Up until the latter part of the 20th century, literacy simply meant the ability to be able to fully comprehend the meaning of the written word through reading. The emergence of computers and the internet as teaching and learning tools at the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century has caused a change in the meaning of the word literacy. These days, literacy is no longer limited to the printed word, so a new term was coined in order to properly define and describe the emerging literacy form.
E-literacy means a person who is literate not only in the old fashioned way of reading, but also in the electronic print media which has readily become available to everyone. As a teacher dealing with a whole new method of education and having students who have an unlimited source of information, it is therefore imperative that their teachers be just as, if not more electronically literate (e-literate) than they are. I must know how to use the digital advancements in the field of education to my advantage in order to retain a student’s interest and educate them in a manner to which they are accustomed.
Calkins was once noted to have said that in order to become a teacher of reading and writing, one must be a reader and writer oneself. Keeping the aforementioned in mind, it has become very important to note that a teacher these days can perform both tasks effectively because of the proliferation of the electronic media via the internet. For a teacher to be both an electronically literate reader and writer the teacher must therefore become a “Digital Native.”
However, until most teachers catch up with the available technology, such teachers will be stuck as a “Digital Immigrant” whose students will always know more than she does. A “Digital Native” teacher will have an edge in educating the modern students because such a teacher shall be able to speak their language and adept at writing in the slowly emerging literary forms such as blogs and twittering. It is only by mastering these new forms of literacy that a teacher will be able to keep up with the students and hold on to their interests as he or she tries to teach them the proper rudiments of reading and writing.
By doing so, a teacher will also manage to keep alive Albert Einstein’s educational vision of the perfect teacher. He once said, “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” His belief already got a helping hand from the internet which offers students and people in general, a thousand and one ways to enjoyably express themselves and be read by the world.
I honestly trust that teaching represents the mission and vocation of my life. The accomplishment of this dream will undoubtedly offer me the opportunity an achieving a rewarding and gratifying career. My resume validates the positions I have held as a teaching assistant for students in Special Education for 7th and 8th graders, in addition to rendering my practicum hours at Lemoyne School. I also attended seminars at Abundant Life Academy and Parish Elementary.
These positions demonstrate and emphasize my ability and enthusiasm to serve the community in a constructive and effective manner. Furthermore, as an intern at APW Middle School, I continue to gain valuable expertise in teaching children of multicultural backgrounds and needs by creating a positive learning atmosphere for all students to succeed and prosper. These job duties and responsibilities have allowed me to develop my management skills and granted me the prospect to modify the lessons for all levels of learning.
This array of experience has been extremely important to prepare and provide me with the solid foundation essential in achieving a teaching position. This extensive experience instilled in me the confidence and desire to become a reading specialist for children. Now that I have resolutely committed myself to becoming a reading specialist, I don’t want to wait any longer. It is therefore with resolute tenacity that I have decided to pursue my aspiration, nay, ambition in life, by applying for the Master’s Degree for Literacy.
The ancient Romans used to say; “experientia est magistra vitae” (experience is teacher in life). This collective and positive experience has allowed me to move forward and work towards accomplishing my goal of becoming an excellent teacher.