Colleen Gilroy




Can communicate written and verbally in the French language. 

Computer Skills

Proficient in various computer programs including Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel. Also able to build courses in course management systems including Moodle and Blackboard Learning System. 

Classes Taught

I have student taught both eighth and eleventh grade American History concurrently. I have also substitute taught in grades 9-12 in classes ranging from inclusive environments to Advanced placement in the following subjects: American History (11th grade), Global Studies (9th and 10th grades), Economics (12th grade), Psychology (11th and 12th grade), and You and the Law (12th grade). In addition I have also been a hime instructor for tenth and eleventh grade students in Global Studies and American History respectively. 

Educational Philosophy

There is no perfect philosophy when it comes to how education should be carried out. There are however, many ideas that may work in different classroom environments based upon the teaching methods of the teacher, the beliefs of what education should be and the assigned roles of the teacher and students. There have been many educational philosophers that have come up with a variety of different views on the best ways to educate students, but these philosophies need to be learned by educators in order for them to create their own philosophies so they can be confident in carrying out what they preach.

The environment of the classroom can set the mood for an entire school year. Classroom management is not something that should be taken lightly. Classroom management creates the environment that controls discipline, atmosphere and determines who will be at the center of the classroom, the teacher or the students. A classroom management strategy that is very agreeable for a social studies classroom is Forrest Gathercoal’s judicious discipline. With Gathercoal’s method the classroom becomes democratic in that the teacher is the head and sets ground rules regarding important safety and wellbeing. Students then are given the chance to help construct a classroom constitution that gives them a say and helps them to better understand the workings of the classroom being as they helped create them. The classroom constitution also helps to bring ethics into the classroom. This classroom management philosophy also helps to teach students about social studies topics such as the workings of a democracy (Manning & Bucher, 2012, pp. 220-229).As it is previously stated no philosophy in education is perfect and different philosophies may not work for everyone. Personally, I would use Gathercoal’s classroom management philosophy as a base and build upon the philosophy. Perhaps the teacher should have a larger part and in the constitution consequences should be included so that students can take responsibility for their behavior knowing what will happen if they behave a certain way. When students are actively involved in creating rules and consequences they are more likely to obey. Students should also be held accountable fro their actions.

Besides establishing a classroom management system, teachers must find the best way for them to instruct their students and to assess students learning as well as their own teaching. All students are different and diverse and therefore various teaching modalities should be used in the classroom. Diversity in the classroom should be embraced and never discouraged. It needs to be understood that everyone learns differently and does better with different assessments and therefore various modalities should be used in lessons and assessment should vary and not always be in the same format. Cooperative learning is an excellent instructional tool in secondary education as it allows for the adolescent students to socialize, and take responsibility for their own learning.To assess students diverse methods should be used. Traditional tests such as multiple choice, short answers, and essays can be used once in a while. These traditional assessment methods should not be used all the time, they are given on one day that may or may not be a good day for all students. Projects and presentations should be used from time to time to get a different perspective on student learning. The projects and presentations should perhaps have different options on how they are to be completed in order to cater to different learning styles of the diverse student population. Assessments in any form should also be used to assess teaching strategies in addition to student learning. Assessment can help determine if maybe perhaps students were unable to grasp a certain topic that the teacher should go back and review.

The teacher has a very important role in the classroom. They need to make sure the environment is safe and inviting through classroom management. Teachers also must embrace the diversity in the classroom and find what works best in order to convey information to students and later assess them. These however, are more responsibilities than roles. The true role of the teacher in the classroom is to act as a guide to students as they are on their own journey of education. The teacher needs to present the material to the students but at the same time the students need to be able to relate the material to their own experiences in order to make connections and better understand the content. Teachers do not just have a role in the classroom. They must act as role models in society and are responsible for helping their students to become productive members of society. Students like teachers, also have a role to play in education. Students should take responsibility for their learning as well as their behavior. If a student does not take their responsibilities seriously they will not receive the most from their education, it is part of their role to learn and reach realistic social and educational goals and expectations their teachers may have for them as well as those they may have for themselves.

Education is necessary in society. Education leads to an attractive life (Childress, 2006/2011, pp. 73-80). It also enables life long learning which promotes an educated society. Education leads to competence of people in society. Without education society would not be able to properly function. Education is the backbone of society. Social studies education in particular allows for society to be studied and the past to be examined. Without social studies education no one would be aware of where he or she came from or what mistakes to learn from. Everyone and everything has a past and social studies education serves the purpose of educating about such pasts.

Education is needed in society, in order for it to function properly. Education cannot be carried out properly without designated roles and responsibilities of teachers and students. It would be very easy to say my ideas and philosophy of education are complete and correct but that would be a lie. No philosophy is perfect or universal. Expectations, values and teaching techniques need to be determined by the individual based upon what works best for them and their students. Therefore my philosophy is only beginning and will change many times throughout my career in the field of education. My ideas are only beginning to be shaped with the help of my education, fieldwork experience and knowledge of educational philosophers.


Childress, H. (2011). A Subtractive Education. In J. W. Noll (Ed.), Taking Sides Clashing Views on Educational Issues (Sixteenth, expanded ed., pp. 73-80). New York: McGraw Hill. (Reprinted from Phi Delta Kappan, 2006, October)

Manning, M. L., & Bucher, K. T. (2012). Teaching in the middle school (4th ed.).       Boston: Pearson.

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Aug 2013 - Present

Master of Science

SUNY Albany
Sep 2009 - May 2013

Bachelor of Arts

St. Joseph's College NY



Initial Social Studies and History Certification 7-12


5-6 Social Studies Extension

New York State

Initial Teaching Certificate Social Studies 7-12

New York State