Mrs. Mansfield's Middle Ground

Contact Information

Phone: 517-647-2985
Conference Hour: 1:30-2:30 P.M.

Core Beliefs

Students need to learn how to think: critically, creatively, collaboratively, and independently.
Thinking requires effort.
Thinking is made clear by writing.
Thinking is for everyone.
(*Adapted from the DBQ Project.)


The Choice to Teach

Recently, a student asked me an interesting question, one that I probably have not been asked since I interviewed for my current teaching position.  "Why did you want to be a Social Studies teacher?"  I think this is possibly the most revealing and thought-provoking question one could ask a teacher.  For me, it actually involves two questions.  First, "Why did you want to become a teacher?"  Secondly, "Why did you choose to teach the subjects and grade levels that you do?"

For me, the decision to teach came later in life. Although I had considered becoming a teacher since childhood, I did not feel ready to assume the awesome responsibility of educating and caring for other peoples' children as a new undergraduate.  It is a responsibility that I take very seriously as I feel personally responsible for the physical and mental well-being of every child in my charge during the school day.  As I grew more mature and eventually had children of my own, I knew I had the skills I would need.

Children ask, "Do you love kids?" "Do you love social studies?" "Do you love reading?"  These are probably answers they have heard from other teachers and while they are true for me as well, the main reason that I chose to teach falls into none of these categories.  For me, the choice to teach was driven by a love of country.  I can think of no better way to serve my country or my fellow man than by putting my energy and intellect toward preparing our youth to eventually assume leadership of our land.  I see in our children the vision, the intellect, and the desire to shape a brighter future.  We cannot know what challenges will face them, but we can prepare them with the skills and knowlege necessary to overcome obstacles and blaze new trails in directions we haven't yet considered. 

I teach Social Studies because there is a magnificent world beyond the horizon we see, and I want students to be aware of their role in that world and their place in history. I teach Language Arts because communication skills form the foundation for success in any endeavor.  Most importantly, I teach children because, cliche as it may be, they are our gift and our future.