My educational philosophy stems from my values and experiences. I believe that every child is unique and should be given the opportunity to succeed. For students to achieve success, teachers must differentiate to accommodate the needs of all students. Being inclusive means favouring equity over equality: not every student needs the same supports to succeed. It is important to be aware of this, and to constantly provide appropriate supports to each individual in the classroom. I believe that “each student’s brain is as unique as a fingerprint,” (Gregory & Chapman, 2013, p. 2) as every single student has different abilities and it is my responsibility to adapt and modify accordingly. Every student will learn differently and have different interests, so it is up to the teacher to find the best way to teach different groups of students.
I believe that lessons should be engaging, cross-curricular and inquiry based. When lessons are useful, relevant and, meaningful to students, they will be more engaged in their learning. I want students to have the opportunity to express their creativity and expression, which can be achieved through experiential learning. I believe it is important to integrate skills such as: critical thinking and decision making; solving complex, multidisciplinary, and open-ended problems; creative and entrepreneurial thinking; communication and collaboration; and independence. By developing these skills, students’ attitude towards school will become more positive, and their self-esteem will increase. Teachers need to continually provide positive feedback to their students, and encourage them to try new strategies for learning in the classroom.
Technology can be a beneficial addition to any classroom, as long as it is being used to contribute to students’ learning. Technology can either help or hinder students’ learning depending on its usage. Technology can be extremely beneficial as a means to complement students’ experiences. However, it is important for teachers to discuss internet safety with their students, and the potential consequences when technology is misused. Technology has become an important aspect in today’s society, and I believe that it can be used to support students’ learning.
An effective way I have found to promote students’ learning is reflecting on experiences. It allows students and teachers alike to, assess their own work, and identify areas of strength, as well as where there is room for improvement. Reflection helps students to take ownership for their education. Moreover, to benefit not only the teaching profession but the students as well, I believe teachers should participate in professional development opportunities to expand their knowledge to bring into the classroom. In this profession, collaboration is key; therefore, teachers should take the opportunity to learn and share from and with other teachers.
As a teacher, it is important to build strong relationships with your students. This might mean taking an interest in their life outside of the classroom, going to watch their extra-curricular activities, or just being an ear to listen as the need presents itself. Ultimately it is vital that the classroom is a safe place for students and a place where mistakes are encouraged, as I strongly believe in a growth mindset and we learn most from our mistakes. Students do best when their teachers are supportive and believe that they are capable. All in all, I believe a classroom should always have an open door policy where students feel accepted, safe, comfortable and welcome, anytime of the day.
There is nothing more rewarding than helping young minds grow, and learning alongside them. Every day, when I wake up, I am excited to go into the classroom because I believe in being a lifelong learner and making a difference in the students lives. There is something new to learn every day, and from every student you meet.