My philosophy of education is based on the ideas that I have about education that are framing my critical goals as an educator at this moment. As a teacher I believe that it is important to be aware of the individual needs, strengths and abilities of each of my students. With this awareness, I will be able to challenge each student in what Vygotsky calls their “zone of proximal development. ” At the same time, I will use this information to help build the self-esteem of each child, by creating experiences in which he or she will be successful while growing as a learner.
Further, I believe that as a teacher I should focus on the whole child and not just teaching a particular subject matter. As a result I do believe that I should divorce their academic lives from their personal lives. Therefore I will utilize methods and strategies that caters to the child’s interpersonal, social and emotional needs. As a teacher at the elementary level I recognize that I should strive to help my students make interdisciplinary connections.
Not only should the various subject areas be connected, but also what the child learns in school must have some relevance or importance in the child’s experience of the world. One of my primary goals as a teacher is making sure that students are questioning the phenomena in their worlds, and learning to analyze and think critically about their worlds. This goal holds important for any discipline area, be it science, math, social studies or language. I will strive to create a safe classroom environment which is conducive to learning, where students may take risks and be supported by their peers and teacher.
I will also strive to At the same time, it is my responsibility to ensure that my lessons are not limited to the child’s direct experience but is striving to give each child a broader global view. In addition I see multiculturalism, as a process that consumes the classroom and should be embraced by the teacher. Rather than simply being an additive item in the classroom, multiculturalism should consist of critical and analytical thinking and building multiple perspectives on the worlds.
Finally, children need to be active and involved in the classroom, instead of being passive receptacles of knowledge. They should be constructing knowledge and involved in activities that engage all of their senses and modalities. Therefore, in my planning I try to ensure that that lessons are geared at allowing students to take responsibility for their learning. Aha Moment! Throughout the early stages of my teaching practicum experience, all of my assessors kept on singing the same tune; plan more activities for your students; get them involved.
Though my lessons were well planned, they lacked student centred activities and as a result I noted that my students seemed very quiet, docile and lacked interest in what I was trying to teach them. Upon reflection of my lessons I realized that I could do much more to make the teaching –learning experience more meaningful and fun for the students. I then decided to take a different approach towards my lesson planning. Instead of planning lessons that were teacher centred, I began to make the focus of my lessons be the students; as it rightfully should.
From the moment that I began to plan lessons that were more student centred, I noticed a drastic change in my students’ behaviour, demeanour and their general response as the lesson progressed. My first aha moment came during a science lesson on the five senses. Throughout that lesson, from start to finish the students were actively engaged in building their own knowledge (add something about schemas here) The students were excited, energetic, they came alive and were very eager to learn more about the topic.
After the lesson was finished the students wanted to know when the next science class was going to be and what they would be doing. It was then that I realized that I had the students where I wanted them to be; captivated and engrossed in what was happening in and around the classroom. It was as if all of their senses had been awakened to the teaching-learning experience. Through my ‘aha’ moments I was reminded of the old adage which says we remember 10% of what we hear, 15% of what we see, 20% of what we both see and hear, 40% of what we discuss with others, 80% of what we experience directly and 90% of what we attempt to teach others.