My Philosophy of Education
To premise my philosophy I think it is important to begin with the fact that I am both teacher and learner. I understand that my perspectives on everything are constantly changing as I take in new information and try to make sense of it with what I already know. In the same way, I realize my view on education will develop over time. I realize that what I currently know is limited by my knowledge and experience. It is with an open mind that I enter teaching; independent and confident in my abilities, but understanding that keeping an open mind will allow me to grow unhindered by any limitations I may have.
My philosophy of education is based on the educational needs of my students. I believe that each of my students is individually gifted; it is circumstance and sometimes the way education is structured that causes some students to fall by the wayside. With this in mind I want my classroom to first and foremost be a safe environment. I want my students to feel like they can express their opinions and feelings on the concepts I teach, understanding that it is by making mistakes that we learn what to do differently. I believe it is wrong to think students have no previous knowledge in regards to a particular concept. Students come into school with years of personal experience and their own personal interpretations of the content I teach. It is by connecting the content to my students own experiences that I hope to have my students learn and understand in a meaningful way.
As a teacher I am going to be in a position of leadership within the classroom. Playing sports for 20 years has taught me the qualities that make a good leader. I hope to apply these qualities that I have developed in my classroom in order to create an encouraging learning environment. I am passionate about what I wish to teach and it is my goal to make this passion obvious and infectious to my students. I think that this passion combined with activity based instruction will best suit the diverse learners in my class. Activity based instruction will help engage and instill this passion within my students, helping them to take responsibility for their own learning.
When it comes to assessment, I believe that it is through our mistakes that we can truly learn. Keeping this in mind I think it is unfair to evaluate my students on something that they have not had an opportunity to make mistakes on. I realize that I will have a diverse range of learners so I intend to assess in diverse ways. I also intend on involving the students in this process. By providing connections to the content and involving the students in their own learning process, it is my goal to teach for understanding. I want my students to remember the concepts they have been taught because they understand why it is important to them, not because it is going to be on the test.
I hope by getting to know my students and what is important to them that I can teach to their interests and abilities. I believe that my greatest role is going to be the helping my students make connections between what they know and what they are going to learn. By teaching for understanding, encouraging mistakes, and assessing in a way that reflects my students learning I hope to engage my students and promote success.