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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Philosophy of Education

Being a teacher is one of the most important jobs a person could possibly have.  The young children I work with look to me for guidance, love, compassion, and understanding.  They are there for me to influence to become adults with the qualities that I instill in them for the short time that I am a part of their lives.

My students are the center of focus in everything I do in my classroom.  It is important to me to meet the needs of every single one of them.  They all have needs, whether an IEP student, low student, average student, high achiever, or high ability student.  I do whatever I can to differentiate for my students and provide learning opportunities for all ability levels.

Learning must be engaging. If I see that my students are not engaged in a lesson I change what I am doing to make sure that they are being active learners.  Teaching is not about standing up at the front of the class talking all day.  I am not that kind of teacher.  I make sure my students are doing and participating.

As a teacher I remind myself that I am preparing my students for a global workforce.  Integration of technology is a vital part of this.  My students will be expected to use technology to collaborate, communicate, gather information, and more.  Not only does technology integration allow for these skills to be developed in my students, but it also greatly engages my students as I mentioned above.

Teachers, parents, and community members must all work together to better the lives of children.  Like the saying goes, "It takes a village to raise a child."  Now that I am also a parent I understand this even more.
All must work together, communicate, and take an active role in the education of children.

Creating connections with my students is also imperative.  My students should feel comfortable with me and know that they can ask me for help at any time.  It is important to me that my students like seeing me everyday.  One of my favorite things for my students to say to me is that they wish school didn't have to end for the summer.

Probably one of the most essential parts of being an effective teacher is being a dedicated professional.  I take on extra jobs in my school so that I am not just having an effect on my own students, but on the students in the entire school.  Another part of being a dedicated teacher involves constantly learning and changing.  This is highly important to me.  I constantly seek out ways to improve myself so that my students benefit, whether it be attending workshops, reading online, taking classes, collaborating with peers, reflecting on my practices, etc.  

I saw a quote online just the other day that very much sums up the way I feel about teaching.  It says, "I call my students 'my kids' because in our year together they aren't just kids on my class list, they become a part of my heart." Children truly are a joy to work with and I feel blessed to call so many "my kids."