Staring at my bookcase, I wonder when the education books began to outnumber the music scores. When exactly did I start to purchase teaching texts over aria compilations? What changed my goal from staring in Mozart operas to being Miss Kovach and teaching about Columbus, baking soda volcanoes, and multiplication? The important thing, however, is not how this change occurred but the simple fact that it did.
I came to love teaching through experience. Becoming a teacher was not something I planned. At first, teaching was simply an excuse to move to Hungary. I was ill prepared and had little knowledge of what teaching actually required. I had worked as a kindergarten assistant and taught a few preschool classes for an education course in college but those were little preparation for facing a classroom of middle school students. My first day was terrifying. I remember thinking “at least I never have to have another FIRST first day of teaching!” Despite my apprehension, I am proud of my accomplishments that first year as a teacher. Of course there were problems, but as a brand new teacher with little support, just making it through the year was a victory. Now in my second year as a full-time teacher, I have realized teaching is more than a means to an end. I love teaching and I want to obtain certification which will broaden my opportunities as well as help me become a better teacher who can inspire students to love learning.
The certification program at University of Bridgeport is particularly appealing to me because of the internship part of the program. After spending two years as a teacher, I hope to continue to develop through experience as well as formal education. The opportunity to apply what I will be learning directly into my internship will be a better means of reinforcement than any test or paper could ever be. Additionally, I strongly believe that teachers have an obligation to be both educators and role models to their students. The opportunity to work with and learn from experienced teachers in my placement will provide very practical and applicable knowledge in these areas.
My professional goal after completing my certification is to become a classroom teacher in an international school. Grades 2-4 are particularly appealing to me, because students are excited to learn and ready to continue building on the foundation created during nursery, kindergarten, and first grade. In my two years as an English teacher in Hungary, I have seen how important it is to be an ambassador for my country. I may be the only American my students ever meet so it is vital that I make a good impression. Additionally, the children in international schools have a special set of needs and, having lived outside of the US as a child, I understand what some of those challenges can be. With this certification and degree, I hope to be better equipped to educate and inspire my students.