The first learning experience that I remember was in preschool, I wanted to know how to hula-hoop. My preschool teacher didn’t know, so she gave me my first ever homework assignment. I was so curious and excited to learn, I asked all the neighbors, the kids in my neighborhood, and my mom. I simply remember the research, how much fun I had, and how much more I wanted to keep learning after I finally learned how to hula-hoop. This was also my first teaching experience, I got to teach my teacher and my classmates how to do the new skill I had acquired.
My next learning experience was my hardest. I had just moved from Billings, Montana to Mesa, Arizona. In Billings third grade is when you start to learn times tables and multiplication facts, in Arizona they start learning all of that in the middle of 2nd grade. Safe to say when you move in the third grade you end up being very far behind in math, a subject that I had excelled in, a subject that I loved, a subject that ended up causing me a lot of stress in the third grade. That was the year I discovered how to study. Before that school was easy for me and I didn’t have to put any effort in. I found that my family became my support system and my new teachers.
Me training my dogs also created an example of learning for me. Classical conditioning is knowledge that came from training them. I discovered that you need to be able to slow down, make sure that you have lots of repetition, and you continue to train a lot. This showed me that the psychology theories I was learning about could be tested and proven by me. Making psychology easier for me to understand and discovering a new subject for me to love.
Working with children for three summers and being able to help in a classroom for a semester also solidified for me what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I think that helping children is the most fulfilling thing I can do with my life. Sometimes I think I’m not getting through to them or I’m not helping them in anyway but it always seems like the moment I think that one of my kiddos comes up and gives me the biggest hugs and I realize that it is all worth it and I’m am making a difference, at least for a little bit in their lives.