My time at CKS:
Hi! My name is Elizabeth Simmons and I have been at CKS for sixteen years. My first seven years were spent as a teaching assistant for Kindergarten. During that time, I worked to acquire my bachelor’s degree and teaching certificate in the evenings and summers at University of Texas at Dallas. For the last nine years I have been teaching first grade.
For most children, school is their first real social situation, the first time they have to interact with so many children at once. School should provide for students a chance to develop social skills, as well as independence and confidence. In school, students should learn how to work with others, as well as alone. They should learn to trust one another and take responsibility. A good teacher and school provides many opportunities for students both socially and intellectually, but the most important role of schools is to nurture an enthusiasm for learning.
One of the jobs of the teacher is to create this environment, a happy, friendly environment, where students feel comfortable coming to learn. In order to create this sort of environment for students, criticism and the correction of mistakes must be minimal and as positive as possible.
A teacher should nurture an enthusiasm for learning by providing fun, hands-on activities that take into consideration the different learning styles and abilities that comes with each student.
Most importantly, a good teacher knows how to control their class and is fair and reasonable with the students. On the other hand, a good student is someone who applies himself/herself, participates in class, does their work, and does not act out. A good student sets a good example for other students in the class.
Finally, as a teacher I feel it is important to provide students with different forms of assessment. There are many ways to assess student success, and exams are only one way. Teachers should be assessing their students on a daily basis, through in-class activities. By doing an ongoing assessment, a teacher can see where the students are and if she needs to spend more time on a topic before moving onto the next. Most importantly, a teacher should set her expectations high and maintain these high expectations. The more a teacher expects from their students the more they will get, and the less a teacher expects from their students the less they will get. It is so important that a teacher never lowers their expectations, and always continues pushing their students for more.
My hobbies and what I do with my spare time:
In my spare time I like to spend time with my family and friends. Cooking with my mother is always a traditional experience I look forward to each time I visit home. I also enjoy painting (although I’m not very good and have little experience), keeping up with sports such as college football, the Mavericks, tennis, and golf, and playing with my kittens, Emma, Ava, and Sammy. I hope to, one day, have a busy life with a family and many children, but until then I stay very busy and have a happy and satisfying life!