"Children must be taught how to think, not what to think."
- Margaret Mead
I am a special education teacher in beautiful and sunny Los Angeles, California. As an educator, I believe that learning needs to be student centered and that students need to be equal partners in the learning process. A teacher is one who creates an environment that is conducive to learning — a place where students can immerse themselves in a subject or content area. Learning is not a passive process, it requires motivation, effort, and persistence.
I immigrated to the United States in December of 2001. I began my professional career early in life, as I was required to be the designated translator for my Korean-only speaking family. Bank statements, government documents, you name it, I was interpreting from the age of seven. Although translating was hard work at times, I quickly fell in love with the English language and did well in my educational career.
My brother, however, struggled in reading and writing, which was interesting to me as my brother was naturally a quick learner. It seemed as though the traditional lecture-style teaching methodologies just didn't fit him. It was from seeing my brother and how much his reading deficits haunted him, that I wanted to teach and create an environment in which ALL students would be successful.
My role as an educator is to put the necessary resources in the hands of students and be sure that my students are well equipped to enjoy the process of learning, not do the learning for them. It is my job, especially as a special education teacher, to inspire student to enter the learning environment with a commitment to learning, a willingness to work, and a sense of personal responsibility toward achieving their educational goals.
Having an art history background, I have seen the effectiveness of visual and kinesthetic learning. Visual associations help students process information faster and with more clarity. With my art history background, I aspire to implement imagery and visual culture to provide different ways in understanding in accordance with the traditional teaching pedagogy. I believe in the ideology of meeting ALL my students where they are at and I have a passion for inspiring through encouragement. My students have shown me time and time again that everyone with encouragement has a capability of succeeding. They proved the old Korean proverb, “Praise can make an elephant dance.”
I'm Michelle (Ye Eun) Choi
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