My Personal Philosophy of Teaching
Developing a personal philosophy of teaching is essential to becoming an effective professional educator. The future of the entire world will be shaped by what we teach our children today. All children deserve the opportunity to achieve their dreams and to reach their highest potential both academically and socially. Responsible and caring educators can guide children in the direction of success through respect and encouragement along every step of the way. Becoming an effective teacher involves more than merely teaching lessons. Teachers serve as mentors, counselors, behavior managers, and perhaps most important of all; teachers are constant roles models for children and adults. An effective teacher knows that all children, regardless of ability level, have the capacity to learn and grow cognitively, emotionally, and socially.
It is very important to find out what children already know about a subject before writing lesson plans. The California Standards have to be covered, of course, but in many cases, pre-lessons have to be taught before approaching the standard contents. At times, depending on the assessment results, it may be appropriate to go beyond the standards to an advanced lesson. A variety of instructional models should be used frequently because everyone learns a little differently. For example, some students learn better in groups and some learn better when working independently. Some students want to read a page out of a book silently, while auditory learners prefer to listen to a tape. Appropriate assessment is the key to getting to know each student’s learning style. Alternative assessment methods for children with special needs are definitely appropriate and essential to the full-inclusion classroom environment. Assessment should be subject and grade level appropriate. Additionally, assessment needs to be checked for validity and performed on a regular basis. If a teacher knows his or her students’ learning styles, then lesson plans can be structured accordingly to achieve the best possible outcomes for all concerned. Although cognitive aspects of teaching are important, emotional aspects are just as important.
It is imperative that teachers possess knowledge of the emotional stages of growth that children are experiencing at different ages. Emotional development issues arise when managing behavior in and out of the classroom. As with learning styles, not all children deal with emotions in the same way. Some children are more sensitive than others when it comes to name calling or bullying, for example. An important part of classroom management is awareness of when to diffuse a situation and when to discipline students for certain actions.
Although, there are many school policies to follow, the solution for dealing with emotional issues are not always obvious and proper disciplinary action is not always clear-cut. A teacher often has to use his or her best judgment to deal with such issues. Respect and fairness are two good guidelines to live by when managing behavior in and out of the classroom. Character education can be integrated into the curriculum to teach the value of fairness, responsibility, and respect to students.
Students need to relate what they learn to real-life situations in order to appreciate and value their educational experience. The most important way to instill a “love of learning” is by building a student’s self-esteem through positive guidance and encouragement. Teaching and promoting positive social choices are especially important in today’s society. Teachers can make a significant difference in the quality of the lives of children from many different environments.
Many students are exposed to pressures outside the classroom such as poverty, crime, and peer pressure, which make it difficult for them to succeed. It is important to provide as many community resources as possible for families that need assistance with providing a quality education to their children. Teachers need to be aware of local, state and federal resources that are available to assist needy families. When a family’s basic needs are met, it is better for everyone and the student will benefit from a higher quality educational experience.
Students need great teachers, mentors and positive role models in their lives in order to develop into educated happy, productive and emotionally secure adults. Caring and responsible teachers shape the future of children and consequently shape the future of the world. A love of learning and a love of children are two essential ingredients that an individual must have to become a successful and effective teacher. All children, no matter what their level of ability, have the capacity to learn and grow cognitively, socially, and emotionally. Teaching is by far the most noble and honorable profession in the world.