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  1. 1. Anderson 1Alissa AndersonSusan LesterAdvanced Grammar and Composition5 March 2012 Speech Essay How many little girls do you know of that aspire to be just like their mother when theygrow up?For me, it all started in Kindergarten; I think I had a special type of connection with theteachers in my school. My mom had taught at the elementary school I attended, so you could sayI had a “home court advantage.” I had a close bond with every single one of my teachersKindergarten through the 5th grade. I got to stay after school, run errands for teachers, I got tocheck their mailboxes(which was exciting as a kid), play hide-n-go seek during Pre and PostPlanning weeks with other teacher’s kids, and I got to see all the perks of being a teacher.Inmiddle school, we soon get the pounding question; what do you want to do with your life whenyou grow up?As much as some people discouraged my answer, I wanted to be a teacher. Iwanted to follow in my mother’s footsteps, and I wanted to have a fun life while impacting ourfuture from the beginning stages.In high school, we start hearing about the senior project;teachers and kids always asking, do you have any ideas? What are you going to do? As afreshman I had a good idea, I wanted to teach an Elementary class. The more I grew up, the more the economy tanked; this meant that all the teachers that Ihad grown up with started warning me about the changes the school system would go through.The issue of increasing class size was often brought to my attention by numerous teachers.Theyoften tried to explain to me how much it affects how enjoyable teaching is.Everything they
  2. 2. Anderson 2would tell me was backed up by my research on class size. It affects the students and the teachermuch more than an outsider would think it does.I got to experience the effect of class size on ateacher first hand while I was teaching my lesson to Mrs. McConnell’s Kindergarten Class.NowI’m going to tell you about my project facilitator. Brandy McConnell assisted me throughout my senior project. I was looking for anexperienced, dependable teacher that I knew personally from growing up being close to manyElementary School teachers.My project facilitator was once my student teacher in the 2nd gradeat Holly Springs Elementary School. We’ve kept in touch with each other even after shefinished her student teaching in Mrs. Whitmire’s class.She now teaches Kindergarten in the sameElementary School that my mom does.Mrs. McConnell received her Masters Degree in EarlyChildhood Education at Piedmont College,after she had earned her Bachelor’s Degree atReinhardt College. In the spring of 2002, Brandy McConnell student taught Mrs. Whitmire’s 2ndgrade class at Holly Springs Elementary School.She then carried on teaching first grade for fiveyears at Hickory Flat Elementary School; after that, Mrs. McConnell began teachingKindergarten for four additional years. While teaching at Hickory Flat Elementary School shewas asked to take the responsibility of being Grade Level Chair. Brandy McConnell is now partof the opening staff at Indian Knoll Elementary School. She is currently teaching a Kindergartenclass at Indian Knoll as a Teach 21 teacher. Her many years of experience in different gradelevels and schools was very helpful in assisting me throughout my project.With the guidance of my facilitator, I completed my final product step by step.The first thing myproject facilitator and I discussed was the overview of the entire project, and what the finalproduct was going to be.She then tried to get me to realize how much work actually goes intoplanning a unit lesson plan.After going home and deciding what subject area I would enjoy
  3. 3. Anderson 3teaching the most, I met with my facilitator to discuss what would be the most realistic for me todo. I chose to create a math unit lesson plan, as math is my favorite subject and my facilitatorsent me home to think and research about different activities I could do with the students.Wethen had to look to the future to see when the final product was due to ensure I taught the lessonon time. The problem with this is that it gave me a much narrower selection of what I could teachthe children. I didn’t want to mess up their schedule to accommodate my senior projectschedule.I decided to be flexible and teach whatever standards they were covering at the time Iwas going to present my lesson, but I also wanted the lesson to be beneficial to their future, notjust coloring inside the lines.After research into the Georgia Performance Standards, I finallydecided I would make my unit lesson plan to follow the MKN1h standard. I would be teachingchildren for the first time ever how to identify coins by name and their value. After this, myfacilitator advised me that it would help if I could actually be around the Kindergarten classbefore I started teaching.This word of advice came with an obstacle; I get out of school for WorkBasked Learning at 1:30, so the only time I could get to Indian Knoll was around 1:50. Since Iam in Work Based Learning I had to work sometimes, and she now has a family to take care of.It wasn’t like the times in second grade where I could just go over to her house whenever. Theonly thing I could do to manage to get some time in would be walking them to the bus becausethey were about to leave when I would get to the school.My facilitator gave me the KindergartenTeacher’s Edition book so I could see what math was like on a Kindergarten level. She alsoprovided me with many different formats of lesson plans so that I could see which one was thebest outline for me. Finally, we sat down and brainstormed about the first lesson plan I wasgoing to write and teach.We discussed different attention grabbers, hands-on activities,technology based activities, and books to include in this lesson plan.I then went home and wrote
  4. 4. Anderson 4out the completed lesson plan with the standards, materials, procedures, etc. The first day afterwinter break, I went in early and got to warm up to the kids, and did various errands for Mrs.McConnell before I taught my lesson. There was only one technology problem I encountered,my activator (or attention grabber wouldn’t work. The song was blocked on the CherokeeCounty website, and the technology man was not there to fix this for us. This was an obstaclethat could be easily overcome though; I simply picked another song and moved on. Later, webrainstormed the rest of the unit lesson plan. In doing the rest of the unit lesson after I taught thefirst one helped us realize what we needed to cut out, and whatwas beneficial to the teaching. Ihave learned a lot about myself in this project, and started reflecting more on what I want to dowith my future. I’ve learned a lot about myself throughout the process of this senior project.I havelearned that I need to write down what I’m thinking at the time, because I don’t alwaysremember the idea two weeks later. I’ve learned that I am very punctual and I don’t like to dothings in the last minute. I’ve also remained very organized throughout this project. My workalways means a lot to me because I know that it reflects who I am.I have learned more personalskills in the making of this product rather than anything else. I’ve learned how to talk to adultson more of a business level rather than casually. In contrast, I’ve learned how you must speak tochildren. After being close minded on my career prospects for the majority of my life, after thissenior project and talking to many teachers I am now realizing I need to broaden my horizon ofopportunities that are in front of me. I still want to work with people, and I don’t want to workwith robots. As of right now, one day I want to become a lawyer. I have absolutely realized thatit takes a very special person to become a teacher, and with the future changing the waysteaching has been in the past, it takes someone who is very dedicated to their job. I still want to
  5. 5. Anderson 5make an impact on people’s future, but I no longer want to do it in this way. I’ve decided totackle another big dream, and try and one day make a different impact on lives.Next year I amattending Kennesaw State University because I simply cannot take on the challenge of being faraway from my family. Right now, I plan on majoring in Business Administration, with a minorin psychology. This degree will better help guide myself into the doors of a prestige’s lawschool. Thank you all so much for listening to my presentation, are there any questions regardingmy project?