My teaching philosophy works to ensure that all students I come into contact with leave my classroom with content knowledge and the inspiration to continue in their educational endeavors.I have come to realize that every class and every student is different and has their own sets of abilities and needs. My mission is to provide a sound education for all of these students and to tie what they learn in the classroom with what they will experience in the real world.
One of the most important aspects to my philosophy of teaching is that the students need to take on an active role in the classroom setting. This will ensure that they are learning how the material impacts their everyday lives and will teach the students responsibility and accountability. I believe in the constructivist approach that says the teacher is the facilitator of learning and that the real learning takes place as the students study issues, develop hypotheses, and use their knowledge and resources to find the best possible solutions. I also believe that the curriculum should be integrated across a wide variety of subjects so they can see how, for example, math relates to science or to social studies. Allowing students to study material that is relevant to their lives and giving students an active role and choice in their learning will increase the enthusiasm and drive to become better educated.
On the other hand, I am not naïve to the fact that there do exist standards and state tests, where students are expected to know information concerning the content’s key ideas. These tests are vital not only to the student’s ability to graduate but also to the teacher and school district’s reputation. That is why it will be important to balance authentic activities and assessments with traditional work because students will need to be able to demonstrate their knowledge of the central ideas to the content. I believe that one method of teaching cannot replace the other because we as teachers want the students to enjoy the learning but also realize the curriculum is packed with information the state requires the students to know.
My final beliefs rest with my interaction with the students. I want my classroom to be a place of learning where the students enjoy the teacher, each other, and the content. However, I also want them to understand that I have very high expectations for them and that I expect they will do their best work each day. I will offer plenty of feedback concerning their assignments and work one on one with any student who seems to be struggling. I also will work to challenge those students who seem to be more gifted than the others. Finally, I will ensure that my classroom is a place where the students are unafraid to ask or answer questions because no one will make fun of anyone else. As long as the students know they are cared for and are respected within the class, they will open up and share their knowledge with everyone.