The ultimate goal of education is, of course, for learning to take place. It is the job of every teacher to increase learning in each of their students, while also fostering their students’ natural desire to explore, question, and learn independently. I believe my task is to create an environment where students feel comfortable to take risks, in addition to choosing sound learning goals and recognizing the path to lead students towards reaching them.
For students to feel comfortable, it is essential to lay down the foundation of respect for one another. This is made possible with their knowledge that I respect them and am sincerely interested in their lives. Students in my classroom find me easy to approach with their personal celebrations and concerns they have. The unguarded feedback they give me regarding their classroom experiences complements my desire to instill democratic values in my students. They know their comments are almost always taken into consideration while planning future instruction. They are fully aware that I, too, am imperfect, but strive to be better every day. My respect and heartfelt enthusiasm for the class and subject matter is contagious, so I take it seriously.
In order to be successful, my planning begins with clearly defined learning goals in mind. Taking into account students’ current knowledge, interests, and learning styles, I select the ideal means to pass on information. My vision of ‘ideal’ is expected to change as lessons are taught and more is learned about my students through my observations of their discoveries and interactions in and out of the classroom. Having to alter my lessons is not looked upon as a failure, rather a success in forging productive relationships with my students; I embrace these newly-found challenges to modify and tweak future lessons and plans.
Students are not merely ‘sponges’ that will soak up information I expose them to. It’s a fundamental necessity to provide my students with active, multi-sensory learning experiences and opportunities to discuss information and ideas with one another. By connecting the curriculum to student’s lives and interests, they are more likely to retain the information and develop an interest in the subject area(s) I teach them.
I believe in whole-child education because my job is more than teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic. To fully involve each student in the learning process, I must make sure that all of their needs are being met: physically, intellectually, emotionally, and socially. Each child deserves to feel they are safe, supported, and challenged.
My skills as a teacher are constantly evolving; I feel that my accomplishments as a professional are measured through my attempts to improve. By seeking and attending professional development classes or workshops, observing colleagues, and keeping up on professional articles or books, I will not find myself in an idle position in which my students would be the ones who ultimately suffer.
This is my personal teaching philosophy that I created to guide my current and future practice as an educator. New developments and future knowledge in education and child development will maintain its status as a working document. I cherish and respect the opportunity to support students’ growth as individuals, life-long learners and model citizens of our world. Teaching is my passion; I view it as a gift and a responsibility.