Sunday, April 15, 2012

Philosophy of Education

We had to write a Philosophy of Education for our Education in the US class... It's something that will change a lot in my lifetime and I'm sure a lot in the next year, but for now... here it is... enjoy:

My philosophy of education has changed a lot in the last couple months, and I expect it to change a lot more as I learn and grow first as a student of education then as an educator.

Besides teaching content, I have to be a good listener, an analyzer of students and assessments; I have to be nonjudgmental, encouraging, and the guardian of students while they are in my care. As the teacher, I should be full of constant energy, giving my last class as much excitement as I gave my first. I should constantly reflect on what did and didn’t work in the classroom. I need to find the best ways to teach all students, not just lecture at the students but also realize that students are individuals and learn in different ways. The students should be interested in the topic and excited to be learning new content.

I will outlaw certain words from my classroom: smart and dumb will be number one and two on that list. The classroom should be a safe environment where students can express themselves and ideas they have or ask questions for clarification without fear of being belittled or picked on by other students or by teachers. I believe caring has an important role in the classroom; students should be nurtured by the teacher but by each other as well. Students should also be teachers to their peers as this helps ingrain the lessons learned. Students should not be in constant fear of a pop quiz and they shouldn’t be afraid that if they don’t test well, they’ll fail a class. I believe assessments should be a tool to help the teacher teach, however I believe there are better ways to evaluate how much a student is learning; my job will be to figure that out for each student.

I do not believe the classroom is four-walls within a school; the classroom is all around us in the real world. If I want to make a lasting impression while helping the students really understand a concept, I can’t let the four walls of the school hold me back. Sometimes lessons may have to be taken outside to make a point. Whenever possible, lessons should be related to the real world. Making something real, showing why it is important to know it and how it will be used in “real life” helps students want to learn.

As the years pass, learning becomes more about applying lessons to the real world, and as the world gets more technologically advanced, our students need to realize the importance of computers and technology at an earlier age. Classrooms should be outfitted with whatever technology they can afford: smartboards, desktops, calculators and tablets. Learning should include programs that are online to engage different learning styles. Some students may learn better with a program like Khan Academy while others do fine with lecture and discussion.

I believe collaboration between teachers is important, not just for the teachers but also for the students. If it takes a village to raise a child, the same can be said to teach the same child. Someone with more experience may have ideas on what has worked in the past, while someone with less experience may be more able to think outside the box. I believe learning is a forever process, not just for the students but for teachers as well; the teacher should always be a student too. Most importantly, I believe my role as a teacher is always changing; its fluid and can’t be put within certain constraints.

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