Teaching Philosophy

My Background

Throughout my entire life, my mother told me that I would make an amazing teacher.  It wasn’t until my senior year of high school that I knew she had been correct all along.  During a child development class, one of the requirements was a daily internship at a local elementary school.  This is where I met Ms. O’toole.  Her excitement to teach and relationships with her students made me see how important and rewarding teaching can be.  Not only did she teach the material that was required, but she made her classroom welcoming and fun.  Each and every student felt safe and confident as soon as he/she walked into the classroom.  This experience made me want to make a difference in a student’s life whether it be through academics or through experiences he/she will have in my own classroom.

My Goals

As an instructional designer, part-time faculty, and former teacher, there are many goals that I want to fulfill in my career to become a successful teacher.  For one, I want to inspire my students and make differences in their lives.  I hope for students to look back at me as a teacher who helped them succeed and pushed them to follow their dreams.  I want to put my students’ needs first in terms of extra help in certain content areas or through mentoring them through tough situations.  I will always create an environment where students feel comfortable coming to me for help.

Second, I want to share my love for reading and writing with my students and create life-long readers.  I want to show my students how important it is to read every day and how it can be fun.  As a role model for my students, it is important for them to see me reading when they are in the classroom.  I will direct struggling readers to fun and inspirational stories and direct advanced readers to books that interest them.  There will always be a place in my classroom with beanbags or pillows that is designated “reading corner.”  Each day new students will use this corner during a “drop everything and read” time.  For writing, students will work on creating classroom books that they can read, much like I did during my student teaching experience.  This will allow them to get excited to write as well as read their classmates’ stories.

Third, I want my students to succeed academically by making learning fun.  I want my students to look forward to learning instead of seeing it as a chore.  By changing learning to student-directed, students get a better experience and retain information at higher rates.  In addition, students will look forward to using manipulatives or creating experiments, or making in-class projects.

Fourth, I want to incorporate as much technology into my lessons as possible.  Our generations continue to advance in technology, which is why it is extremely important for educators to learn about the latest advancements.  By incorporating technology in a way that enhances the learning, students begin to see technology as a tool rather than a game.  In addition, students continue to learn content rather than the newest and greatest technology.  By incorporating technology, students have a new way to learn which may help them succeed even more academically.

Finally, I want to create a classroom that is welcoming and fun for students, parents, administration, and other teachers.  My classroom will always have bulletin boards full of class projects and students’ work.  My door will always be open to parents as volunteers, or administration and teachers as observers.  I will always encourage feedback as this is a way to become a better educator.  My goal is to always put my students first.

How I Will Teach

All students are different in their ways of learning in addition to the speed at which they will understand a concept.  It is important to incorporate all of this into daily lesson plans to allow for all students to succeed.

The first step to successful teaching is to build confidence in the classroom.  When students understand a concept, they are more likely to want to participate in the class discussion.  By working one-on-one with students who struggled with the concept, students feel the support they need to succeed.  They begin to have confidence in the content that they are learning and become successful learners.  Providing different means of learning is also important to building confidence.  By creating pre-assessments and post-assessments, I can see where the class is struggling and where the class has confidence in their learning.  This can lead to differentiation through tasks at different levels and leave time for harder concepts as I will know where my class is succeeding and struggling.  In addition, using quick formative assessments in the class allows me to see where students are struggling and focus on those topics quickly before students begin falling behind.

Second, teachers must always be on their feet walking around to make sure that students are on task and understanding the work they are completing.  A great educator can be seen walking around from desk to desk making comments such a “great job” or “try this one again” or stopping at a desk to provide some extra direction.  Not only does this help with individualism, but this also improves classroom management.

Third, classroom management is a huge part of successful teaching.  By creating positive reinforcement techniques such as earning stars to have lunch with the teacher, or earning dollars to buy things at the class store, or earning marbles for a class pizza party, students see the importance of behaving in class.  In addition, it teaches students responsibility for their own actions.  A well-managed classroom is more likely to get through the content that is needed to be taught for the day and students are more likely to understand the concepts since they are listening.

Finally, my classroom will be very student-directed.  I believe that students learn better when they perform hands-on activities rather than hear lectures.  Students retain information better as they learn about a concept through experience.  In addition, students have the ability to ask questions that are more directed to what they don’t understand.

Why Do I Teach?

Every morning I look forward to seeing my students.  I am excited to hear about their weekends or the big events that occurred in their lives.  I feel as if the students are helping me at the same time that I am helping them grow to be responsible, smart adults.  As I look back on my own experiences, my teachers have made a great impact and influence on who I am today.  Students spend most of their day in school building relationships with teachers and peers.  Creating a positive school environment will only help the students of today become great citizens of tomorrow.

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