are connected in one way or another. I notice that my past has an effect on my present as well as an effect on my future. My experiences have shaped the person I am today and the person and teacher that I hope to become in the future. It is very important to me that my students feel welcome and appreciated when I am an educator. I have said multiple times that I hope to have a classroom where my students feel comfortable and safe and I want it to be a place that they want to come to each day, not dread. I want to be a role model and have the respect of my students. I believe a student that views their teacher in a positive way will learn much more because they are going to listen closer and they will value the words that their teachers say which, again, will draw them in. I want to educate my students to the best of my abilities and, looking back on my regression, makes me realise that this attitude can be explained by my past experiences. The fact that I was embarrassed by teachers and the worst was always assumed of me makes me, as a future teacher, never want another student to feel the way I felt. I viewed some of my teachers in a negative way and I feel as though this lead me to paying less attention in class, talking more, and not trying as hard because I did not care if I impressed them or not. When I had a teacher that I enjoyed though, I would do my best work on assignments, pay attention, and listen to what they said because their approval and recognition mattered to me more. All in all, looking back at my past has truly shaped the teacher that I hope to become. On that note, not only did these childhood experiences shape the way I want to teach, but also shaped the person I am today. Being hurt the ways I was has made me a person who does not enjoy seeing others unhappy. When someone close to me is upset because of something I did I feel terrible and try my best to make up for what I did because I understand how they are feeling. I try much harder to avoid conflicts and am a very forgiving person. If I know I did wrong I will admit to it and do what I can to make things better. I believe that all my experiences have made me a much more selfless person. For this reason, I find myself taking other peoples feelings into consideration more often, especially since I began writing this paper.Writing this paper has made me realize just how much the past, present, and future are connected. I would not be the person I am today without the past I experienced. Negative experiences can really have a positive effect on a person. Setting my sights high and hoping to be the best teacher I can be has made me a better person today. I feel as though my upsetting experiences have shaped me into a 19-year-old girl who wants to be a good teacher, a girl who cares about her friends and family, and a girl who is trying to be the best she can be.