My name is Natasha Maqsood and I am from Sugar Land, Texas. I graduated from Texas A&M University with a BS in Psychology and just recently graduated from Houston Baptist University with my Masters in Education. I am currently certified by the state of Texas as a generalist in grades 4 through 8. I have always had a special interest in children, and knew from a very early age that I wanted to go into the field of education. I love teaching because I get to experience something new every day. I hope to have the same effect on my students as they do on me.
In my world of teaching, I carry an invisible knapsack filled with the hopes, aspirations, and goals that I have for each of my students. As their classroom teacher, not only do I strive to impart knowledge onto them, I also continuously provide limitless guidance – both from the personal and academia worlds – for all of my students. In doing so, I set high expectations in my classroom while providing endless support, such as offering after school help to all children who are in need of it. Most importantly, I give my students the motivation and confidence that is needed for them to believe that they can succeed.
To accomplish this goal, I always strive to make my classroom a safe and comfortable learning environment. My ultimate objective is to build cohesion in the classroom, so that there is a sense of community between the teacher and the pupils. I never want my students to feel as though they need to hide who they are with me or the rest of the class. Instead, my desire for them is to feel at ease - never hesitating to raise any questions or concerns that may arise. My approach to accomplish this is to construct a culturally responsive classroom. A way in which I promote diversity is in activities that teach students about each other and/or different cultures. I reach this goal through the examples that are given in the classroom. In order for my students to learn to respect their fellow peers and myself, racial discrimination and prejudices will not be tolerated. This means that I also cannot place judgment, hold assumptions, or impart my own beliefs onto these children.
I believe that the entire class period should be a time where each student’s potential is being recognized and expanded. Giving students a variety of ways to express the knowledge that they have acquired promotes further interest in learning, as well as nourishing the development of strong and unique identities. While the student-chosen assignments may be considered “fun”, the material is still rigorous and demanding. I realize that there is currently an immense amount of pressure for students to perform well on standardized tests. Rather than following the current trend of “teaching to the test” though, the material that is needed to master these assessments is covered in my daily assignments.
I am aware that it is necessary to modify the curriculum materials in order to tailor to the diverse needs of my students. Comprehension may falter when children read or investigate topics with which they are unfamiliar – topics that many textbooks treat as universal experiences.
I am passionate and motivated to help guide all students so that they never need to question their potential. I provide the basic infrastructure on which they can personally decide the direction to lead their future lives. As a former student at Texas A&M University, and having a Bachelor of Science in the field of Psychology under my belt, I have effectively expanded my knowledge through coursework and dedicated volunteering - both aspects that I believe have contributed to me becoming a more skillful and knowledgeable teacher. As a current middle school teacher through the Fort Bend Independent School District, I have strengthened my pedagogy even further through daily collaboration with peers and my ardor for professional development.
With the unfaltering belief in the potential of my students, my hope is that they become confident in themselves and realize the unlimited possibilities that they can achieve.