In front of my new "school": The College of Education at the University of Washington. Yeah, Seattle!
A friend of mine asked me once, “When did you know you wanted to be a teacher?” I was perplexed by this question. The more I thought about it, the more I knew: there was no moment when I “just knew”; I have always known that education is the profession, to which I have been called. My training has not been a journey of becoming an educator, but of understanding the educator that I am and want to be.
It is here, at the College of Education, that I have met professors, fellow students, and scholars of all sorts that have all contributed to a significant realization in my journey as an educator. Having originally thought I would have to decide between being an education practitioner and an education scholar, I have since learned here that I can be both. Indeed, I am both and it will be an integral element of my career to balance both sides of the coin. Building on the insights I have gained from my prior experiences, I will devote my career in education to understanding the power of educational experiences, as they occur in both formal institutions and the plethora of alternatives utilized by schools and families. I want to know how educational experiences presently contribute to students’ attitudes toward learning and how these attitudes align with trends in student motivation and investment in life-long learning. Ultimately, my question is: What do children learn from their early learning experiences about learning and how do these experiences influence the attitudes they develop toward academic achievement, life-long learning, and their individual ownership of the learning they desire to pursue?
There is much to learn, both as scholar and practitioner, as I continue to tackle this area of interest. It is too early to say where I would like to go with it, but I am confident that my enthusiasm, commitment, and pure passion for reflecting and advancing on this topic will lead me in the right direction.