At the age of 14 and newly married, young Joyce immediately began giving birth to and caring for healthy babies without thinking twice about her premature resignation from education. Her lack of education never became an issue. My grandmother, Joyce Lucas, had lived a full life, accomplishing all of her goals and pursuing her dreams without the need for education; however, life has changed since the 1950s. About 21% of Millennials today have at least a bachelor’s degree, compared with only 12% of their young Silent counterparts.
Although far from normal, my education involved many different school systems across 4 states and has given me a unique perspective on education. Fortunately, I’m blessed with a father who has always demonstrated a passion for lifelong learning, a trait I have definitely inherited. Upon graduating high school, my first passion was the understanding and implementation of technology to accomplish my goals. My 6 years in the U.S. Air Force ensured that I received sufficient training and experience with information technology. The people with whom I was surrounded during my 6 year enlistment only fueled my development as a learner by pursuing similar academic and professional training interests; I am, therefore, capable of learning and implementing new technology to pursue initiatives, whether personal, professional, or academic. I understand the necessity to train future generations to be responsible consumers and producers of digital media.
After turning 22 a new passion struck me: I decided to undertake the great challenge of becoming fluent in a second language. This slow undertaking is the product of years of continuous learning and dedicated practice, teaching me the many facets that are necessary to acquire a new language: my meta-linguistic awareness grew. Eventually, after finishing my formal Spanish classes across several countries, I found myself engaged in the role of a teacher of English to speakers of other languages (ESOL). After developing the proficiencies of learning and teaching a second language I transitioned to a similar role that required even more meta-linguistic knowledge: a verbal instructor for international exams, such as the TOEFL, the IELTS, and the GMAT exams. Consequently, I learned to educate graduate-level students high level English grammar and critical reasoning skills, enabling my learners to enter their ideal MBA programs in foreign, English-speaking, universities by scoring high on their respective exams.
A brain injury sustained during my 6 year enlistment in the Air Force implanted in me another passion: the desire to study and understand the most complex organ in the human body – the brain – and how to maximize its potential. After experiencing first-hand the alterations of my learning capacity throughout the years of recovery, my brain curiosity and admiration inspire me to learn and understand the brain as much as possible. Now that I’m a teacher, that passion grows because the brain is the most important component of the learning process, and the awareness and understanding of the limited cognitive resources of learners enables me to effectively deliver lessons to my learners.
Besides my background knowledge and experience that I bring into the classroom, I believe it is also important to influence learners in values that I believe altruistic, such as being health-conscious, environmentally-conscious, and equality-conscious. To maximize our time here on Earth, it is important to live healthy lives while enabling others to have the same privilege. I believe that inequality is the true culprit for violent crime and the best way to reduce inequality is by encouraging and enabling everyone to learn as much as possible, which enables everyone to have similar employability, resulting in more equality, resulting in less violent crime. In a position of authority, a teacher has the potential to spread awareness that affects the world, giving each teacher the ability to initiate positive change and help save the world, or at least make a positive impact in their surroundings.
In conclusion, my unique background allows me to understand the points of view of my students. My dedication to lifelong learning ensures that I will continue to grow in the education field. In life, I believe, we are all scientists. We began life with no knowledge of neither where we are, where we are going, nor why we are here. All we can do is experiment through trial and error during our existence and attempt to form accurate opinions about this existence along our journey here on Earth: all we can do is learn. Improving education is the crucial cause for which I am pleased to dedicate myself. My academic and professional experiences made impressions on me that guide me as an educator, giving me unique introspection that I harness to improve the world through education.