It is my belief that, through education, a child will establish a foundation of skills and knowledge that will prepare and guide them through the rest of their lives. To support learning children should be active participants in creating their own understanding. John Locke, introduced the idea of tabula rasa, or “blank slate”, arguing there are “no innate principles in the mind”. Locke declared that all knowledge is derived from experience (Locke, 1689). I feel that through their experiences, each child develops unique perspectives which play an important role in shaping their purpose and motivation for learning.
I believe that all children are inherently curious and through exploration of their environment they constantly seek to make meaningful connections. Through my experience I have ascertained that each student learns differently and I understand the importance of creating a varied and enriched atmosphere. By incorporating an assortment of teaching methods and resources, I can provide opportunities for growth across all areas of a child’s development. I am a strong advocate for integration within curriculum and feel that making connections between subjects, builds a deeper comprehension and awareness of personal relevance. David Kolb’s learning styles model is derived from the Experiential Learning Theory which attributes experience as the source of learning and development (Kolb, 1984). With my understanding of the different learning styles and by extending opportunities for students think analytically, this concept can serve as a catalyst in the education process. Learning takes place when students are able to engage, make a personal connection and apply the knowledge to future practices. I aspire to ensure that every child develops multiple levels of intelligence anchored firmly in a broad foundation of experience.
The role of a teacher is to propose ideas and allow students to evaluate and construct their own perceptions. When teachers challenge students to think critically about the information presented to them, they are helping to form intrinsically motivated learners. Internal stimulus helps to foster enthusiasm and build confidence in confronting difficult problems. I feel that it is both the duty and societal obligation of a school to foster the growth of the whole child; academically, socially, emotionally and physically. It is my belief that with growth in these areas of a child’s development, they are equipped to make decisions regarding their values and societal responsibility.
I believe that learning is a lifelong process: a journey rather than a destination, therefore teachers and students can learn from one another. While teachers can offer a broad and unique perspective based on their personal experiences, they are not the authority in determining what is right or wrong. I value the differences that exist between individuals and understand the value in creating an environment that embraces diversity. I believe that teaching independence, as well as interdependence, is equally important, encouraging children to think for themselves while taking into consideration the views of others. Fostering a sense of community rather than competition establishes a sense of security which increases self-esteem and autonomy. I will strive to encourage cooperation and communication in an effort to prepare students for positive real-world relationships.
I strongly adhere to the belief that reality is determined by the individual and the degree to which they accept and adopt the validity of their conceptions. As we seek to form connections with others, we learn about our own strengths and weaknesses that help guide our own interpretations about the world in which we live. Knowledge is the acquisition of information accumulated throughout the course of our lifetime and encompasses the conscious and unconscious awareness of our own capabilities. I believe that our reactions, and the choices we make, reflect the knowledge that we have gained through our personal experiences. I feel that failure is an integral part of success and without adversity growth cannot occur.
To conclude, I believe that teachers have the unique ability to touch lives in a way that transcends time. My goal as a teacher is to provide a positive and accepting environment that reflects my passion and fervor for learning. I hope to provide the skills and experiences necessary to foster the individual gifts that each child contributes, embracing their differences and instilling in them the confidence to strive to achieve their goals. My desire if for my commitment and dedication to making a difference be evident through my sincere attitude and genuine interest in the lives of my students.