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Kathryn McNamara

1384 Commonwealth Ave #12 Allston, MA 02134 (508) 471-6366

As a child, I looked forward to going to school each day. Even as a college student, I hated missing classes. Sure, the social aspects definitely appealed to me, but deep down it was my desire for knowledge that fueled my affection for school. This love for learning comes from my personal positive experiences in education as a student, and is something that I hope to carry over to my experience as an educator. I want to inspire students the same way I was inspired, and to allow students the opportunity to succeed in whatever ways they can. There are two main goals I will strive to meet in order to fulfill this objective: Keep knowledge at the center of education and create an inclusive and open environment in the classroom.

1) Keep the desire for knowledge at the center of education

Education as we know it is constantly changing and it seems that more and more classes are being driven by standardized testing. While I understand the need for teachers to teach to the test, I personally do not believe that is an effective way of education. As I have previously stated, I think that knowledge should be at the center of education whether it be knowledge of a playwright or author, of a certain mathematic formula or of a specific set of skills the goal of education should be to learn something, not to be able to take a test. I want to instill this love of learning in my students by designing curriculum that interests them, not what they are told they have to know. Not only do I want to instill this desire for knowledge in each student, I want to inspire him or her to learn beyond the classroom to seek information wherever they can.

2) Create an inclusive and open environment

The fact that every student is different is not one that can be overlooked in a classroom. Diversity comes in many forms, and there are various ways with which to create an inclusive and welcoming classroom. By creating lessons that appeal to the multiple intelligences, I acknowledge and welcome the fact that not every student learns the same. Including culturally responsive teaching methods like offering ongoing assessments or delivering directions in different ways also serve to create this inclusive community within the classroom. It is most important for me to remember that students have the ability to do well when they are in an environment that supports him or her. In addition to creating a supportive and inclusive environment, the classroom should be a safe space where students can feel free to express themselves. Most of the school day is rigid and structured. In my drama classroom, students have the opportunity to really share thoughts, ideas and emotions with their peers in a space where these thoughts are welcomed and encouraged. In my 19 years as a student my love for learning has remained. Now, as an educator, I still love going to school. Even though Im on the other side of the classroom, I am still learning something new every day. As I continue to grow as an educator, I hope that I can continue to support and inspire students, and to share my love of learning with them.