Philosophy of Education
I believe teachers should strive to provide the best educations possible for our students. John Dewey once said, “What the best and wisest parent wants for his own child, that must the community want for all its children. Any other ideal for our schools is narrow and unlovely. Acted upon, it destroys our democracy” (Sadker & Sadker, 2003, p. 157).
I tend to embrace the idea suggested by Sadker and Sadker (2003) that one main purpose of education is to “transmit society’s knowledge and values” (p. 140). In addition, I accept John Goodlad’s overview that education presents four wide-ranging goals.
1. Academic, including a broad array of knowledge and intellectual skills.
2. Vocational, aimed at readiness for the world of work and economic responsibilities.
3. Social and civic, including skills and behavior for participating in a complex democratic society.
4. Personal, including the development of individual talent and self-expression (Sadker & Sadker, 2003, p. 144).I desire to equip students with skills that make them career and college ready. Encouraging students to work to their fullest potential and become contributing citizens in their local and global communities is a priority for me.
As a teacher of English, I commit to knowing my subject matter and including the New York State Next Generation Learning Standards of reading, writing, listening, and speaking into lesson plans that eventually lead to higher levels of critical thinking and research. I believe that all students can learn. One of my personal goals drives me to never mistake disinterest as low ability. My job motivates me to inspire students to embrace the subjects I teach.
I tend to favor teacher-centered philosophies of teaching, but I recognize that students learn in a wide variety of ways. Incorporating hands-on activities to reinforce classroom instruction is one of my preferred ways of teaching, and group assignments provide opportunities for students to experience the dynamics of problem solving and working together to accomplish a common goal. Students learn from practice, and I believe that reasonable amounts of homework are necessary to reinforce concepts taught in the classroom. Everyone knows that learners retain more knowledge by completing projects that provide a clear rationale for learning. My job requires me to observe students and make adaptations to enhance learning based on individual student needs. Each lesson provides a destination (goals and objectives), but the transportation (methods) used to complete the journey may require diversity.
I carry out best classroom management practices by creating rules and expectations that are stated clearly and enforced fairly. Consequences should support positive behavior. Rules that provide safety and mutual respect create an affirmative classroom environment. I lead my classes by setting a good example and refusing to tolerate any unacceptable classroom behaviors.
Sadker, M., & Sadker, D (2003). Teachers, schools, and society (6th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.