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Running head: Autobiographical Essay

Autobiographical Essay Mackenzie Cofer Kristen M. Beck M.Ed. EDU 201 Foundations of Education Online Section: Spring, 2011

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Autobiographical Essay Growing up, I remember sitting at home and playing school with my younger cousins. Each time I fought with my cousins to be the teacher. Even though I was a child, I remember the feeling I got when I had taught my younger cousins something they did not know, and the feeling I got when they would share with my family what I had taught them. It was at this point in my life I started saying I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up. During my school years I had many teachers who had this passion for teaching that I had as being a pretend teacher to my cousins. I also had some who did not. While the passionate teachers played a huge role in me continuing to want to be a teacher, it was the not-so-passionate teachers that really hit a spot in me to continue my education after high school and become a teacher. I wanted to bring something back to a classroom that they took away- devotion. That is why I am continuing my education in elementary education. I believe there are a lot of things that have led me on this path. These include my educational background, work history, service and extracurricular activities, my reasons for choosing education as a career, and my professional goals. Educational Background I started attending pre-school at Dawns Learning Connection at the age of four. I attended kindergarten at Springdale Kindergarten. First through third grade I attended Dworshak Elementary and fourth grade I attended White Pine Elementary. I attended fifth and sixth grade at Paul Elementary. My seventh and eighth grade years were spent at West Minico Junior High. The final four years of school I attended Minico High School for grades ninth through twelfth. I After graduation, I started attending the College of Sothern Idaho. I attended college for a year and then took a semester to have my first

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child. I am now back attending CSI and my current level of education is a college sophomore. I have taken a variety of classes that have taught me many different skills. Communications has helped me to feel more comfortable with speaking in front of a crowd. It also helped me to be more effective in my communication skills with others. These skills will help me in the future to communicate effectively with students, their parents, and my colleagues. Peer-tutoring has given me an opportunity to see what goes on in a classroom and the opportunity to work with students. I worked with many different children from many different backgrounds and with many different personalities. I have taken sociology classes that have taught me a lot about different cultures. They have given me a greater appreciation for them and the customs and traditions they practice. I have also had a variety of teachers. Each teacher has different methods they apply to their classrooms. In some of my classes we did a lot of group work and presentations, whereas in some classes we did not do any group work. I can apply many of the different methods I have learned in my own classroom someday. Work History I started learning the importance of work ethics at a very young age. Growing up, I was the oldest and helped tend my younger siblings and helped with duties around the house. When I was ten, I started helping at a daycare after school. It was here I learned that children require a lot of attention and patience. During the summers I would help my father move wheel lines and change water. This was not a job I liked much, but it taught me responsibility and how hard my father had to work to put food on our table. It also gave me a huge appreciation for farmers. When I was sixteen I started working At Moreys Steak House as a hostess. I was also employed

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at the Fairfield Inn at this time as a housekeeper. These were two completely different jobs with completely different responsibilities. As a hostess, I would greet and seat people. I would also help get drinks and make salads if we got really busy. Being a housekeeper, I cleaned rooms at the hotel and helped guests with any need they might have. At these jobs I learned the importance of being respectful to people, even when you do not receive respect. I learned how to interact with people and how to think quickly on the spot to help people with their need or problem. I also learned the importance of being on time. After graduation I started working as a waitress. This job taught me to have patience with people. It also gave me a lot of experience interacting with many different kinds of people. All of these jobs have taught me many different skills that will be helpful in my role as a teacher. I will be a more effective communicator, have greater patience, display timeliness, responsibility, and respect in my classroom. I will also show my students the importance of hard work and the importance of appreciating different cultures. Service and/or Extracurricular Activities During my high school years I had many experiences with services and extracurricular activities. All four years of high school I was on our school dance team, Dance Force. Dance Force taught me many things including teamwork, the gift of giving, dedication, determination, hard work, self-esteem, discipline and leadership. I was voted by the team to receive the Jay Ledford Inspirational Award when I was a senior and was honored to receive that award. I was also on student council my freshman year as our secretary. This taught me organization, good record keeping, and planning skills. Every year for dance we participated in the Gift of Green. We would pick a family from our community that was not fortunate enough to provide Christmas to their family. This could be because of a family death, illness, loss of a job, or any

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other unfortunate event. After picking the family we would talk to the parent(s) and see what the children wanted and needed for Christmas. Then we would decide as a team who would buy for each family member. On some of the presents we would write from Santa because the children thought Santa had forgot about them. We would also provide a Christmas dinner for the family. It was an unforgettable feeling seeing the childrens face light up when we would take them their presents. It was an amazing feeling to know that we provided Christmas for a family that otherwise would not have one. This reminded me of the true meaning of Christmas and taught me the gift of giving to others. It reminded me of everything I have to be thankful for. My senior year I was captain and I learned a lot of leadership skills. We went to New Orleans to perform at The BSC bowl game. We had a lot of pressure on us to be the best we could be. We had ten hour practices a day in New Orleans to prepare. Our team was under a lot of pressure and it was up to me as captain to reduce the stress and keep us on track. I had to motivate my team and help them from being discouraged and giving up. I have also participated with my church in high way cleanup. This was an opportunity to give back to the community and help keep our highways clean. These are many skills that I can bring to my classroom. It is important for me as teacher to motivate my students, teach them the importance of giving, determination, discipline, and teamwork. Reasons for Choosing Education as a Career Growing up, I always thought about being a teacher. After graduation I was torn between social work and teaching. I took some social work classes but ultimately realized teaching was a much better choice for me. I have always wanted to make a difference in a childs life. Children are so innocent and often times get taken advantage of. I knew many teachers growing up who cared more about power than about teaching. I want children to come to school eager to learn

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and not be scared of academic obstacles they may face but rather embrace them and have the confidence to overcome them and be the best they can be. I want to help children grow to their full potential and see them succeed. Children get so lost in testing and assessment these days, I want them to see that school is so much more than that. If I can impact at least one students life, I have done my job. Another reason for choosing this career is that I want to add more children to my family someday and this job will allow me to spend summers with them and when they are in school I will be in school and when they are out I will be out. This career will also allow me to give back to my community. This career has many intrinsic rewards and that is what will make it so rewarding each and every day. Professional Goals One of my long term professional goals is to create a learning environment where students are not afraid to voice their opinion or ask for help. This will be accomplished by each student gaining trust of me and their classmates. I will teach students to understand that everyone needs help sometimes and that it is never okay to make fun of a student asking for help. Another long term goal is to use different teaching methods. I will do this by learning and applying different methods that students prefer and learn best from. My short term goals are to keep a high grade point average, earn my bachelors degree in elementary education, and find a job as an elementary teacher in my hometown. I will accomplish this by working hard and studying faithfully in all my classes. I will keep pursuing my degree until I have accomplished this goal. I believe that all of my experiences will play a role in the educator I intend to be. I do not want children to have to go to a class where the teacher has no passion. I want children to be

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excited to learn and achieve their goals. I have learned many life skills that I hope to portray in my classroom someday.