Mark Boatman Journal– Educational BackgroundBoth of my parents have been educators my whole life and always stressed theimportance of receiving an education. They recognized the benefits of beginningschooling at an early age, and did everything within their power to provide me with astable learning environment.My schooling began in Mt. Home, ID at the Pre-school level. At that young age, Pre-school provided a basis of learning and foundation for years to come. I attendedelementary school at three separate locations in two states. The first elementary school Iattended was East Elementary in Mt. Home. After my 1st grade year was concluded, ourfamily moved to Washington State because teaching there provided my parents withmore adequate financial support. I entered the 2nd grade at Cascade Elementary inKennewick, WA. I didn’t like the teacher, as she was too much of an Authoritarian, and Ididn’t sense that she like her students very much. I finished Elementary School atSouthgate Elementary, where my mom was a teacher. At this stage in my schooling, Ibegan to thrive, and developed a love of learning. I had great teachers, especially Mrs.Anderson who taught the 4th and 5th grade. She always provided a challenging, yet funclassroom environment. An added bonus to attending school where my mom taught wasthat she was always down the hall to provide guidance, inquiry, and much neededparental support throughout the day.My Middle School years were spent at Horse Heaven Hills, where the daily structure wasquite different from the earlier years of my education. Having various teachers andsubjects throughout the day was a great way to see different approaches in instruction,and the ability to develop close relationships with peers.Kennewick High School is where I really developed a niche in the school environment.My dad was the Assistant Principal of the school and guided me along the way. This alsoallowed me to get to know my teachers well, both in and outside of the classroom. HighSchool provided various class options, both core subjects and electives, which allowedme to pursue areas of interest with enthusiasm. I also partook in various extra-curricularactivities, from Leadership Counsel to Wrestling. Also in High School I enrolled in theInternational Baccalaureate Program, part time, which involved advanced collegepreparation courses. I chose not to do the IB Program full-time because I enjoyed therelationships I had built in my regular classes, and wanted to have some continuity. Thisdecision probably wasn’t the most beneficial in terms of educational challenges, butlooking back I appreciate having both perspectives.As you can imagine, living in a household of teachers, not attending a College orUniversity was not an option. I knew early on that I was destined for the University ofIdaho. It has a great campus, an inviting atmosphere, and I couldn’t wait for theadventures that College life would bring. Besides the challenging courses, I was anactive leader within the University, serving on campus leadership counsels, and serving
as the Interfraternity Council’s Recruitment Chair. At the University of Idaho, thecontent of my classes was not difficult for me to grasp. Although, going to classconsistently….That’s another story. However, as I matured and learned timemanagement skills, I began to do better. I graduated in 4 years with a Bachelors ofScience degree in Anthropology and a Minor in Political Science.School serves many different purposes, and each school I have attended has contributedto my professional development. Obviously one of the purposes for schools is topromote intellectual development, which leads directly to knowing content matter andinformation, in relation to a specific field. The socialization process is all abouteducating the young, so they can be functioning, well-rounded members of society.Intrinsic to teaching is striving to understand the students to be effective in the classroom.Before you can understand the students, you first must have an understanding of self. Itwas easy for me to get to know my teachers and observe them because I was in the schoolenvironment more than the kids whose parents weren’t’ at the school. I learned early on,from my parents discussing students that each student learns at a different level ofunderstanding. I will apply this pedagogical content knowledge when I teach to beeffective as possible. A general observation I made throughout my education is that itseems like Elementary schools focus on how information is being taught, versus HighSchools that seem to focus on content, or what’s being taught. I believe that focusing onhow information is being conveyed is just as, if not more, important than simply spittingout facts and content.As stated above, I currently have an Undergraduate degree, and pursued a career inArchaeology, the years following graduation. After working as an Archaeologist for 3years, I decided what I really wanted to do was teach. Pursuing a 2nd degree ischallenging, but I am a believer in doing what makes you happy, and I believe teachingwill provide that satisfaction.