Philosophy of Education
I believe that teaching is an intricate combination of learned knowledge and natural talent that can influence and inspire countless members of society. A teacher is responsible for nourishing the hearts, minds, and bodies of future generations and instilling a lifelong passion for learning. Throughout this process, educators continue to understand more about themselves and humankind. Additionally, every teacher must possess certain qualities to effectively execute his or her role in the community. Without these characteristics, a teacher would have difficulty overcoming obstacles and appreciating the rewards of this profession.
Effective teaching requires a willingness to identify and meet students’ various needs. Accepting this obligation demands creativity and constant motivation, as well as flexibility and understanding. Through formative and summative assessments and daily interactions with students, a teacher must recognize the individual strengths and weaknesses of each child. The teacher must then develop ways to address these weaknesses and capitalize upon these strengths during instruction. Not only must the teacher consider multiple intelligences, but he or she must also use research-based strategies that benefit students with different learning styles. Instruction founded upon these factors helps to actively engage all students in the learning process. Additionally, the teacher must properly scaffold instruction to help students comprehend the material. Appropriate questioning, real-world connections, and flexible grouping comprise just a few ways to support students’ learning. Providing these reinforcements helps all students meet the learning objectives.
While a strong educator must adjust instruction and provide appropriate scaffolding according to students’ unique needs, he or she should always maintain high expectations. A student’s needs do not impact a student’s worth. Teachers should adjust their specific expectations according to students’ ages and circumstances, but all expectations must require reasonable effort from the students. Teachers should challenge all students to develop goals, perform well, and ask questions regarding the surrounding world. An appropriate level of challenge will intrinsically motivate many students to reach their academic potential.
Even with the best instruction, a student cannot reach his or her full potential without the proper environment. Before students can focus on academics, they must feel content in the classroom. Consequently, a classroom should display student work, provide comfortable working spaces, and contain various textures and colors. These characteristics represent aspects of symbolic identification and pleasure. A positive learning atmosphere also includes opportunities for social contact among students and between the students and their teacher. These interactions create feelings of trust, stimulate discussion and inquiry, and help students develop social skills. Additionally, an effective educator consistently enforces rules and routines that promote safety and shelter. As the children develop a sense of security, they more willingly contribute, both academically and socially, to the classroom community. In turn, the students’ eagerness enables these children to benefit from the classroom’s academic and social learning opportunities.
Collaboration with parents and professionals can further support students as they work towards their potential. An effective teacher maintains consistent communication with parents. Parents provide valuable insights into a child’s mind and increase a teacher’s ability to address a child’s unique needs. As a team, parents and teachers can meet a child’s needs better than either can do individually. Furthermore, a teacher must work with other professionals to assist children with special needs. By cooperating with professionals, a teacher can learn more effective instructional and classroom management strategies to best meet the needs of all children.
When I consider the many qualities and responsibilities of an effective educator, I recognize that this profession will be a challenging journey. Nevertheless, I believe that the intrinsic rewards far outweigh the struggles. Educating and inspiring young citizens provides a significant contribution to society and serves as a vital way of giving back to my community. Furthermore, the power to overcome barriers and encourage children to reach their full potential or discover a passion for learning imparts a sense of inner peace and satisfaction. The chance to constantly discover more about myself and humanity also functions as a special opportunity. These profound rewards have influenced my choice to accept the challenges of teaching with an open heart and mind.