I became interested in becoming a special education teacher and a coach at a very young age. Throughout elementary and high school anytime that I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up I would say that I wanted to work with special education kids. My kindergarten teacher Ms. Hanson was the greatest influence on me wanting to become a teacher. She was always so kind to everyone and would help you with any problem you had. She would never do the work for you but work with you in a way to help you understand what it was you needed to be doing. When I was in her class and up until this day I have always told people that I hoped to be a teacher like her.
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Although there are many skills, both job-related and personal, that are essential to being an effective teacher I believe communication is the most important. Communication skills are a must for dealing successfully with students, parents, other teachers and administrative staff. It is important to clearly communicate with your students your classroom expectations, assignments, and any other directions that you may give them. Communication with parents is very important not only to keep them updated on their child’s progress but also as a means for you to understand and be aware of any problems the student may be facing during certain times. Communication is also the key to being able to discuss problems or concerns you are having with their child in your classroom. Although I feel that communication is the most important creativity and planning skills are also important skills for making your classroom a success. Keeping your students interested and wanting to learn is a great way for everyone to achieve their end goal. If you do not keep your students interested and they feel that class is boring your students may lose interest and not receive the full benefit of what they should be learning.
Personally, I have developed many helpful skills through helping our friends raise their handicapped child, being around and babysitting my sisters little girl, and also from working in the classroom with various teachers. Whether it’s watching someone’s children for the summer or working in a structured environment you learn to develop communication, creativity, and planning skills. I think helping with our friends handicapped child has helped me the most with my communication skills because I would have to tell them at the end of each day what we worked on, how her progress was coming, and what I thought would be best for her next activities. I also learned a great deal about creativity and planning because they basically left her daily learning and activities us to me but I had to let them know ahead of time what we were going to be working on.
I have had many transitions during my educational career. I started out at Odessa College where there were many expectations especially because of playing softball and missing so many classes due to being out of town. The professors and the curriculum were very intense and required a lot of focus, hard work, and study time which was difficult getting used to after being at a high school where I didn’t to do much studying at all and rarely ever had to make up work that was missed due to being out of town with softball. My next transition was from Odessa College to Northwestern University in Oklahoma. This transition was even more difficult because not only did they have high expectations but I was also away from my family for the first time ever. Although I lived in the dorms while attending Odessa College they were still just a 10 minute drive away. My final school transition was from Northwestern in Oklahoma back to Odessa to the University of the Permian Basin. This was a fairly easy transition for me due to the fact that I was back to being with my family and friends that I had grown up with. I think my final transition was of great value to me because I feel that I have benefited greatly from the professors at UTPB and have learned a great deal more than what I was learning in Oklahoma. The hard part of the transition was the fact that many of my classes did not transfer so therefore it is taking me almost a year longer to finish my certification. During the transitions from school to school the most difficult part was the course requirements. It is very difficult to finish two years of school in one state and then transfer to another state that has a completely different program for becoming a teacher and then back to the state in which you originally started your certification. Although it has taken me a little longer I feel that all the transitions that I have gone through to achieve my certification have been a learning experience for me and will be beneficial to me throughout my career as a teacher.
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I think that transition plans would be helpful to anyone who is making a school related transition. I would also like to offer advice to students transferring from one state to another to make sure you do lots of research up front on what will transfer and what will not so that you do not lose time in achieving your certification. The author of the textbook states that “moving from one setting to another, students must learn to adjust to different curriculum demands, teaching styles, behavioral expectations, classroom designs, and student socialization patterns” (Salend, 2010, pg 210). A transition plan would have been helpful to me to make me more prepared for my new experiences.
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