ELEMENT 2 TEACHERS KNOW THEIR STUDENTS AND HOW THEY LEARN
During my teaching experiences, I have demonstrated that I am committed to knowing my students and knowing how each of them learn so that I can be a more effective teacher. I believe that the more you learn about your students, and the more you use this knowledge in the classroom, the greater your professional capacity to provide a quality learning environment for your students.
I believe that the interests of the students should drive teaching and learning experiences. I have demonstrated that I take the time when meeting a group of students to get to know them and their interests. Over time, I identify their needs, abilities and backgrounds, and I use this information to provide authentic learning experiences. This process primarily occurs through observation, conversing with the students, and discussion with other teachers.
I have shown that I take the physical, social, and intellectual development of my students into consideration when planning and teaching, by providing stage appropriate, challenging, and achievable tasks. I believe in a differentiated curriculum and an equitable classroom - students are not all the same, and this should be reflected in pedagogy. I have used differentiation, when appropriate, so that all students can access an equitable level of achievement.
I believe that no two students will learn in the same way. For this reason, I vary my pedagogy and incorporate aspects of different learning styles in each of my lessons, and this is only achievable through knowing my students.
I have worked with students with special education needs, students from a non-English speaking background, and students with challenging behaviors. I have an understanding of the different needs, and particularly literacy needs, of these students, and strategies to assist their learning. I believe that the key to teaching many students is to gain an understanding of how they learn so that learning is meaningful and has significance, and give them input into and ownership of their own learning.
I have collaborated with other teachers to gain knowledge of prior learning experiences to ensure that these are further developed and built upon through my teaching. I have worked in collaboration with ESL and STLD teachers to avoid a disjointed curriculum.