Philosophy of teaching
As a second language teacher, I consider myself as a facilitator in communication. All language is an effort to communicate and through learning a second language people gain a greater appreciation of the world of communication around them. The main problem of the "old" system was its unconnected, unreal set of examples. Jean-Pierre and Marie-Claire meet at a train station and converse, but where is the benefit in hearing their conversation? Why not have our students meet at a restaurant, engage in conversation with a waiter, order food from the menu, critique the decor and contemplate their plans for the weekend while conversing in French? Here we have real-world uses of the language with practical applications (Johnston, 2001). Students become more engaged and interested in learning if we as teachers can provide them with the tools they need to actually live a language, instead of learning it. Students also learn from each other, as interaction with one's peers provides a means for well-needed practice and repetition (ibid.).
I like to think, along with Jeff Tennant, that each of my students "has the potential to be as fascinated as I am and that my job is to help [them] develop that enthusiasm for the subject matter" (1997, Marilyn Robinson Award). I recognize that not all of my students will enter the class with the same excitement that I feel for that day's lesson, though I feel it my goal as a teacher to kindle the interest that turns them into self-motivated learners. There is no greater feeling of accomplishment than having a struggling student become someone who is excited to be in my class. With a feeling of working together toward a common goal of improved communication in our second language, my French class is a community of learners, myself included.
Johnston, J. Philosophy of teaching. 2001. Retrieved from http://leonardo.sfasu.edu/jjohnston/Philosophy%20of%20teaching.htm
Tennant, Jeff. Marilyn Robinson Award. 1997. Retrieved from http://www.uwo.ca/tsc/philosophy.htm