By Sally Kaplan, SED 2017
As almost all education majors understand, we didn’t choose our major, it chose us. Since I can remember, I have strived to become an educator and my dream of teaching has played a part in many of the choices I make for my life. My mom still laughs at the fact that when I was six, I asked for an overhead projector for Christmas. My room was filled with markers and white boards and every weekend, I would pretend to teach an imaginary class. If you couldn’t tell, becoming a teacher was never really a question, it just depended which school would help me fulfill my dream. When I received my congratulations from Boston University, I knew the School of Education was going to be the faucet through which I would channel my passion.
When I finally settled down and looked over my schedule freshman year, I was pleasantly surprised to see not only Intro to Education but also Movement in Education. I had never considered movement to be a feasible part of the classroom, but I started to realize how important it really was. The main thing that stuck out to me from this class though, was Dr. Benes’ teaching style. She used the Socratic method to conduct classroom discussions, and she instituted aspects to the room that created a much more comfortable setting. In so many of our education classes, I feel as if the teachers are there to teach us education methods, but the actual way they teach us represents exactly what they tell us not to do. I have always found it ironic when I am typing into my notes not to lecture, while sitting in a three-hour lecture. I was so pleasantly surprised when Dr. Benes actually set up her class so it not only taught us how to teach, but also modeled an appropriate way to conduct a classroom.
I was so touched by her movement class, so I was so thrilled to see that I was taking another one of Dr. Benes classes this year. This semester I am taking Health Education, but I feel like the class is also, once again, supplying me with a weekly observation to see how to become a better teacher. For instance, in the beginning of her class, we are allowed two minutes to meditate, we write down events that are causing us stress and put them in a box so we can forget about them, and we also do a class check in where each student shares how they are feeling from 1-5 and why. These little aspects only take about five minutes but completely change the classroom atmosphere. Along with these little add-ons, she allows for continuous group work and electronic participation, which lends for the constant exchange of ideas and modernizes the classroom experience.
I came to Boston University for the help I needed to define and form my teaching pedagogy and I feel as if Dr. Benes has created a learning experience in which I can learn not only from the content in which she is teaching, but I can pick up ideas for my future classrooms from the model she sets. I appreciate that she takes the time to develop such a comprehensive classroom environment and I hope that more teachers start teaching not only content matter, but take the time to showcase the skills that create an effective teacher.
Sally Kaplan is a sophomore in the School of Education, majoring in Elementary and Special Education.