Philosophy of EducationEvery child needs a secure, caring, and stimulating atmosphere in which to grow and mature emotionally, intellectually, and socially. My role as an educator is to help students meet their fullest potential by providing an environment that is safe, supports risk-taking, and encourages collaboration of ideas. There are certain elements that are conducive to establishing such an environment.
The teacher's role should be to guide students toward learning by providing access to information rather than acting as the primary source. The students' search for knowledge is then fostered as they learn they must sometimes find their own answers to questions. The teacher must allow the child's natural curiosity to direct the learning. For students to construct knowledge, they need the opportunity to discover for themselves and practice skills in authentic situations. Providing students access to hands-on activities and allowing adequate time and space to use materials that reinforce the lessons being studied creates an opportunity for individual discovery and construction of knowledge to occur.
The teacher must promote respect for all things and all people. Helping students develop a deep respect for themselves, others, and their school environment occurs through an open sharing of ideas and a consistent approach to discipline. When every student knows that they will be heard and not judged, an environment evolves where students feel free to express themselves. I believe children have a greater respect for their teachers, their peers, and the lessons presented when they feel safe and sure of what is expected of them. In setting fair and consistent rules initially and stating the importance of every activity, students are shown respect for their presence and time. In turn they learn to reciprocate that respect in their actions and attitudes toward their learning and education.
Teaching provides me a multitude of opportunities for continual learning and growth. One of my desires as an educator is to instill a love of learning in my students, as I share my own passion for learning with them. I feel there is a need for compassionate, strong, and dedicated individuals who are excited about working with children. In our competitive society it is important for students to receive a solid education. Perhaps even more critical to their development though is working with someone who is aware of and sensitive to their individual needs. I am such a person and will always strive to be the best educator that I can be.