Teaching Philosophy

As an educator I have a very strong belief that the importance in today’s classroom is not what students are learning in terms of content but how we are teaching them to learn.  Education should not be about the specific content within the classroom but rather teaching skills that students will need far after they graduate.  While this may seem contradictory by having a educator say that the content is not the most important thing within the classroom, it does not mean that we should leave content completely out of the process of “learning how to learn.”  Through the content is where the skills I want my students to have come from. I always enjoy when kids ask “why do I have to learn this” because I am able to show them that it may not be the content of the lesson that will change their lives but instead the skills they will learn along the way.  One of my biggest challenges during my student –teaching was convincing a group of students who were wanted to be mechanics after high school that reading the novel Frankenstein was going to help them down the road.  However, I showed them that in order to become a mechanic they needed to be able to read and interpret information, use critical thinking skills like they would need while reading the novel, and be able to develop and defend an argument.

                In addition to teaching students different skills they will need to succeed in life, I think it is extremely important the type of relationship educators have with their students.  There are varying ideas on how the role of a teacher should be when interacting with students.  My theory is that there should be a mutual respect for one another and an acceptance of each other’s different opinions. There are going to be many things students and teachers do not agree upon, but if they can agree to accept each other’s views than things will work out within the classroom.  Building rapport with students is a major factor in how effective the teacher is with the content he or she is teaching.  I think it is extremely important to build solid relationships with your students through personal stories and showing the students you are human just like them. One of the best things I have ever done was admit to my students that my lesson was going horribly and apologized for not giving them my best effort. This not only challenged me as a teacher to step up my effort but also showed the students I was just as prone to making mistakes as they are. By building rapport with your students the classroom will come alive.  From lesson plans becoming more and more effective to being able to take creative risks within the development of assignments, rapport will make the teaching much more effective.

                Lastly, I want students to be able to look at different perspectives and recognize that while they may not agree; there is another viewpoint out there.  Within History and English there are many different areas that we explore where it is essential to look at both sides of the story.  Teaching should not be about the specifics of the content but instead learning how to succeed in the real world through different skills, relationship building, and a willingness to look at different perspectives.

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