Personal Philosophy of Education
When writing a personal philosophy of education statement, one must take many issues into consideration. The basic ones the department came up with were why, who, how and what, and where you teach. I feel like these questions definitely helped me with thinking and brainstorming of the real reason why I want to teach. Although there are many small motives behind my wish to become a math teacher, the chief underlying reason is my enjoyment with working with kids in the math subject area. Teachers should want to come into work everyday. The best teachers are the ones that are very passionate about their jobs. He or she needs to decide what type of teacher they want to be like. Lastly, I will share how my beliefs will affect how I plan to teach. Even with the questions that were given, I think the most important questions that should be answered are why a person wants to teach, what kind of teacher he or she wants to be like, and how they plan to get the information across.
There was one main reason why I am choosing to become a math teacher: satisfaction in working with kids. I have always liked working with them because of their constant desire to know more. Over the summer, I worked many basketball camps because it was required by our coach. Even in sports, they always wanted to learn more. I realize this will change when I become a teacher, but the kids always looked at me with high respect. I do not know if it was because they liked the way I played or because I was one of the few motivated instructors. Either way, I enjoyed teaching the game and improving their skills. One defining experience changed what I wanted to study. In the spring of my junior year, I decided to do an internship with a seventh grade teacher. There, he started me out doing simple things, such as grading papers and putting up bulletin boards. Slowly, he would send a student or two over to ask me questions. I was a little nervous at first, but then I realized that they were probably just as nervous because of our lack of acquaintance. I helped them out by having them try to tell me what to do by giving me step-by-step strategies for solving the math word problems. I really liked seeing the joy they experienced when solving a problem they never thought they could handle. After a while, he let me teach a lesson on two separate occasions. I realized that a teacher has to make lesson plans in order to be organized and prepared. Also, study sheets and worksheets definitely aid in the student’s development. It was at this point I realized that I want to go back to school everyday and share my higher knowledge to my students.
The best teachers I have ever had were the ones that loved their job. Just like Mr. Randall Wisehart expressed in his article, I think teachers should be passionate. In high school I was lucky enough to have a very gifted teacher for honors calculus and advanced placement calculus. She shared stories of how she majored in mathematics in college. From there, she could have gone in many different directions but chose to go into teaching because of a job shadowing position she held. She realized that she wanted to show students all the facets of math. She said she “fell in love with math” but “loved teaching even more.” No matter what time of the day I went to her for help, she was always willing to help me, which is how a teacher should be. Although some thought she was a little weird for being so excited for math, I came to realize that she was not that enthused about math but rather motivated by teaching math. One day, I discussed my college plans with her and hoped she would give me some incite. She told me that she does not see her teaching math getting old anytime soon, and that she will continue to teach for as long as she can. I hope to follow in her footsteps because the passionate teachers are the best kind. Teaching passionately will cause students to pay attention, and therefore their test scores will increase as well.
My beliefs and customs will definitely carry over into my teaching methods. My work ethics and standards are much the same when I work towards something and when I play baseball. I believe the hardest workers get the most out of what they do. I am a very hardworking player, and that same determination carries over into the classroom. This will carry over into teaching as well when it comes to lesson planning and grading work. In sports, there is a lot of moving around. My best teachers got the students to move around because it kept them on their toes, and I think I will utilize this method when I teach. When explaining geometric figures or solving algebra problems, there can be ways of moving students around to help them better understand the question at hand. Students cannot sleep when they are moving, so it will get them to pay attention. Lastly, I believe that hard work and effort should be rewarded. Mr. Wisehart touched on this in his article. Like Wisehart, I shall give students feedback on increasing and supporting persistence. Although some people think that sports and teaching are two totally different things, I believe they are similar in the fact that some principles can be used in both.
My personal philosophy of education statement, like many others, has come from past experiences. Both good and bad, I have learned what I like and dislike. I know it cannot be set in stone, but I will teach using the same methods that have worked for me in the past. Reflecting on my past teachers will also help in developing lesson plans. I also realized that the concepts I use will not work for everyone so I must learn to adapt to many circumstances. Like in sports, I will be passionate, work hard, and preach hard work and a lot of effort. Using these tools, I hope to be a successful teacher and continue to learn everyday from the achievements and mistakes that I make.