I have often been asked how I feel about a certain aspect of teaching, or to express my philosophy of teaching. It’s hard to write into one sentence, or even a small paragraph, because there are so many aspects to education. However, I found it a very helpful and reflective experience to write what I believe about teaching. You should try it- take a few minutes and jot down what you believe! It’s pretty liberating. My statement isn’t perfect, and it will continue to evolve as I spend more time teaching, but here’s what I’ve got for now:
“A hundred years from now, it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove. But the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.”
· The best classrooms are those with an informed and loving teacher, curious students, supportive parents and administrators and a “safe” learning environment.
· Teaching is an opportunity to love children and empower them.
· As a teacher, it is my goal to make each child feel loved and valued, empowered and capable of success.
· All children need and have the right to feel appreciated and treasured.
· All children have the right to know what is expected of them.
· Students need to be free to exercise creativity within set guidelines.
· Students have the right to ask for help and alternative styles of content presentation.
· Students learn the best through positive encouragement and love. When I have shown true interest in the success of students, they want to succeed more.
· Students have the right to choose aspects of their learning activities.
· Students have the right to ask questions without fear of being judged negatively. Teachers should respond respectfully.
· Parents should support their children and their children’s teachers.
· Parents have the right to know what is being taught in schools.
· Teachers have the right to ask other teachers and administrators for help without being judged.
· Teachers have the final say in deciding classroom policies and procedures.
· Teachers have the right to know if parents have concerns about teachers or teaching. These concerns should be addressed quietly and respectfully of all parties involved.
· Teachers are people too. They deserve respect and understanding that they have lives outside their classrooms.
· Teachers should be able to show love for their students without fear of accusations (for misbehavior).
· Teachers have the right to explore creative teaching methods.
· The community has a responsibility to help teachers create the best learning environment for children.
· It is important to make a positive difference in the life of every student.
· My objective as a teacher is to provide my students with the intellectual skills to analyze the world around them.
I’m sure I’ll think of things to add as I’m falling asleep tonight, but this is a start. Please share your thoughts with me! I’m grateful to the teachers who have taken the time to share their thoughts and experiences with me in the past, and have helped me learn and grow as an educator.