Teaching Philosophy

Throughout the school year, kids spend more time in the classroom than in his or her own home. What does that mean? It means that the classroom environment that the teacher creates is incredibly important and thus, one of the central themes of my beliefs as an educator is that the teacher must create a warm and welcoming environment for all of the students. By creating such an environment, students are more likely not only to learn, but also to participate in class, something that is crucial for the development of student learning. So how do we create such an environment? First and foremost, it is important that the teacher establishes a relationship with the student. In a class of thirty, it is inevitable that some relationships will be better developed than others but it is nevertheless important that the teacher strives to get to know each student on a personal level. By doing such, a level of respect will be established between both persons and with this, the teacher will be in a better position to help the student. Of course, not all the relationships will be as effortless as the others but I firmly believe that the more work that is put into these relationships, the more benefits that will later be reaped. I once had a professor who impressed upon us that every successful teacher is, in fact, successful because he or she opened a channel of communication with the student and the student thus felt comfortable approaching the teacher with his or her questions and concerns. Having the opportunity to be in several classrooms throughout my education, I can now see that this is sound advice; I have learned that at the base of every students’ learning is the trust between he or she and the teacher and thus, establishing this trust will be my main goal as a teacher.

Additionally, I recognize that the diversity in the classroom is an increasingly important element of education. Rather than regarding this diversity as an obstacle, however, I think it is important to embrace our unique backgrounds as a way to learn about other cultures. By opening this line of communication, teachers will be able to foster understanding and friendship between students that will then create a safe learning environment. No matter a student’s race, ethnicity, gender or religion, school must be a place where they feel like they belong and where they feel like they can share their thoughts freely. Creating this respect, not only for others but also for one’s self, is therefore important to achieve as this will, in turn, engender an environment in which communication and collaboration can be fostered.

Diversity in students’ needs is also an important element in education today; successful teachers need to be aware of his or her students’ learning styles in order for optimal learning to be achieved. As the differences between students increase, every teacher needs to be informed about their students’ needs and be open and adaptable; they must be ready to try new techniques and lessons in order to reach every one of their learners. Furthermore, I am a firm believer in an inclusive classroom; every student deserves the right to learn with his or her peers and to be treated with equity and respect. Every student is capable of learning and teachers must be willing to embrace these new practices in order to give their students the best education possible.

In my classroom, the use of technology will be used to facilitate student learning. It will be used as a tool to enhance students’ creativity and as a means of appealing to different learning styles. Technology offers many wonderful opportunities for students to learn and, in supplement to teacher instruction, technology will provide students with extensive learning experiences. At the same time, however, I believe students must be taught the importance of digital citizenship, including how to be safe and responsible. Creating a positive digital footprint is a skill that, as technology becomes increasingly dominant in students’ lives, is important to learn and so in my classroom, I would teach students how to embrace the benefits and experiences that technology has to offer.

I believe whole-heartedly in being a lifelong learner and, with my students, I hope to instil this same attitude. In addition, I want to teach my students how to think critically and how to formulate their own informed opinions. A good education should be one that constantly presents questions and, with my students, I hope to explore those questions in such a way that engages them; as a teacher, I wish not to lecture my students but to learn with them. Although I believe in having a structured classroom, I also wish to foster my students’ imagination and creativity by welcoming new ideas and implementing diverse assessment.

As a pre-service teacher, I recognize that my teaching philosophy will evolve as I grow older and have more experiences in the classroom. I welcome this fact as I believe that the truly successful teachers are those who embrace change and look at it as a means to grow and to better serve their students. I am looking forward to learning new things, overcoming challenges and constructing relationships with students in my career to come; I want to be an educator because I want to make a difference in the world and I know that, by helping students everyday and helping them realize their potential, I will.

-Kayla Henderson

 

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