Philosophy of education including the reason(s) I chose education as a career.
First and foremost, I feel educational endeavors are a lifelong process. The cliché’, “you learn something new every day,” is by far one of the truest statements I have ever encountered. Not a day goes by where my own mind is not exposed to some form of newly discovered knowledge or understanding. I create opportunities for students to learn new topics, understand new ideas, and appreciate new concepts in various subjects, specifically as of recently in Social Studies for third – fifth grade students. However, my desire is to further immerse advantageous literature throughout the curriculum of Language Arts so I can inspire young minds to respect the printed word, stimulate those same minds to use thought-provoking speech in everyday situations, and persuade my students to love literature, as well as include a wide variety of quality children’s and young adult literature and other print and non-print materials in my classroom, which in turn will most definitely allow me to distribute all of this obtained wisdom in a compassionate and connected manner to all of my students.
Learning is improved when knowledge and reproduction of past experiences are engaged with lessons using pertinent theories, standards, and representations of thoughts to further elaborate on the information students have been provided, and students intrinsically want to learn. Students have specific learning styles and I am always cognizant of incorporating visual, kinesthetic and auditory formats of teaching in my classroom so my students are exposed to the differences in each. Therefore, it is up to me to be creative in order to capture all learning styles so students will be fully aware of their character design either in a classroom setting or with the outside world involving their reality as they move further up the intelligence ladder toward young adulthood.
My job as a Language Arts teacher who cares deeply about her students is to give each type of student every chance to succeed both within and even outside of the context of the Language Arts. I desire to bring direct learning activities that fit a student’s personal learning style, and give them meaningful learning tools they can carry with them from one subject to the next. By doing so, it will allow them to be better functioning young adults and outstanding citizens of our country. Once a student completes my Language Arts class, he/she will be able to transfer their knowledge to improving society.
As with any core subject, teaching Language Arts means teaching all students regardless if they are gifted, self-motivated, passionate, or even dispassionate about the subject, how to think critically, how to investigate, how to demonstrate understanding, and how to synthesize the breadth and complexity of written and oral language.
Many of my students become frustrated early in the quarter, but with diligence on my part; traveling down other avenues of exploration and explanation, I am able to show them through repetition there is no need to be apprehension over a complex subject matter they may not understand at first. As those students who are struggling become better acquainted with many concepts we cover, they are reassured they can accomplish anything and all things through striving for excellence and dedication as their scores begin to rise because they were courageous enough to take on the challenge, and they were persistent in meeting or exceeding the goals I set before them.
Different modes of reading:
I am a proponent of utilizing the different modes of reading, whether the content is guided or read aloud by me, shared among other students, conducted cooperatively, or read independently. By changing the modes of reading used for different students, I am able to scaffold instruction and provide different levels of support for students in order to make them successful in reading a piece of literature. Most of my students are eager to read aloud in our Social Studies classes. When I allow students to read aloud, I am able to monitor the student and determine his/hers current performance level on skills that the student will be learning that school year. I usually have a mini conference with the student’s base teacher to find out their goals for the student, and then determine my own reasonable achievement goals for the student on what their base teacher has required of the student. I then focus on the level of reading intensity the student needs to reach by the end of the year, and establish the rate of progress the student must make to meet those goals. I usually do this by measuring the student's academic progress regularly in either weekly, biweekly, or monthly reports for their base teacher. Then I compare achievements with the student’s base teacher.
I strive to improve my teaching techniques by visiting my co-team member’s classrooms. There I take mental notes of their classroom décor, how the teacher has certain sections of their room set-up, and I also inquire about how they utilize their best forms of teaching methods. I watch their students to ascertain if they are learning the concepts their teacher is striving to teach them.
I keep a journal by writing letters to myself and my expectations of myself five years from now so I can reflect on what I wish to learn and what I expect of myself to learn.
I plan to continue writing educational articles for various magazines throughout the country and I always communicate with my mentor by asking her advice on how to better myself involving teaching and learning.
I volunteer as a photographer for my church and I am able to communicate with different adults involving specific opportunities for photographs. I volunteer at a local pregnancy center by photographing special events held there when the community is invited.
Further, I plan to continually hone in on my photography skills by continuing to educate others in the field of photography. I plan to continue leading photography workshops by inviting others to community outings into the North Georgia wilderness that are a part of my photography club. I have taught many photography workshops in the past and this will help me to continue to grow as a person and I will be able to compare and contrast my teaching methods for both my professional career and my personal hobby life.
Why I chose teaching:
I chose teaching as a profession for several reasons. First, I cannot think of another profession I love more. Ever since my elementary school days, when I would watch my second grade teacher write on a chalk board, and how she wrote words, how her voice changed with tone and pitch as she read books to the class, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. Life sometimes takes us down different paths we do not always expect to transpire, so careers are placed on the backburner of life. However, I absolutely desire to lend other educators a helping hand by developing a new generation of creative thinking individuals. Further, I am a goal oriented person who has patience, and to actually witness those ‘ah ha moments’ when a student finally understands a concept is incredibly rewarding. Besides all of this, I feel confident I am able to lead by example with all of my students, and educate them in the required subjects with the utmost concern and care for achieving all educational goals.
Finally, the responsibility of educators is to empower the creation of energetic knowledge. Energetic awareness is exposed through bringing concepts to life to assist in student learning. If we, as educators, cannot make characters from a book dance and entice a child’s ingenious mind, words in a sentence hurdle off the page to fascinate even those who do not like to read, or if we, as educators cannot help even math problems explode with massive amounts of understanding, and a crucial appreciation for the sciences, then how can we expect students to be successful? As educators, we need to always be creative, grow in our profession, help students move up the comprehension ladder of understanding through any means possible, including and not limited to Bloom’s Taxonomy, and apply effective classroom management skills – just to name a few responsibilities I certainly carry with me as an educator, then how can we call us ourselves educators…? Students of today are our future representatives of tomorrow. We, as educators are responsible for our students, just as we are responsible for ourselves.