MARISA COCOKIOS 1 Going to this early education school gave me a different perspective on how young children should be taught. Until today, I never viewed teaching pre-schoolers and children in kindergarten to be THAT big of a deal. You teach them how to color in the lines, say the alphabet, count to 5, etc. That was always my outlook on teaching early education students. This school really values the minds of younger children and really takes into account everything that the students should know and already know. This visit enhanced the knowledge I have about early education and also opened my mind to things I never knew. The school environment was very welcoming and everywhere you went, the students were able to learn. When I was there, I felt that if I were to teach at that school, I would be recognized and feel valuable for what I was teaching. I felt that the teachers there were really there for a reason; that all the education they completed was worth something. It made me think back to what we read about in Kaleidoscope when the teacher was feeling new and out of place and if he or she were to speak up about something, they would not be noticed and would be looked down upon for speaking out of turn because he or she was new. The school we were at made me feel that that kind of attitude would never come from other teachers. It seemed that every person’s voice, adult and child, would be heard and took into consideration. I believe that an elementary teacher’s primary objective is the students and their mind. They are molding the student’s minds and helping them to develop into young, mature students. I believe that they play the most important role in the student’s educational career. Once the students get to junior high or even upper elementary school, they already have a mind of their own at that point and have a good understanding as to what is going on with school. In the early elementary, the children look to their teachers for full guidance. The students look to them for answers and knowledge and questions and anything the students’ feel they could need. I was really touched by what the principal said about secondary teachers and how they should have the disposition of an elementary teacher. That really helped me to rethink how I would run my classroom. Just because I would be working with teenagers does not mean that they are not just as inclined to learn as younger students. I feel that all secondary teachers should treat their students with as much respect and patience as an elementary teacher would. It came off to me that Mary Castle elementary school really valued and put their students up on a pedestal almost. I believe that all schools, no matter what age, should do that. The students that go to this early elementary school are so privileged with all the opportunities they have to learn. From walking around the school, to being in the classroom, to even being outside, everywhere they go they have an opportunity to learn. Being at that school really gave me inspiration and motivation to promote that type of learning in my classroom some day. Part of my philosophy of education is to have a constant and positive learning environment and everywhere the students go or look they have a chance to learn something. I believe in the idea to constantly learn and being at this school really showed me that that idea could become reality.