My Educational Experience
Ever since I was little I wanted to go to school. I would watch my sisters get on the bus, and I couldn't wait until I could go too. I've always had a strong desire to learn. My mom even tried to enroll me into kindergarten early, but I wasn't old enough; instead, she taught me at home herself.
We would work on little projects and go on field trips, so by the time I could go to school I had already experienced a lot. I knew how to read and write very well. I remember my first grade teacher, Mrs. Woods, the most. She always went out of her way to teach us new things, and would never tier of answering questions; I was one of those kids who had a million. Mrs. Woods started to notice how much I liked to write. During playtime, I would sit at the table and write short stories and "roses are red, violets are blue" poems. She started giving me individual writing projects to take home for the weekend. I loved it! I would get so excited that I would start working on it as soon as I got home.
After I graduated first grade I was really sad that I wouldn't be able to do anymore writing projects so my mom started making them for me. I wrote all throughout elementary. I still brought one to Mrs. Woods once in a while; she said she missed reading them.
When I got to middle school, things were a lot different. Everybody was separated into different cliques and there was a lot of peer pressure. It was more difficult to learn in class; if you paid attention too much, then your friends would make fun of you. Eventually, I started to goof off in class just to fit in. My grades went from straight A's to a C average. My mom started to worry about me; she said I wasn't reaching my potential and was disappointed how I wasn't dedicated in school anymore.
At the end of my eight grade year, my mom decided to pull me out of public school and home school me. She felt it would be better if she taught me one on one. It was exciting, and I felt like I was learning more and having fun with school work again. It was also nice to have my mom teaching me again. I didn't have to wake up early and I could work at my own pace. However, after a while I felt like I was missing out on things. I didn't get to go to any school dances and I didn't have a place to meet new friends.
As time went on I became more shy and less willing to meet new people. Since I wasn't going out as much, I started to forget how to interact more with people. I got nervous when we went places with a lot of kids so I started staying at home more. On top of that, with my mom working full time, and having such a leisurely schedule, I started putting
Transcript of Self-Literacy Memoir
Sarah's Self-Literacy Memoir
To this day, I dread essays, taking notes, ACT writing, and short-answer questions. It's not that I feel like I don't have the capability to succeed in the area of writing; I just don't enjoy it. I still have neat handwriting and a strong imagination, but I would much rather tell the story out loud than write it on paper. I have found, though, that I do enjoy typing on computers. I like writing stories on the computer more than on paper because nothing is permanent. I can go back and change my ideas and fix my grammar and punctuation without scribbling everything out and making my whole paper look really messy. I don't know if any single event ever turned me off from writing. It seems like I was just born not liking it.
Always happy, always talking
My second grade teacher, Mrs. Taylor, made me want to be a teacher.
Once I learned not to talk without permission, I kept my bear in the tree and I loved school!
Learning to Read
From the very beginning of my life, I have been a "book lover." I learned to read when I was four years old and haven't stopped yet. When I was little, my mom would read me several stories before I went to sleep each night. Her love of books soon became mine. The walls of my house were covered with shelves and shelves of books. I read anything I could get my hands on, from cereal boxes to chapter books. My kindergarten teacher even let me read to my class each week.
I constantly got in trouble at school for reading while my teachers were teaching. Once I started a book, it was really hard for me to stop.
Learning to Listen
Because I was such an avid speaker, listening never came easy for me. I had to make a conscious effort in school to pay attention and listen. When it came to fun activities or my mom reading me a story, I could listen okay, but my problem was hearing and remembering. My comprehension for things said out loud to me was zero. It would literally go in one ear and out the other. When I had to listen, but I could follow along visually as well, I had a much easier time remembering.
Loving to Listen
Once I figured out that listening was more difficult for me, I could really work at it and get better. And I have. I can listen in class much better now, even though I will always be a more visual learner. I think it is extremely important to be able to listen. People would miss out on so many things if they didn't, like the sounds of nature, important signals, and test material in class. I have found that, even though I also love to speak, I truly love to listen.
I was never taught how to speak.
I just did. I came out of my mother's womb with things to say. Like all parents with babies, they wanted me to say, "Mama" and "Dada," but once they got me talking, I never stopped. I just wanted to learn things and tell them to people. School was a huge adjustment for me because, for the first couple grades, I got in trouble repeatedly for talking without permission. The only reason I ever pulled my card, took my bear out of the tree, or moved my clip to the sad face through all my years in school was for talking. Eventually, I learned to speak only with permission (although it was always a struggle), answering questions in class when others were quiet and sharing long-winded stories with my classmates. All in all, I had good teachers and supportive parents that taught me not to be afraid of being wrong and to speak up when appropriate.
Learning to read was a cinch for me, and why wouldn't it be? I had two parents and an older brother who read books to me all the time. We didn't have cable growing up, so, to get lost in a story, I had to open a book. I wouldn't trade those memories for anything!
Over the years, I have continued to speak loudly and often. Because of the positive reinforcement I had when I was younger, I have become confident in myself as a public speaker and am still one of the ones who speak up in class. Growing up, I was involved with different activities, like 4-H, Girl Scouts, and Student Government, that required me to speak publicly, and those things have helped shape me into the speaker I am today.
The first book I learned to read by myself was
Toad on the Road
by Susan Schade. I could probably recite that book to you today from memory because of the amount of times I read it when I was little. I don't remember a time when I wasn't reading. I learned very fast and then wanted to read to everyone, even strangers.
Today, I still read pretty much anything and everything. I like my books with a little bit of suspense and mystery; I'm a huge fan of plot twists. However, I'm fascinated by all types of literature, and one of my favorite things is being surprised by a book I thought I wouldn't like.
To say that my childhood memories with reading have shaped who I am today would be a huge understatement. I have grown to love reading because of the love my parents had for it and because of the opportunities I was given to read all different types of literature. It also helped that I had more books in my home than food.
Although reading came naturally for me, writing wasn't nearly as enjoyable. It wasn't that I didn't like to write necessarily; I just lost interest in it fast. There were always pieces of paper scattered around my house of stories I'd started and never finished. I had decent handwriting and a good imagination; I was just more interested in reading other people's works than writing my own. Other than the few unfinished stories, I never really wrote or drew as a kid. I learned to write my name at 5 years old, and that was basically the extent of my writing career.
One reason for not enjoying writing may have been because my parents used it as a consequence for me. If I did something I wasn't supposed to do, I had to write what I did wrong 100 times. It may not have been the best parenting strategy, but I will say that it worked on me. I hated to write so much that I behaved.
One thing that I plan on doing as a teacher is to allow conversation in my classroom. I think it is important for students to collaborate with each other in order to grow and learn, so I will give them plenty of chances to discuss the class material.
I was (am) very much a visual learner. The only way I am able to remember anything is if I can make some visual connection to it. Growing up, I liked to watch movies and play computer games, and I always loved the days when we got to do those things at school. I enjoyed making things with my hands like collages and posters, but I never got to make very many in school, and we hardly ever did work on the computers.
I still use visual techniques like posters and note cards to study, and I plan on using lots of visual representation in my classroom. I want there to be posters and color everywhere. I also want to teach my students to use computers to make graphic organizers and PowerPoints in order to help them succeed.
Listening, speaking, reading, and writing have always been essential parts of my life.
While reading and speaking have come naturally, writing and listening have been tasks I have had to worker harder at. However, I have learned that all four of these are equally important and, in order to succeed, I have to know what works best for me.