personal statement for Teaching Assistants-Early Childhood Summer Session 2004
1. Please explain how your past personal and professional experience make you a quality candidate for the position for which you are applying.
I believe I am a qualified candidate for the teaching assistant opening for early childhood summer session at Washington. Though I have not decided which teaching certificate to attain, I am convicted to pursue teaching opportunities. These convictions began to formulate after my summer job, teaching English in Taiwan (The Silent Teaching Center 2002). In the fall of 2002, I took education classes at UIUC and volunteered at King’s Club International. By the New Year, I was fully committed and am still pursuing different teaching opportunities. I want to assist at Washington because it would give me experience with early childhood students in the classroom setting.
Being born in Taiwan, but raised in America, I jumped on the opportunity to teach what I learned to students at The Silent Teaching Center. For two months I taught three intermediate level ESL classes with students ranging from 8 years of to high school aged. More than learning the routine and developing classroom material, I learned a passion for my students to come to class and take something away that is useful. I am still passionate for that.
When I came back in the fall, having completed almost all of my required business classes, I decided to take some education classes to further develop my teaching and understanding for any of my future students. I enjoyed the classes and genuinely felt like I was learning. At the same time, I wanted to continue to work with children, so I signed up to volunteer with King’s Club International. Coming from a predominately upper-middle class family living in suburban chicagoland, I had to adjust to the differences in race and socioeconomic status of the families we served. It was through this ministry that I gained a love and compassion for inner city children and their families. It is through these experiences that I continue to be committed to kids as a whole, to actively make a difference in their lives.
I am currently employed at the YMCA as the Fun Pass Coordinator. The Fun Pass program is an after school program for junior high students in Champaign County. The goal of this outreach is to give lower income families a place to send their children to have safe and active fun. I began as a temporary bus driver who helped out with the program, but after a semester of commitment to the students, I was offered the coordinator position. There was no transition period from my previous coordinator to myself coordinating, so I quickly had to learn to discipline these students while adjusting to their level in order to reach out to them. In the midst of that, we experienced a rapid growth in attendance as students learned of the program. I continue to run the program with very few, if any volunteers, all the while planning field trips and activities for discontent, complaining junior high students. Though some days are very difficult, I am committed to them, knowing that I may be their only positive interaction for any given day or even week.
I know that anyone can love young children, and I do, but I think I can give more to Washington. Based on my past experiences, I have learned and adjusted for my students. I am fully committed to their lives and learning, even when it is difficult to love them. I am learning that being a teacher means you serve and are no longer being served.