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My Educational Philosophy

Sarah Dilley:

My Educational Philosophy

Why did you become a teacher?

For as long as I can remember, I wanted to become a teacher. I can remember playing school as a small child and always wanted to be the teacher. Today, I have turned that playtime passion into my lifetime passion. I have come to realize that there is no profession that can fulfill and satisfy me the way that working with my students can. I still remember the excitement that I felt when I started my first day of school teaching 11th grade social studies. With great apprehension and butterflies in my stomach, I stood in front of a class of 18 students waiting and wondering; wondering if I could make a difference. If I could encourage these young adults to care about who they are and to find a passion in becoming who they will be today and tomorrow. There have been many times in the last three years that I have felt lost or felt that I am not a great teacher; however, these feelings have soon been replaced with a sense of pride after spending time with my students. Watching these young adults grow, change, and become developed individuals gives me purpose and reason to teach. Like the startfish story, if I can make a difference to one student, I know that I am where I need to be. I have made it my goal to end each day knowing that I have helped at least one person, have learned something new and have reflected on what I can do better the next day. I became a teacher because I wanted to make a difference. Each day I will continue to reflect, grow, and change right beside my students.

What do you believe about students learning?

 I believe that all students can learn. Given structure and a nurturing environment, I have come to find that students will embrace learning and will strive to be successful. The community that is our classroom is built upon structure and a nurishing environment that will best promote their development. If students know the routine and are comfortable in their learning environment, they are going be willing to step outside of their comfort levels and will take chances together. This sense of togetherness fosters a joint stake in their success. School is not just a place of learning content area but, a place of learning about life, self-acceptance, and the journeys that they will take after the school day ends.

How do you see the role of teachers in a community?

Teachers are the building blocks that create the strength of the community. Teachers need to be involved in their school and show that they care about their community. This sense of caring and compassion will reflect directly upon the success or failure of the school. Good teachers build good schools. An old African proverb stated that " it takes a community to raise a child." A school is just that. Within these walls, the teaching staff is there to help student grow, develop and work towards becoming productive democratic citizens in the greater community. I have become involved in our school on many fronts so that I am able to understand the needs of my school and my students. I am a LINK CREW leader, run staff development, and co-sponsor an after school program that helps students with disabilities become involved in the school and city community. It is my belief that if my students see me being involved and excited about school, they too will foster a sense of excitement and pride in their school.