Models and Mentors: What Makes Them Important?

21 Oct


Who are my models and mentors? How did they contribute to my development as a person? Here’s an in-depth review of how the social learning strategies helped me become what I am now.

 

a.)    My Grandparents

 

My grandparents took care of me because my mother had to work in Japan. The most significant lesson they ever taught me has something to do with the way I handle money. My grandma was a spender, while my grandpa preferred saving for the rainy days. I grew up observing their attitude towards money, and I noticed how their different personalities balanced each other’s spending. Thanks to them, I now know that I can treat myself to a nice dinner sometimes, but I should always save some money for later use.

 

Also, my grandparents rarely spanked me. They do punish me for bad behavior, but they made it clear why I am being punished. They never tell me they hate me; they tell me they’re angry because of something I did. I want to be this way when I get kids of my own. However, I don’t approve of spanking so I’ll probably use other forms of reinforcements (i.e. giving them the “silent treatment” and talking to them right after they’ve composed themselves to tell them what they did wrong).

 

b.)    My Mother

 

Though I didn’t exactly grow up with my mother, I was able to observe how well she treats everyone she loves (friends and family). She’s the type of person who’s willing to sacrifice her own happiness just to make sure that her family lives a comfortable life. She’s a generous person who’s willing to help any friend in need. She’s a giver—she takes pleasure in giving rather than receiving.

 

Seeing how well she treats people, I grew up to be just like her. My cousins tell me that I’m the type of friend who’s already “bordering to katangahan.” They tell me that I should set my boundaries, and that I should learn to say no sometimes. I guess my mom unconsciously modeled this behavior. Just like her, I help my friends regardless of their motives because it makes me feel really good inside. Also, I know that they’d do the same for me if I were in trouble, just like my mom’s supportive friends do when she’s the one who’s having problems (vicarious learning).

 

c.)    Teacher Cathy

 

I had the privilege of having Teacher Cathy as our class adviser from first to second grade. She was the sweetest teacher I ever had. She never scolded us, and she always uses a gentle voice when addressing the entire class. She was also a great motivator: she convinces us that we are all intelligent, and that we can complete any task she gives us as long as we put our minds to it.

 

d.)    Teacher Sallie

 

Teacher Sallie was my adviser during fourth year high school. She’s an authoritative type of teacher—she reprimands us when we do something wrong, but she never embarrasses us in front of the class. When one of us does something wrong, that person is asked to stay after class for a one-on-one talk. I was never asked to stay after class, but my friends told me that she only spoke with them about their behavior. She also imposes strict rules and makes us feel that we should follow those rules out of respect than out of fear.

 

e.)    Ma’am Balmores

 

Ma’am Balmores was one of my psychology teachers in college. Like Teacher Cathy, she’s also one of the kindest teachers I’ve ever had. Even when she’s angry at the class for misbehaving, she sees to it that she uses a gentle voice when telling us what we’ve done wrong. She’s also the kind of teacher who’s willing to repeat the same topic over and over again just to make sure that we really understood the lesson.

 

f.)     Ma’am Astudillo

 

Ma’am Astudillo is also one of my favorite college teachers. She was my teacher in Psych 140 (Behavioral Theories) and Statistics. She actually used most of the teaching strategies that we discussed in class. She gave us challenging projects and assignments, and she gave us the chance to make up for our low grades by assigning optional activities for bonus points.

 

Also, she creates exams and quizzes that measure how well we’ve learned the subject through the application of concepts instead of testing what we’ve memorized. She’s a great example of a teacher who promotes critical thinking because she didn’t just present different learning theories in class. She trained us to question all of the theories presented to us by identifying their strong and weak points.

 

The Type of Role Model I Want to Be

 

 

When I become a teacher, I want to be an authoritative model that can help students become independent learners. I want to show them how passionate I am about teaching and learning new things. Once I’ve convinced them that the subject I’m teaching is very interesting, I’m confident that I can leave them to their own devices because they’d have enough motivation to learn more about all the concepts I discuss in class.

 

Aside from helping my students become independent learners, I also want to teach them the importance of respecting each other and doing everything they can to help their fellow classmates. I’ll do this by introducing important rules such as listening attentively to what everyone in the class has to say and fostering teamwork through group activities. Instead of making my students compete for the top spot, I want to prove to them that learning will be more fun if they treat each other as “allies” rather than “threats” to each other’s growth.

 

Lastly, I want to show them that they can do anything as long as their put their minds to it. I want to prove to them that the determination and hard work is the key to success—not IQ or how well they memorize facts. I’ll do everything in my power to erase the misconception that some people were simply born smart so they have the license to exert less effort than others. I’ll do my best to make my students realize that they’re all special in different ways while finding ingenious ways to tap their different potentials.

 

Incorporating Models and Mentors in My Classroom

 

I plan to teach English and Social Science once I get my license. I’ll try to incorporate models and mentors through a number of things:

 

a.)    I’ll give everyone the chance to inspire their classmates by making them take turns when reading short stories aloud (for English) and presenting reports. After giving them honest feedback (in a nice manner, of course), I’ll thank them for trying their best to do well in whatever task I assigned. This way, their classmates will see that their hard work won’t go unnoticed and that I’m only giving them feedback because I want them to do better next time.

 

b.)    I will also invite some of my former students to class. I’ll give them time to introduce themselves and share how much they’ve learned from the subject I’m teaching. They’ll be in charge of the class for that day, so I’ll help them come up with the materials needed for the day’s lesson. I believe that this will make my students realize that they can be that person whom I entrusted the class to. By visualizing themselves as the person speaking in front of the class, they’ll be more motivated to understand every topic we discuss in class.

 

c.)    I’ll talk to the students’ parents whenever I can. I’ll teach the importance of helping their children become self-regulated learners by encouraging them to set realistic goals and motivating them to do their best in achieving such goals. Also, I’ll explain to them that it’s very important that they only guide their children when making assignments and projects. I noticed that most parents would rather do their children’s assignments just to make sure that they kids will get high grades. I’ll explain that this is not a good approach to teaching because it only makes them dependent on their parents and they won’t learn unless they do the tasks themselves.

 

Who Will Be My Education Mentor?

 

Photo credit: cartoonstock.com

Photo credit: cartoonstock.com

I would be honored to have Ma’am Astudillo as my education mentor. I admire her because she never punishes anyone in the class but everyone respects and loves her dearly. She always comes to class well-prepared, and she never runs out of ideas to stimulate our minds without leaving us bored to death. Also, I know that I would learn a lot from her in terms of classroom management because she can handle even the most difficult students without embarrassing them in class.

 

My ideal education mentor will be a combination of the models and mentors that I described earlier. He knows exactly what he’s doing, and he’s willing to share everything he has learned about the teaching profession. He also provides constructive criticisms, allowing me to grow as a teacher without crushing my self-esteem. He’s not afraid to share his experiences in class, both good and bad. He will also show me that I shouldn’t be afraid of making mistakes because it is just a part of the entire learning process.

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One Response to “Models and Mentors: What Makes Them Important?”

  1. monetteabalos October 22, 2012 at 3:53 pm #

    Interesting post!

    Very detailed and inspiring.

    I believe that mentors and models have great influence in learners’ success. I am hoping that someday I can also be an effective mentor or model to my students.

    Monette:)

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