Philosophy of Education
From a young age I always looked up to my teachers. They were my role models, a source of motivation, a boost to my self esteem, a friend, a confidant and held to the highest regard in my eyes. I have always aspired to be in their exact role. I would “teach” my friends after school at my house during my elementary school days with old worksheets I had collected from my teachers. In middle school I would always help one of my peers if he or she didn’t understand the material. I reviewed material with students before tests in high school, making sure we were all prepared to succeed. College was no different. Classmates would often come to me to see what they missed if they were absent from class. It has always been my calling and I find great joy from helping others learn.
I believe that the classroom should be a fair place for each and every student. No two children are alike. Each student comes to school with different experiences, background knowledge, skills and abilities. Keeping in mind that the needs of each student will vary immensely, fairness will be constituted as giving each child what he or she needs to be successful, which will not be the same for everyone. Some children will need more time to complete tasks, while others may require breaks more frequently than the rest of the class and still others may need more positive reinforcement than their peers in order to be successful. Each child in my classroom is looked at as an individual to assess what will help him or her learn best. It is simply a fact that in order to achieve a fair playing field in the classroom some students may require more accommodations than others. The teacher is responsible for ensuring these necessary accommodations are made to give each student the opportunity to successfully reach his or her full potential.
Every child also comes from a different background, whether it is ethnically, racially, socioeconomically, culturally, etc… With this in mind, I find it imperative to create and maintain a safe, open atmosphere where all students feel comfortable to be themselves. Differences among students will be celebrated rather than ridiculed. The topic of diversity will be incorporated into the classroom throughout the year using multiple methods, such as books, materials, activities and discussions. Various cultures and traditions will be studied to enrich the lives of each student. Students will learn to value the similarities and differences they share with their classmates, as well as the importance of learning from each other. By the end of the year students will have a much deeper understanding and appreciation for the differences within our society.
A multitude of types of activities are used during lesson plans, will are implemented to make it fair for all types of learners, whether they are visual, auditory, tactile, kinesthetic, etc… No matter what type of learner a student is, the expectations are clear. From the first day forward students will understand what is expected of them in the classroom, as well as what they can expect from me, their teacher. Consistency is stressed and displayed in the classroom. The class rules are a collaborative effort, created by the entire class. Each student is held to a high standard. It is a common belief that students will rise to the expectations that are set for them. Therefore, classroom standards are set high to push and encourage students to succeed.
I demonstrate genuine concern and care for each child. Students receive respect from me and in turn I hope I will also gain their respect. I maintain high energy and show excitement in the classroom because my students feed off of my energy. The more interesting and engaging I am, the more focused and attentive the class will be. I also maintain the students’ interest by integrating subjects. While reading a story during ELA I also teach science, math, social studies, health, science, art, as well as any other content area that may apply. Through touching on multiple subjects during the same time, students are much more likely to stay engaged during the lesson. It also helps them see the connecting thread throughout their continuous education.
Lastly, communication with parents is also an essential aspect of being a successful teacher. Learning does not simply take place in the classroom. It takes place at home as well. Students are outside the classroom for more than twice the time they are inside it. Teachers and parents must work together as a unified front to help students learn to the best of their ability. From day one parents are informed that we are on the same team and both of us want what is best for their child. I believe that the first interaction between with each parent should be a positive one, such as an optimistic phone call home praising their child for a job well done. Parents are welcomed to come into the classroom and assist the class if they so choose. The student will benefit most when the teacher and the parents are able to effectively work together.
The discussed elements of teaching, which included fairness, tolerance, compassion, integration, respect and communication with home, are key ingredients in my classroom. I believe that if these elements are implemented, and done so correctly, my classroom will be prosperous place where learning occurs.