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Old 03-29-2007, 12:24 AM   #1
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Default mostly written essay to enroll in classes. thoughts?

ive been accepted into the University of Oklahoma, with an admittance into OU'* College of Education pending 1) a test of gen-eds, 2) an interview, and 3) a review of an essay that i must write.

the essay must be about 3 pages [double-spaced]. criteria:
"Full admission to a teacher education program requires the submission of an essay discussing the applicant'* desire to enter the teaching profession. Information regarding previous experience working with children and qualities and attributes that will positively contribute to success in the teaching environment should also be included."
"The essay for full admission should discuss why you want to teach in the area you have selected. Specifically, it should list any attributes about you that you feel will be an asset to you in teaching, any experiences you've had that have shaped your desire to teach, and finally, any teachers along the way that have inspired you."

so i figure that i will begin with a rough outline covering the points they suggest.


1. intro
a. about me, my history

2. desire to teach
a. make a "difference" by impacting youth
b. too many people are "turned off" by college bc of teachers

3. inspirations
a. elementary school - respect for teachers
b. middle school - desire to teach
c. high school - teachers who made it enjoyable

3. previous experience
a. tutoring [no charge]
b. teaching for job

4. qualities/attributes
a. patient
b. realistic
c. desire to impart knowledge of concepts, not just facts

5. conclusion
a. long trip through life, brought me home but solidified desire to impact the youth and future.
b. desire to teach SPECIFICALLY in oklahoma b/c of dire need due to low pay


*edited to reflect replies*
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Old 03-29-2007, 02:17 AM   #2
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Looks like a really good outline (I'm nearly done with my B.*. in Secondary Ed.). Personally, I might take out the "job security" part, but part of that is because in MI all you hear is that you are going to have to go out of state. Or if you want to talk about how no matter how advanced society gets we'll always need teachers to teach our youth...you could go that way with it too.
I wonder if when they say "area you want to teach in" they mean your teachable majors and/or minors. That'* just what I read when I read that sentence, I could be wrong. You might need to talk about what you are planning to teach subject area-wise.
Also, from an english standpoint, I wonder if you are bringing in too much new information in your conclusion. I think you are making good points in it, but I also think this should sound much more like a summary of your paper and a wrap up then bringing in anythign new.
Just my thoughts, take them or leave them .
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Old 03-29-2007, 03:07 AM   #3
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I agree with PJ. The conclusion should summarize the important parts of the body of your essay, not start new ideas. I would also suggest that you leave pay out of it all together. If you have a passion for teaching, try to find a way to get that across. It'* hard to tell just from the outline, but from what'* there, it looks like the same thing that every other applicant will use. Find a way to stand out from the crowd. Oh, and show them that you know how the shift key on the keyboard works.
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Old 03-29-2007, 11:31 AM   #4
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I agree with the Princess, I thnk by "area" they mean do you want to teach math, or science, or needlepoint...not geographical area.

What is meant by "wrong emphasis placed by teachers"? Are you telling the readers (who probably were/are teachers of some sort) that current teaching practices are waaaay off base? Don't want to step on any proud toes! lol

"c. desire to impart knowledge of concepts, not facts"
Maybe you should say "...not just facts". Facts are highly important in many areas of math & science (but not law, apparently), and in Jeopardy. Facts and concepts need to be merged together - one without the other is not desireable. Concepts are used to apply the facts.

I wonder what the real purpose of this essay is? I'm sure they've heard everything from the "noble cause" to "I want a job with summers off". Maybe they are evaluating your writing skills and your ability to express yourself. Or maybe, after you graduate and have been assimilated, they'll show you your silly idealistic beliefs before programming began.

Whatever the case, from reading many of your posts you seem to have above average intellegence - I don't think you'll have any problems getting into the program.
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Old 03-29-2007, 12:25 PM   #5
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i will be reading it over after i write it to make sure there is nothing offensive. then i will probably post it on here, as well as have it read over by my english comp 2 professor.

thanks for everyone whos replied so far.
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Old 03-29-2007, 01:25 PM   #6
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I will finish my Masters in Business Education in May (woo-hoo!) and I had to write an entrance essay as well (2 years ago). They mainly want to see your current philosphy on education AND how well you can write an essay. You will be doing many papers in college!

Stay away from negatives. Don't put that in your paper about people being turned off on going to college by teachers. The people who read your papers are themselves teachers so don't disparage the profession in any way. Keep it simple with only a few main points. You don't need a history of your life and past experiences. No way you can fit that outline in 3 pages! If you do, it won't have any substance. Also don't mention the low pay (even though it is true; they already know this).

They practically gave you the outline in the requirements you quoted at the start of your thread. Use it; that is what they obviously want (they won't ask to see an outline anyway). My two cents.

