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A Garden of Love a Garden of Growth

Updated on September 25, 2011
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A Garden of Love A Garden of Growth

Kindergarten: the garden of children, a place for children to learn through experience, grow, and attain knowledge. To have a successful kindergarten class you must have an outstanding teacher that is able to plant and nurture the seeds, into the minds of their budding and sprouting students and themselves. What seeds do the teachers need to have planted in themselves before they can teach their own class? There must be three rows of lettuce; Let-us have inner security, let-us have self awareness, and let-us have integrity. Three rows for special fertilizers; Fertalize the theoretical ground, fertilize the environment and knowledge of the culture, fertilize your respect and warmth for the children. Three rows of Brussels sprouts; Sprout your intuition, Sprout your unconditional caring for the children, and sprout your trust the children. Finally three rows of cabbage; Cab-pture your emotions from getting to wrapped up in your children and stay partly detached, cab-pture your children’s will to learn through laughter, cab-pture your bad behaviors because you are now a model to the children.

As a teacher you need to be self aware, aware of what she does because it influences the class room and she must be able to control them as needed. I like the point in the book Developing Persons through the Life Span by Kathleen Stassen Berger pointed out. She states “Only an inexperienced teacher does not know how to give or receive constructive criticism. But far worst is that the teacher cannot evaluate him or her own self. A good teacher is an aware and self disciplined teacher”.

Honesty, fairness and integrity are paramount when dealing with children. According to vygotsky and NAEYC children are putting to practice everything weather it’s developmentally appropriate or not. There for we need to treat them and their fellow class mates equally. For this activity (treating others equally) the children are still being teacher regulated, or as know as the “I do you watch” stage.

Vygotsky’s scaffolding also plays a large role in the theoretical ground. It deals with the development stages that suggest a continuing complex of growth and learning. And like he emphasizes there is the zone of proximal development. Meaning, what the child can do independently and what the child can do with assistance. Teachers need to ensure that the information is not to complex but within a reachable and attainable distance. Along with the development part in the theoretical ground, there is the interaction between the child’s emotional, physical, and cognitive growth, and his expanding physical and social environment. Keeping this theoretical soil rich is important because these children are growing physically and mentally.

Also the potential teacher needs to have a general knowledge about the culture, environment, and community, that they will be teaching in. Also the teacher must be skilled enough to express the importance of it through teaching style. Depending on where they are teaching, what you teach should be appropriate for the culture. Even though Kathleen Stassen Berger says “a democracy community may not be politically correct in every country, so the teacher needs to know about that country’s specific culture.” Yet at the same time I personally think that kids should be taught about both kinds of rule, and not only their own. But more importantly potential teachers should have a college graduate’s degree. Why don’t I think that a general knowledge equivalent is acceptable? Because these children are the future of the world, and if they aren’t taught and everything that they could possibly learn, then we as a country will be lost. Teachers have the most important job in the world because teaching is the only profession that teaches all professions.

Teachers have the most important jobs in the world because nobody knows where their students may end up. These students will someday have a large say in what will be happening in the world, they are a new era of technology, ruler ship, and music. So it is up to us teach them to the best of our abilities and their capabilities. So why should we settle for someone who has an equivalent to a college degree but not the teaching skills or knowledge of a college degree. It only concerns me because, just because it may be an equivalent degree, there could still be some valuable information missed about how to be a great teacher. This is important to me because teaching is the only major occupation for man, which we have not yet developed tools that make an average person capable of competence and performance. “In teaching we rely on the "naturals," the ones who somehow know how to teach” (Peter Drucker). But if we refine who will be acceptable teachers maybe then things will begin to change.

Kathleen Stassen Berger also mentions it’s not what the children learn it’s how they learn. I am not sure if I agree or disagree with that. I mean what children learn when they are young is important because children’s brains are like sponges, so I say teach them as much valuable information as possible. And if teachers make their class more interactive, fun and interesting children are more likely to recall more from the class. Children should learn how to be a compliment to their community, and know how to assist themselves, but also know how to ask for help they need it. Children love learning another language when they are young so I think teaching them all these valuable things but in a fun cheerful way that they enjoy, will be a big asset to themselves now and in their future. But only a good teacher knows how and what they understand and can learn. The teacher also knows what the children are interested in. These things will shape what and how she teaches showing that Vygotsky was right. The teacher’s able to select picture books and the daily read-a-loud because the children are essential. There is the teacher regulated, part where the students watch as the teacher does and imitates then the scaffolding where the students are able to expand with some assistance, and then there is the student regulated point where the teacher watches as the students do, so she can shape and change her lessons and teaching methods depending on what the students are struggling with..

Great teachers also respect their students, it may sound funny because the children are about four or five. But if you respect the students you will be helping the children to be self constructive and independent and even self disciplined like. The teacher can only respect her children if she has a real knowledge of child development, as well as the qualities of the inner security, of self awareness and integrity. Also the teacher needs to keep her medical concerns (meaning why is this child in a wheelchair, why is the mother using a kain) about the child to herself, and she also need to respect the families’ privacy. The only time when I think a teacher should be worried about a child’s medical condition is when they showing signs of hurting themselves or others around them and even when you may think the child is being abused at home. A good teacher would act on a problem like this out of unconditional caring and intuition. But the thing is that I think the teacher should want to care for her students just because she actually cares for kids. And that is why he or she picked this career; a good teacher will also be approachable and listen to the children. Offering support as needed and laughing with the children is always soulful healing. But once again I am not sure if I agree or disagree with many people because they say you shouldn’t laugh at the student. I’m not saying laugh at the student but teach them to laugh at themselves when they make mistakes, so that they will not be hard on themselves. But by no means laugh at the children but lead by example and laugh at yourself when you make mistakes and they will follow your ways.

Great teachers also trust in their students. Trust in the fact that each child will find his or her way mentally, emotionally, and physically. You are trusting the fact that each child has potential and you as a teacher, will be able to notice their individual strengths and weaknesses. But the child may not be able to, You need to trust that they too will figure out their own strengths and weaknesses, it may come faster for some students and it may not as for others. Because this demands keen perception of the child’s capabilities and limits even if they are given a clue.

My own personal problem from being a camp councilor I would start to be called mom by my campers and I would be upset with some of the parents, because I didn’t feel like they were treating my camper(their child) the way I would if I were his or her parent. I was becoming emotionally attached to them and my campers were to me as well. They would cry when their real parents would come and pick them up. But as a teacher I know I will have to not let my personal feelings about their parents impose or hinder the trust between the parents and me. Also I need to feel empathy instead of anger not toward the parent. But once again because I felt like they weren’t being a good parent to my camper. But until I noticed that my campers need that psychological space, it was then when I noticed that I needed to distance myself from a mother mentality, into a camp councilor.

But the two most important things about working with children are laughter, and being a role model for them. Children will copy people that they see and I want to be a good example because they will be reflecting and reenacting you. You need to change your attitude and form of speech because you have the power to make or break this child. And hearing a child laughing is a great sign because then you know you have you students engaged, and happy learning through fun, and entertainment, and enjoying themselves.

So being that great effective teacher that people want to have around their children will be hard because nobody said that planting a good teacher in your self will be easy. I completely understand that I am willing to work hard at my own personal teacher’s garden because I want to be a great teacher. And every day in school I remind myself that teaching is like cultivating a garden, and those who want nothing to do with thorns must never attempt to gather flowers.


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