“Teach students how to think, not what to think”
My Education Philosophy has grown immensely from when I began to develop a personal definition of teaching and learning. This didn’t begin when I decided to enter teaching for a career, but really has been developed and redefined several times throughout my life. However, now I find myself able to truly articulate my thoughts on teaching and learning because it is no longer an idea, as it once was, but a belief; it is something that defines who I am as a person.
Most importantly I teach for kids, which has been my most profound learning. I used to think that I wanted to teach because I loved science and math and wanted to do those things all day with students (knowing full well that I was not wired for the laboratory). Now, I know that I teach for the love of children. Sure, when I get to talk about science with kids I find myself extremely excited, but in the end whether they are Div. I, II, III or IV as long as there are kids I know I’m where I belong.
No individual can learn without the support of another. Through the building of a positive learning environment, with authentic relationships at it’s core, I adopt a community of collaboration in my classroom. An area of respect, dignity and integrity is fostered so that every student may feel comfortable coming to class, each day, eager and ready to learn with their peers. No student is left behind, but rather they work as a collective to attain common goals of self actualization.
Every student will climb the same mountain, but the path that they take to get there will look very different. It is important to recognize each student as an individual learner. We have a set of outcomes that are mandated by the government to be taught to the students in our classroom. If this needs to be modified to meet the learner’s needs, then so be it. Our job as teachers is to guide our students to success, so that they can be the best that they can be – and that is different for each and every one of my students.
In a twenty-first century environment, technology is at each student’s fingertips and should be fostered to enhance student learning. Social Media allows the classroom walls to be flattened and the students to be exposed to truly authentic learning. Learning no longer occurs in the confines of a school building, in a textbook, or a PowerPoint presentation; learning is all around us, everywhere we turn and it is truly at our fingertips. I develop real life learning tasks so that students may become completely engaged in their learning, seeking the answers that are of greatest interest to them. Technology is a key educational tool that should be used in the classroom to engage students and promote authentic learning.
Students learn how to think for themselves, not what to think. Through facilitation and inquiry student learning is challenged to encourage them to become critical thinkers. It is my goal to have each and every student leave my class with the ability to analyze a situation, and be skeptical, never taking any information at face value. With this skill, I am confident that they can leave my classroom and become contributing members of society, regardless of their future endeavor.