I am honored to serve as a teacher of students
with visual impairments.
Visually impaired (VI) students are children
with the same needs and desires as their sighted peers.
Primary goals of education for a VI student are:
1. to achieve his/her academic potential;
2. to become a productive worker; and
3. to master independence in home life.
J. Dean Crocker, MATL
My Philosophy of Education
A teacher must fundamentally be a caring role-model with moral purpose. Fullan (2001) describes moral purpose as acting to produce positive changes in the lives of others in society. Although the educator bears the primary responsibility of educating learners, a team effort is also essential in order for children to succeed academically. Parents, administrators, counselors and the students, themselves, must accept an active role in creating a positive learning experience.
The classroom teacher is in charge of presenting lesson content; adjusting the classroom environment; delivering classroom management and implementing special action plans for a diverse population of classroom achievers. Diminishing negative behaviors, nevertheless, is a team effort-staff and children must monitor and adjust their behaviors according to accepted standards. A well-communicated school-wide behavior plan combined with a properly structured learning environment is conducive to reducing many forms of delinquent behaviors. Things like “clear expectations of behavior, directions that lead to successful performance and consistent follow through from adults” are good structured environments (Rosenberg et al., 2004, p. 235). There must be predictable follow through from teachers and school staff members in response to a student’s inappropriate actions inside and outside the classroom. Teachers should implement the proper use of praise, punishment and consequences in the classroom. So, the educator’s influence in managing student outcomes cannot be underestimated.
So much lies in the hands of those providing instruction to children. Scott and Shearer-Lingo (2002) showed by using two different reading strategies that direct teacher instruction geared at the learner’s reading level produced improvements in reading and on-task behaviors. Students need to be engaged in the learning; they need to taste success; the curriculum must be structured and the teacher is the primary facilitator of the whole thing. As educators there is nothing like helping a student succeed in learning. Every child’s success is the teacher’s success!
A teacher is not a drill sergeant in attitude; but is a drill sergeant in structured delivery of instruction. He/she understands that a child needs to be valued to build self-esteem; needs to feel successful in the classroom; and needs to feel he/she can positively contribute to the learning environment. Even when disciplining a student, a teacher must respect the dignity of a child by employing words and deeds that do not embarrass or humiliate (Curwin, 1999, p. 10). Even humor is an effective instructional attitude to portray in the classroom. A survey by James (2004) as cited in Bacay (2006), relates that humor is one of five top attributes of effective teachers. White (2001) as cited in Bacay (2006) recommends that humor be used in especially dreaded courses--like the one I teach (math). Although Berk (2000) as cited in Bacay (2006) warns that studies on the use of humor on tests are inclusive, a humorous answer choice on a test is a fine strategy. Instruction should include a dose of humor.
Bacay, M. (2006, March). Triannual newsletter produced by the centre for development of teaching and learning. Retrieved
June 10, 2008, from Humour in the Classroom-A Dose of Laughter Won't Hurt Web site: http://www.cdtl.nus.edu.sg/link/mar2006/tm3.htm
Curwin & Mendler, R.L., A.N. (1999). Discipline with dignity. Alexandria, Virginia:
Association for Supervision and curriculum development
Rosenberg, M.S., Wilson, R., Maheady, L., & Sindelar, P.T. (2004). Educating students
with behavior disorders (third edition). Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.
Scott, T. M., & Shearer-Lingo, A. (2002). The effects of reading fluency instruction on
the academic and behavioral success of middle school students in a self-contained
Preventing School Failure, 46(4), 167-173. Retrieved June 6, 2008 from website: