Teaching Philosophy

Introduction

A teaching philosophy can depict a great deal about a teacher. To have the ability to develop concise views, opinions, and theories about the educational world can be a predictor of both successes and failures while teaching. 

Teachers. Teaching. These two words get used interchangeably, but some fail to realize that they both have their own meaning. The definition of these two words are very diverse that I don't believe a proper definition exists. As a teacher, we play the role of educator, mentor, and confidant. It is this that begins my foundation of my teaching philosophy. 

Role of Mother. Role of Teacher.

My educational philosophy is driven by being a mother.

The first few years children spend in school are the most critical because this is where they learn the base of their educational life. Being a teacher is being a second mother to each child in my classroom. As a mother I look out for the best for my own children. Ultimately, my goal is to raise my child to become a professional and pioneer for society. My role as a mother is to care, love, respect, lead, and instruct. Being a mother directly relates to my role as a teacher with the children in my classroom.

It takes a very unique individual to be any teacher, whether is is primary, secondary, or special education. Due to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA) mandating inclusion I think it has become significantly important for all teachers to have identical characteristics, especially to feel comfortable working with children who have a variety of disabilities and impairments. But above all one should have a love for children--all children. I believe one of the main, important characteristics a teacher should have is patience. Patience is definitely a virtue. Even though these characteristics are of importance, there are many others that are just as equally important. These include having an incredible amount of dedication. Being a teacher is not just a 8-3 or 9-5 job. Parents have entrusted their child in your care to educate them to the maximum extent possible--to have them grow up as responsible, successful, educated adult--both as a citizen and in the workplace. As teachers, we have the greatest impact on children, next to their parents. As a teacher you also need to have a high degree of enthusiasm and creativity. Without these I just cannot picture a successful teacher surviving. 

The Importance of Education 

Education has been central to my success and growth as a teacher and a professional. There is significant importance of continual study or professional development. It is my personal and educational philosophy that learning is continuous as well as a personal growth process. Learning does stop in the classroom or upon graduation. This is especially important as educators because we need to be up-to-date with the pedagogy of teaching. Continuous education is what helps teachers assure that each child meets their state standards. Professional development for teachers should build off of their current foundation of knowledge and assist in finding new ways of teaching that is consistent with the state standards that will afford our children the best learning opportunities. The school, administration, and parents should advocate ensuring that their teachers in their school system are continuing to learn. New research is continually becoming available everyday and teachers need to be aware of it for the continuous improvement of children's achievement.

Perspectives on Teaching 

Teaching is quite challenging, which makes it very rewarding. My perspectives in teaching are grounded in nurturing, transmission, and developmental beliefs.

Effective teaching assumes that long-term, hard, and persistent effort of achievement comes from the heart and not the head. Children will be motivated and productive learners if they are working on issues or problems without the fear of failure. Children are nurtured by knowing that, (1) they can succeed at learning if they try; (2) their achievement is a product of their own effort and ability; and (3) their learning effort is supported by the teacher. I care about my children and understand that some children have histories of failing, which resulted in having low self-confidence. I don't make any excuses for my children, instead, I encourage effort while challenging them to do their very best by promoting a classroom environment which consists of caring, trust, helping the children set challenging, but achievable goals, and support. I am proud to provide my children with encouragement and support, along with reasonable expectations and goals for all my children without sacrificing self-efficacy or self-esteem for achievement.

Effective teaching requires substantial commitment to the content being taught. A highly qualified  teacher will have mastered the content which they are teaching. It is my responsibility to represent the content accurately. Good teaching means having mastery and enthusiasm of the content and then conveying that enthusiasm to the children.

Effective teaching must be planned and conducted "from the child's point of view". A good teacher will understand how their children think and reason about the content. My main goal is to help the children develop increasingly complex cognitive structures for comprehending content. I believe the key to changing their structures is a combination of two skills: (1) effective questioning that will challenge children to move from simple to a complex for of thinking , and (2) 'bridging knowledge', which provides real examples that are meaningful to children. I adapt children's knowledge to their levels of understanding and way of thinking. 

In reflection, of my own beliefs and values regarding teaching and children's learning, I find I hold three overall objectives as a teacher. My first objective focuses on creating and enhancing a positive learning experience. Secondly, I want to instill enthusiasm in my children to learn, and lastly, I want to build a strong and solid foundation for lifelong learning. I will accomplish these objectives by employing the following strategies. (1) Cognitive functioning (2) learning theories (3) diversity (4) instructional planning/methods and (5) assessment.

I find it extremely important to implement a strategy based on if a child is a concrete operational or a formal operational learner. Having this consideration for my children assures they have a full understanding of the activity/lesson being taught.

Further, I value the various psychological learning theories. They are valuable contributions that benefit both learning in the classroom and classroom management. It's also important to respect all children's perspectives while engaging diverse learners. In order for my instruction to be effective I have to consider not just each individual child, but also the culture of the class as a whole.

Furthermore, I believe in employing the constructivist model of teaching. By approaching my curriculum in this manner I will be able to plan my lessons with a clear and concise objective(s), anticipatory set, and assessment method(s), which will demonstrate the children's competence. This helps me be a facilitator that teaches actively in a student-centered environment.

Moreover, assessment, in my eyes, doesn't mean mastery. I believe assessment to accurate assess the student's understanding of the content among diverse learners. Therefore, by employing alternative assessments, which include, assessment rubrics, checklists, and performance checks, the process becomes more important than the outcome. I also believe that the traditional exam, though can't be avoided, does not measure a children's true knowledge because a child could take that same test again and get either a better or worse score. 

My passion for teaching and learning has only grown with the objectives I uphold. I believe very strongly that a person should only teach if they truly enjoy doing it and have a love for children--all children. This is a very difficult belief to hold when there currently is a serious shortage of teachers. There is a significant difference between teachers who really enjoy teaching and teachers that do not.

Perspectives on Learning 

We learn by example. Children are able to make more sense of the material if I provide them with examples, especially real-life examples. Too often, teachers make the assumption that students have learned the basics or even the complex topics.

We learn by doing. Children internalize new experiences, such as reading and writing, by performing the tasks. An ancient Chinese proverb states:

Tell, me I forget.
Show me, I remember.
Involve me, I understand.

This is true in my experiences of teaching and is something that all teachers should have in mind. 

We learn by creating our own meaning. As teachers, we will assess and impose content on our children, but ultimately, children will create their own meaning and understanding of the content. Learning is influences by past experiences and present intentions in which children have experienced.

We learn through discovery. Children learn best through inquiry and exploration.

We learn from our mistakes. My best learning experiences were gleaned from my own mistakes. I have learned that a particular strategy, or teaching style, was not effective, and shouldn't be used again; in other situations I have found that it should be repeated. 

Learning. It's a lifelong process. I will not be an expert the first day of my profession nor will I be an expert on my last day of my profession. Life is an experience, and experience is learning. 

Conclusion

I have accepted  the challenge and responsibility to educate and shape the life of each child who walks into my classroom. And even though I uphold these objectives and perspectives, the education world is constantly changing. My teaching is a never-ending learning process. I will make use of every given opportunity to learn new things, including from my own children. Therefore, I will strive to continually change and reflect on my approach to teaching based on what works for my children.

       


No comments:

Post a Comment