Good luck. I've been teaching for 12 years and it is very rewarding!
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Old 03-29-2007, 06:20 PM   #7
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I agree with the keeping things very positive, and realistic. Some of us went to college to be teachers because we thought we could do better then those who taught us, or because we had an inspirational teacher, or a combo of the two. Either way you want to sound very positive. I think saying you want to teach concepts not facts, is a very good thing to say if you say it right. Many of the course i talk teach this exact idea. Maybe though you want to call them Enduring Understandings or Core Concepts, both which are kinda buzz words at the moment. Look at things schools are worried about at the moment, maybe it'* changing standards (check your state) or state testing or something. Speak to that a bit.
Other then that don't get too philosophical or idealistic. Remember the closure is what people are going to remember, so make it a good solid summary and a lasting statement.
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Old 07-27-2007, 02:46 PM   #8
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i changed the outline up quite a bit as i was writing. thank you again everyone who responded earlier when this thread was new. heres the essay ive got so far.


Code:
What Do You Want To Be, When You Grow Up?

      Most kids are asked the same question numerous times during their trip through the life, and the answer received is seldom the same over the course of a few years. This evolution is because the child is growing as a person and still learning what it means to be a valuable member of society, to contribute effectively back to the society, and what it means to fill certain roles for said society. My answer to the question “What do you want to be when you grow up” solidified in 7th grade. My reasons have not changed, for the most part, since then, but they have grown more complex.
      My desire to teach high school stems from my goal to change the world. Throughout elementary school I had the same goal (to change the world), but the avenue I wanted to take changed as often as I changed teachers. I went from wanting to be a police officer (to help people) to wanting to be the President of the United States (who to better help people?) to wanting to be what I nebulously called “think-tank man” (spurring technological and theoretical advance for all mankind). In each of these possible careers, I weighed the pros and the cons, eventually deciding these careers were not for me. “Think-tank Man” might come up with wondrous theories and inventions, but humanity has an amazing ability to turn even the most innocuous or helpful idea into a powerful weapon of destruction, and I eventually decided I could not add to that destruction. Wanting to be the President of the United States provides a lofty goal, but numerous drawbacks which I learned, albeit slowly. The President is first and foremost, a politician who must make numerous concessions to accomplish even a small thing, and I found that I was largely unwilling to compromise on things I felt were important. And even the police officer must occasionally draw his gun to protect himself, possibly resulting, on a bad day, in deaths. So after more thought, I lighted on the job of “teacher”. The teacher is in a perfect position to effect change, even gradual, through constant interaction with people who will be tomorrow’* police officers, engineers, and even politicians.
      As I grew, I noticed more and more of my classmates getting turned off from school and continuing education, and this fact astounded me. Looking back through the clarity given by time and pre-conceived notions, I have determined my classmates were turned off not by learning, but by certain people who placed the majority of emphasis not on thinking but on doing; not on exceeding expectations, but on lowering them instead. Some people now tell me “I can’t do algebra”, for instance, and that grates on me because everybody can do math. Those same people can easily tell me how many pennies, nickels, and dimes I get back in change, but don’t realize that what they are doing is algebra in disguise. And that says to me that somewhere along the line, someone has made them believe they cannot do something they can do, which is inexcusable. It’* never just one person lowering the bar; it’* always a slew of people all in close proximity to one, malleable child.
      Looking back through my experience in the educational institution, I can clearly see which teachers had qualities which I admire and wish to duplicate, and which teachers have qualities I could easily live without adopting. In elementary school, the focus was on facts to build the basis for further education, as well as teaching the children to obey rules. In middle school, my teachers were trying to bridge the gap between learning facts and connecting ideas, with an emphasis still on learning facts (there are a lot of facts to learn). And then there was high school, where the teachers were desperately trying to impart all of the necessary knowledge to go into the world and be successful, as well as provide the basis for continued education.  From my elementary school teachers I learned the necessity of patience, which has served me well thus far in my life. From my middle school teachers I have learned the importance of having realistic expectations, but with a rose-colored tinge of optimism. And finally my high school teachers taught me to actually think for myself, and not just accept facts as the basis of knowledge (something which higher education has emphasized repeatedly).
No conclusion yet. Still trying to come up with one.
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Old 08-07-2007, 09:02 PM   #9
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You asked for advice so here is mine again: Keep it positive and leave out negativity (even when speaking of others) if at all possible. I'm not crazy about the 3d paragraph.
Again, even though you are speaking from the vantage point of others, it comes across as a "put-down" of the teaching profession. Yes, there are some bad teachers out there, but empahsize the good ones!

Your last paragraph sounded like some of it could be the closing. I'd also re-incorporate the statement about being a teacher to influence future police, presidents, and consultants. That was brilliant and would sound great in the closing. Good luck and I hope you get this off quickly! It was over 4 months ago since you originally posted this... Time slips away and college will be starting very soon!
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