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English 401-Advanced Composition

Educational Philosophy
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Philosophy of Education

 

            Dr. O. Ivan Lovaas, clinical psychologist and considered one of the fathers of applied behavior analysis therapy for autism, once stated that, “If a child cannot learn in a way that we teach, we must teach in a way that he can learn.”  I saw this quote on a friend, and fellow colleagues, bulletin board on my first day of work.  The meaning behind what Dr. Lovaas said has stayed with me and is the guiding force to my philosophy of education.  I spent twelve years in public school, enjoying it for the most part, but I sometimes found myself wondering why I needed to know a lot of what the teachers were requiring me to learn.  After many years of menial, underpaid jobs, I found my life calling as a teacher.  The only problem was that I didn’t have a college degree.  This is why I make it a priority to stress to my daughter, and my students, the importance of an education.  I understand that twelve years is a long time to spend in school, and another four may seem excruciating; but in order to better oneself, make good money, and set an example for the next generation, it is imperative to continue an education after high school.  An education is the best thing a person can receive for free and allows all children the opportunity to gain knowledge about the world and situations around them that they cannot achieve through simply “living and learning.”

            I will make it my primary goal as a teacher to see that all children are provided the same opportunities in my classroom, no matter their skill level, learning style, or socio-economic background.  Teachers are faced daily with language, cultural, and other learning barriers.  There may be children who are labeled as gifted and talented, along with students who have an IEP (individual education plan), and those that are there just because they have to be, all grouped together in one classroom.  It is important that a teacher learn to adapt their lesson plan and classroom, in order to be able to teach each child.  There are a variety of ways to incorporate the different teaching styles into each classroom setting.  Some students learn best from lecture; therefore, a portion of each class period can be utilized for the explanation of what the chapter or lesson plan entails.  Other students may learn better from example.  This would provide an opportunity to use today’s advanced classroom technology by utilizing the Smart Board via an Airliner notepad and coinciding large screen projector, to work through problems as a class.  But, there are still other students who work best in a group setting, so after a brief lecture and examples, the students are able to get with their TPS (think, pair, share) partners and work on their assignment.  This style of teaching should be able to reach every child’s level of learning, leaving the teacher ample time to work one-on-one with students who may need any extra help. 

            I will strive to develop a positive teacher-student relationship, and classroom environment, as well as try to create and implement a clear and concise learning structure to inspire each student to want to reach their highest potential.  By incorporating a positive teacher-student relationship, it will establish a more positive classroom environment, which in turn, will help increase student learning.  In addition, I believe that a clear and concise learning structure will provide me with teaching strategies to help integrate a child’s thinking process.  I want to motivate and challenge students to become active learners by participating in classroom instruction. 

            I will treat my role as a teacher in the school as a privilege and not a duty.  There are many more layers to a teacher other than just someone who educates children.  Teachers serve as mentors to students, helping to guide and direct them in not only their education, but also their lives.  I hope to provide a positive impact on my students learning and make a difference in their academic and personal life.  As a teacher, I believe it is important to work closely with my colleagues to learn from their expertise.  There are many seasoned teachers who will be able to guide me in my profession and offer advice to help make me a better teacher.  I believe that teachers need to continue their education in order to stay abreast of changes in the educational system.  I would like to use Professional Development opportunities to learn more about the ever-changing and innovative ways to educate children so that I may pass this information along to my colleagues.  A good rapport with your colleagues will help make your profession more rewarding.  But, I have learned that one of the major roles a teacher plays in the life of their students is that of a psychologist.  Children today face various moral and ethical issues.  It is not our place as teachers to condemn or condone their choices, but instead, we need to be a confidant, sounding board, and show empathy toward their dilemmas.  This will help gain their respect and provide an opportunity to instill certain values in them.  As educators, we are probably the most influential people some children may ever come in contact with.  It is our responsibility to set high standards and good examples.

            I will use my role as a teacher to serve as a liaison between the school and community.  This will provide the opportunity to help present the school in a positive light.  In order for students to receive the full benefit of an education, a collaborative effort must be made.  This collaboration should not be only between the parent and teacher, but between the parent, student, and teacher, as well as the community.  There are a number of valuable resources that can be utilized within the community such as the Public Library and local businesses.  Teachers have the ability to use business leaders in their classroom to serve as guest speakers and Junior Achievement serves as a vital program in the schools to help give students insight into the “real world.”  Anyone a teacher can get involved to help the student will serve as an asset to the school and community. 

I will become an effective teacher through using the resources I am afforded from within the school and community, through continuing my education, and being firm, fair, and consistent with my actions both inside and outside of the classroom.  I will also need to consider my students social, economic, ethnic and personal backgrounds.  As previously stated, the diversity within today’s public school system has drastically increased.  As a teacher, I will have to be able to adapt to the differences, not only among the students beliefs, but from my own beliefs and traditions.  I will also need to learn how to effectively manage a classroom.  Positive reinforcements must be utilized, and concise student and classroom expectations must be established, to avoid confusion and chaos.  Finally, as a teacher I must be able to provide guidance, care and nurture to my students so that they can achieve their future goals and educational aspirations. 

            I believe that every child deserves the right to receive an education and I will to continue to stress its value.  By pushing children of different skill levels to reach their highest potential, it is possible to help each child gain the knowledge and self-respect they may have been lacking.  Knowing your students, how they learn, what their goals consist of, and what they are striving for, both personally and academically, can help a teacher become better at their profession.  By developing positive relations with the students, giving them a safe environment in which to learn, and providing a learning structure to inspire them, I feel that I can help mold them into the productive citizens society needs.  In order to do these things, though, I must be willing to work closely with my colleagues.  Taking their guidance and advice, and applying it to what I have already learned, will help develop me into a better teacher.  I must be willing to listen, offer advice, serve as a role model, consider my students diversities and manage my classroom in a way that will provide a positive impact on the children, the school and the community. 

 

Veronica M. Johnson   

Introduction to Teacher’s Education-250

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