I have matured into an outstanding man with very familiar characteristics of my father. I am not sure if I can teach for forty years, but I have developed into the person today because of the life influences from my parents. If it was not for my parents I would not be where I am today. They have given me strength and little doubt. So when did I feel the passion to become a teacher? The passion developed late at 19 years old after my father died at 67. Both my father and mother are school teachers. During my college I observed their teaching philosophies and it inspired me to become a teacher. I am pursuing teaching because it played a big role in my adolescent life. The intrinsic motivation, the self-determination and the social identity experiences developed me into the person that I am today.
Intrinsic motivation developed through my self-esteem and the stressfulness of the school environment. What is intrinsic motivation? The author notes that, “Intrinsic motivation is ope-rationalized as a preference for academic challenge, high curiosity in school work, and an independent approach to mastery of the academic environment” (Fenzel). The intrinsic motivation has pushed me to my intellectual limits. For example, I had a hard time with in my 7th grade biology class because the science material was hard to comprehend and process. I used intrinsic motivation throughout my childhood to improve my interventions to speak better and comprehend English. During my middle school experience I received more peer assistance through speech and language support. For example, the author suggests that, “Instructional practices may be a possible mechanism that mediates the correspondence between teacher and student motivation” ( Shui-fong, & Rebecca Wing-yi). This intervention helped me develop a lifelong learning process of motivation.
I experienced self-determination in my second year of college at Macomb Community College and my first semester at WMU. I was determined to achieve my academic goals after I learned my father died from cancer of the liver. He was a teacher for over 40 years and I enjoyed observing his lesson plans while growing up. His teaching influence and philosophy had a big impact on my self-determination process. In January of 2009 I volunteered my free time to develop and explore teaching. I tutored and taught until mid-June of 2009 at Brownell Middle School. The experience was amazing and uplifting to me. The experience inspired me to further myself and to become a teacher. Parts of the self-determination that I developed today are from my parent’s behaviors. My life experience in America has been outstanding, but it was difficult to learn. Why did I struggle with learning? The article, “Improving the Reading Comprehension of Middle School Students” notes that,
“One of the most vexing problems facing middle and secondary school teachers today is that many students come into their classrooms without the requisite knowledge, skills, and disposition to read and comprehend the materials placed before them”. (Ae-Hwa Kim, Vaughn, S., Klingner, J. K., Woodruff, A. L. 2006, 235).
Students such as me have experienced poor academic reports because of the little preparations for schools. I was ambitious to volunteer at Brownell Middle School and learn self-determination to earn a teaching degree. My parents were huge role models in my life, especially my father. They taught me how to build my character and treat others the right way I would want to be treated. For example, the article, “Modeling Appropriate Behaviors: Helping Teachers Recognize their Position as Role Models for Children” points out that, “These are: (1) modeling social/emotional skills; (2) modeling intellectual growth; and (3) modeling physical development” (Wilford, 2007).
Students should try to connect to their stories to teachers and other role models so they can build upon their own lives. I would have never dreamed of graduating college in Bulgaria my because I never thought it was possible. I have come so far in the past 19 years because I have developed strong strengths from the parents that raised me
I have developed my self-determination this far because of them. Parents like mine were my own teachers. They were determined that I would learn to achieve no matter how high the stakes. The article, “Good or Bad, What Teachers Expect from Students They Generally Get!” found that,
“Teachers convey expectations using four factors: climate, feedback, input, and output. The four factors can better be controlled if teachers are more aware that they are operating in the first place. Even if teachers do not truly feel that a student is capable of greater achievement or improved behavior, they should at least act as though they hold such heightened positive expectations” (Tuaber 1998). This example is how I developed into a self-determined individual that set high goals.
The social identity behaviors I developed from my friends and parents developed me into the person I am today. I was not a social person until after my sophomore years in college at WMU. I became more social during the school extracurricular such as student government and Christian youth groups. During my late adolescence I was intimated to become more social because I was eager to create separation from my parents. The author explains that, “Identity achievement is achieved between 18 & 21 years old” (Fondacaro). That for me was true. The article “Late Adolescence” clarifies that “No longer under parent’s roof-the university or open world setting reveals “new ideas, ideals and values” (Kroger). For example, I would agree with my friends and have different ideas and values compared to my parents to develop into a larger social context.
In conclusion, it is because of my childhood and adolescence experiences I am the person I am today. I came from a unique background in Bulgaria. Much of the success I have experienced today is thanks to my parents. My parents left a piece of a puzzle for me to accomplish and they role molded me to learn consciously to never again give up in everything.