What do you want to be when you grow up? Children are usually asked this question at a young age; however, I recently began contemplated this question again. I was not fully certain of my choice to become a teacher until the end of high school when I began volunteering as a teaching assistant. This experience solidified my desire to study teaching as a profession. Now I am able to fully pursue and complete my academic aspirations of becoming a teacher knowing it was the right career path.
Many of our past experiences influence our charters and contribute to the choices we make on our path of life. My course has stayed consistent as I’ve become a young adult. Being an volunteer at schools and in my community – especially with working with younger children, has showed me that challenges can be extremely rewarding. This role has allowed me to build on the strengths I have developed over the years as a student and will continue as I progress through my education degree.
It was only after working one year as an volunteer Educational Assistant at Balgonie Elementary School that I realized my true passion with a career working with youth. During my role, I’ve had the opportunity to work with numerous students with diverse needs and backgrounds. For four years, I was involved in a program called Best Buddy’s, which provided support for a variety of students with behavioural, physical, cognitive and/or medical needs. I was also involved in working with Aboriginal family’s and children through a program called SEARCH by welcoming clients at the front door and tracking statistics. While working at SEARCH I was able to experience the system with well being specialists and the opportunity to learn about community growth and programming.
After volunteering at Balgonie Elementary School, I decided to further my education by applying for a teaching degree. During my year in the program, my first field placement was at M.J Coldwell School where I enjoyed working with students in a grade 2 to 3 split classroom. This placement also allowed me to work with students with learning disabilities, where I personally enjoyed talking to and making connections with children who lived in poverty or who were struggling with family issues. During this time l learned each child has different needs in a class and its not just a teacher, but a friend, who they need to talk to. This experience solidified my desire and commitment to become a teacher.