I have been an elementary and middle school teacher for almost ten years. I have worked in both private and public schools, and have experience in tutoring one on one, small group teaching, and large classroom work.
In addition to my teaching history, I have been an actor/director in Chicagoland for over 20 years. I have directed and coached children and young adults aged 5-18 in plays and scenes. I have also written over 10 plays for young people; I have also put up many of these plays at schools and theaters in Illinois and Pennsylvania. Both of these occupations has given me a wealth of experience as to dealing with others, feeling confident in front of people, and getting people to work well together.
I believe that one of the most important ways for students to develop critical thinking skills is to focus on hands-on learning. In this way, I would become more of a facilitator for the students, helping them to discover their “zone of proximal development”. If students are hand-on in their learning, they will become more responsible for what and how they learn, they will acquire critical thinking skills if we are doing the exploring together. These critical thinking skills will spontaneously develop as students discover their own “tools for learning”, as opposed to using older types of tools that are projected onto the students and which may not reflect the differentiated needs of each student.
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