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Teaching Philosophy
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My teaching philosophy is centered around seven core values.  As a professional educator, I believe:

 

1.     Learning is an ongoing, life-long process.  In my classroom, learning will be entertaining, exciting, and realistic.  I will help students see that what they are learning in school is applicable to their everyday lives.  My ultimate goal is to teach students how to become critical thinkers as well as resourceful, independent, and educated human beings.  Likewise, I practice ongoing learning as I strive for continuous self-improvement, always working to acquire new skills and seeking new knowledge.

 

2.     Hold high expectations for students and colleagues.  I have high expectations for all of my students regardless of perceived ability or prior academic performance.  Likewise, I hold myself to high expectations.  In his book On Teaching, Herbert Kohl says, “a teacher cannot expect less of himself or herself than of the students.”  In addition to continually improving my teaching methods and engaging in professional development, being an influential educator will require that I understand the pressures my students are facing in today’s environment, and that I adjust my teaching methods so that the education I provide meets the ever-changing needs and expectations of my students.

 

3.     Students should be active participants in the learning process.  Students must have the opportunity to make their own discoveries and take ownership over their learning.  I will employ a constructivist approach to teaching, and will empower students by giving them options.  Furthermore, I will invite students to make important decisions, while simultaneously encouraging them to take responsibility for their actions.  Entrusting students with these powers and responsibilities shows they are respected as individuals, and provides them with a sense of purpose and independence. 

 

4.     Students have the right to receive a rigorous, high-quality education in an environment in which they are respected, supported, and encouraged.  In my classroom, students will learn how to be accepting of peers and to respect each other so that they feel comfortable sharing ideas and challenging one another.  Because children learn in different ways, I will utilize a variety of instructional methods to teach and present material so that all students have the opportunity to learn in ways that are most effective for them.  Herbert Kohl calls this “teaching sensibility” or “knowing how to help students focus their energy on learning and growth”.  These diverse instructional methods will appeal to all learning modalities and multiple intelligences.  They will also be flexible enough to match students’ individual abilities while simultaneously providing enough challenge to keep the material interesting and providing students with a valuable learning experience. 

 

5.     Be responsive and listen – allow students to guide the learning process.  Learning about my students will allow me to better tailor my teaching to them.  Incorporating topics about which students have a desire to learn confirms that I care about their individual interests and that learning can be fun. 

 

6.     Students are unique individuals who bring with them unique experiences.  We live in a diverse and multi-cultural society, where people from different ethnicities and backgrounds enjoy a multitude of experiences.  I believe these differences should be honored and celebrated, and I will encourage a sharing of these in my classroom.  Incorporating such diversity into our daily lessons and conversations is one of the best ways I believe I can prepare my students for life in the real world.

 

7.     Stay enthusiastic and interested.  If I am bored teaching, my students will be bored learning.  Being in tune with my class will allow me to alter my instruction in order to keep all students engaged in the learning process.  Additionally, by incorporating topics I find interesting, my enthusiasm will show through in my teaching and will help my students to become more excited and interested in learning as well.