My philosophy of education has been the same since the time I decided to become a teacher, I have had an idea of what type of teacher I would be and how my room would be organized to provide the best possible learning environment for my students. The room may change, but my overall goals and intentions have remained the same the past 10 years.
How Do You Learn Best?
Alternative seating, lamps, a well-stocked reading center, and lots of engagement in the latest activities and topics have always been the center of my focus. Education is more than presenting facts and having students regurgitate them. It is about exciting that intrinsic need to know more. The yearning drive to find more information on your own. To question how things work and then explore different theories and answers.
Education is also about figuring out how to break the material down into “bite-sized” chunks for students and presenting it in different modalities until they have that “ah-ha” moment. It’s knowing that everyone learns differently and that as an educator, I need to know a few different tricks and techniques so I can present the information in those different ways.
I have taught in the same district for 9 years now. We are a high poverty area, yet we provide an excellent service for our students and local families. Part of the reason this is possible is the tenacity that seems to be inherent in most of the teachers of our district. I notice this trait in myself and those that I gravitate towards at school.
Students from high poverty areas are difficult.
Their emotional and physical needs aren’t being met at home. Because their hierarchy of needs is lacking, there is a struggle to try and meet their academic needs. My philosophy (and my heart) have always been drawn towards making children feel safe and loved first. Academics will fall into place if you can provide some form of care and stability in their lives.
Set an Example
The other key component of my philosophy of education is to never stop learning myself. There is no way I can be an effective teacher if I am not expressing and displaying my love of learning to my students. How can you expect your students to be excited about growing and learning if you aren’t excited about it yourself?
Keep on Learning
I am continually taking classes to better myself as a person and an educator. I have taken so many courses that I have enough credits for a Master’s, they just weren’t all on one specific topic. I have taught myself to code websites, use Photoshop and Illustrator to create my artwork and classroom resources, to market my own online business, do yoga, and more.
It Doesn’t Have to Be Formal
I take courses online. I read books on how to accomplish what I want to learn. There are so many ways to get an education, that don’t always have to happen within four walls. Experience. Time. And a desire to know more. That’s usually all it takes!
Use Your Resources!
Technology is one of my passions and knowing how to use it properly and then incorporating it into my classroom is one of my educational goals. I have used Donors Choose to create a 1:1 iPad classroom where students use technology to research topics they want to learn, stories they want to read or listen to, practice math facts, and become responsible digital citizens.