My Teaching Philosophy

Education is the most important activity that a society engages in. Education provides students with the knowledge and the skills needed for participation in health care, business, and politics.

Students construct knowledge based on their experiences. I believe when students are engaged in constructing meaning through inquiry, they learn more and are more engaged as they have input into the process. The purpose of challenging students through inquiry is for them to become persistent problem solvers, rational thinkers, and confident learners who believe they can succeed. Teachers who provide these types of learning experiences are focused on the process rather then the product. This supports the multitude of ways that children learn as it allows them to acquire knowledge in different ways and demonstrate their learning in the best way for them.

A teacher is constantly learning. It is important for teachers to demonstrate and engage in being life-long learners. This type of atmosphere allows teachers to build relationships with their students. Teachers who engage in learning become better aware of the learning process. Therefore, they have a better idea of how to match instruction to the students’ learning styles. They can also make this process explicit to the students through modeling. When students experience success as learners, we foster in them a belief that they too can be successful life-long learners. I believe that the environment we expose our students to plays a big role in the types of learning that will take place. As a teacher, it is our job to provide a caring and safe learning environment in which the students always feel like they are free to express themselves. Mistakes should be used as learning opportunities rather then singling a student out.

Students need to be taught how to use technology effectively as a learning tool. Just bringing technology into the classroom is not a valuable learning experience: the students must be given a challenge in which they need technology to gather information and show their knowledge. As well, students need to be exposed to a wide variety of technology so that they are prepared to use it in their life post-school. Finally, students need to be taught how to use technology responsibly. They should be aware of the dangers that come with technology such as bullying, identity theft, and the ways in which ideas, pictures, and information can be quickly spread.

As classrooms become more culturally diverse, I believe it is important to help students construct knowledge in different ways and from different perspectives. Multicultural education needs to be taught on a daily bases and in every subject rather then just once in a while. Equally important is the inclusion of treaty education as it speaks to the history of Canada and how our society came to be. If these topics are only included occasionally, it provides unauthentic experience for the students. As well, it sends the message that these topics are “add-ons” rather than important aspects of the foundation of the curriculum.

I believe cross-curricular instruction is beneficial to students because when they take part in experiences with reoccurring and linked learning they are able to absorb it and let it sink in. Knowledge acquired in this manner will remain with the students and they will be able to use previous learning in future activities. Projects are one aspect of teaching cross-curricular where the students learn with hands-on experiences. Through projects, students can be engaged in their Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, and Science outcomes all at the same time. With projects, teachers can provide many options. Students can have choice into how they develop their learning and how they produce their knowing. The assessment of the students knowing needs to be an ongoing process.

Assessment should be a combination of assessment for learning to allow the students opportunities to make mistakes and learn from them and assessment as learning, which allows them to show their learning as a final product. Therefore, the focus of assessment should be a combination of formative evaluation in addition to summative evaluation. In each, the students should be involved in the evaluation process including the creation of rubrics and evaluation tools.

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