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My Philosophy of Teaching:
I see teaching as a way to guide, nurture and then expand the students mind when engaged in the subject they are learning. Students need several things in the classroom environment for learning to occur. A student needs a secure, caring, and stimulating atmosphere in which they will grow and mature emotionally, intellectually, physically, and socially. It is my greatest desire as an educator to help my students meet their fullest potential in these areas by providing an environment that is safe, supports risk-taking, and invites a sharing of ideas.
My role as the teacher is to guide and provide access to information rather than acting as the primary source of information. My primary role is to ensure the students' search for knowledge is met as they learn to find answers to their questions. In order for students to construct knowledge in the course I am teaching, they need the opportunity to discover and practice the skills in order to achieve satisfactory grades on the post instruction assessment. Providing student’s access to hands-on activities and allowing adequate time and space to use materials that reinforce the lesson being studied creates an opportunity for individual discovery and construction of knowledge to occur.
Equally important to self-discovery is having the opportunity to study things that are meaningful and relevant to one's life and interests. One way to take learning in a direction relevant to student interest is to invite student dialogue about the lessons and units of study. Given the opportunity for input, students generate ideas and set goals that make for much richer activities. Students who have ownership in the curriculum are motivated to work hard and master the skills necessary to reach their goals.
Helping students to develop a deep love and respect for themselves, others, and their environment occurs through an open sharing of ideas and a judicious approach to discipline. When the voice of each student is heard, and environment evolves where students feel free to express themselves. A syllabus with specific class related details is one way to encourage students to take ownership of their learning in a class. I believe students have greater respect for their teachers, their peers, and the lessons presented when they are sure of what is expected of them. In setting fair and consistent rules initially and stating the importance of every activity, students are shown respect for their presence and time. In turn they learn to respect themselves, others, and their environment.
Teaching provides me with an opportunity for continual learning and growth. My hopes and aspirations as an educator are to instill a lifelong love of learning in my students. As I share my own passion for learning with them, I hope they can see there is a need for compassionate, strong, and dedicated individuals who are excited about working in a secondary school environment. In our competitive modern day society it is important for students to not only receive a solid education, but to work with a teacher, like myself, who is aware and sensitive to their individual needs in the classroom. I am that teacher and I will always strive to be the best.
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