Philosophy of Teaching

   

    My goal as an educator is to teach students HOW to think, not WHAT to think. There is an important difference between these two statements that leads to my passion to teach.  I want to help my students to create opinions and interests of their own. It is during middle and high school when students need a mentor to show them how to critically think about issues socially and about content area.
    My philosophy of teaching students how to think rather than what to think can be broken down into two important factions of education. The first is that, as a teacher, I need to show students how to think critically and form opinions for themselves on important life skills such as: relationships and responsibility. In middle and high school students are beginning to form strong relationships with friends, family, bosses, and significant others. It is during this time when students need to decide how to treat those around them; they need to decide what makes up a healthy relationship.  These are crucial times in a child’s life and as an educator I believe it is my role to mentor and encourage growth in this area. It is also important as an educator to assist students in learning how to be responsible, how to maintain a work ethic, and how to behave in and out of the classroom.  These are necessary life skills that students need to learn. I do not think it is my role to tell students how to treat people or how to behave but it is my position, as a teacher, to assist students in decision making and serious thought about their life outside of the classroom.
    The second faction of education that my philosophy pertains to is how I want to teach content to my students in the classroom. My goal is not to teach students what they should think about different issues but rather teach them to develop ideas and opinions of their own about content. In history and social studies, I am provided with a lot of opportunity to encourage debating and original thought. Although there is a lot of fact based material in social studies, I like to use hands on activities, debates, projects, opinion papers, and give options to students. Examples of hands on activities I like to use in my classroom are role plays, timelines, picture line ups, and art projects.  Social studies provide students to learn about perspective taking and being respectful of other s opinions. It is my goal to incorporate multiple perspectives into every subject that I teach. Through fostering an open environment in my classroom, my students are able to express themselves without feeling repercussions.  I want to teach my students to look a multiple perspectives on an issue and decide for themselves how they feel. If there is one thing that students need to learn about it is tolerance and understanding.

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