My name is Robert Seeley and I am a science teacher at Chaparral H.S. in the Clark County School District in Las Vegas Nevada. I am finishing my sixth year teaching at Chaparral and am proud of the students that I have had the privilage of instructing and the knowledge that I have gained from working with them.
I believe that each child is a unique individual who needs a secure, caring, and stimulating atmosphere in which to grow and mature emotionally, intellectually, physically, and socially. It is my desire as a educator to help students meet their fullest potential in these areas by providing an environment that is safe, supports risk-taking, and invites a sharing of ideas. There are three elements that I believe are conducive to establishing such an environment, (1) the teacher acting as a guide, (2) allowing the child's natural curiosity to direct his/her learning, and (3) promoting respect for all things and all people.
When the teacher's role is to guide, providing access to information rather than acting as the primary source of information, the students' search for knowledge is met as they learn to find answers to their questions. For students to construct knowledge, they need the opportunity to discover for themselves and practice skills in authentic situations. Providing students 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. Developing a curriculum around student interests fosters intrinsic motivation and stimulates the passion to learn. 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 than I could have created or imagined myself. When students have ownership in the curriculum, they 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. Class meetings are one way to encourage such dialogue. I believe children have greater respect for their teachers, their peers, and the lessons presented when they feel safe and 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.
For myself, teaching provides an opportunity for continual learning and growth. One of my hopes as an educator is to instill a love of learning in my students, as I share my own passion for learning with them. I feel there is a need for compassionate, strong, and dedicated individuals who are excited about working with children. In our competitive society it is important for students to not only receive a solid education, but to work with someone who is aware of and sensitive to their individual needs. I am such a person and will always strive to be the best educator that I can be.
So, in summary,I believe…
Teachers should act professionally and responsible with proper conduct both in and away from the classroom.
Teachers should motivate and challenge their students attempting to establish a high amount of work ethic in the classroom.
Teachers should create an atmosphere that allows for honesty, trust, and respect to be applied openly.
Respect is earned by the individual, not handed out or given.
Teachers should create a sense of purpose that leads their students into learning.
Teachers should create an enthusiastic environment that becomes infectious with students wanting to participate including feedback as well as constructive criticism.
Teachers must involve students, parents, staff, and members of the community to have influence on what is taught in the classroom.
That students learn in many ways and it is the job of the teacher to provide them with creative, innovative and motivating varieties of teaching methods.
That a teacher’s philosophy is ongoing and growing…
“Education has come a long way since its early history. As teachers, the charge today is to motivate students to improve their own status through positive self-direction.” – Unknown