Teaching Philosophy EDCI 506

January 26, 2014

My teaching philosophy is not unique and has been evolving over the past year. As I evolve and learn more and experience more in the classroom, my philosophy is developing and morphing into what I feel is a progressive attitude in education. One of my first thoughts is that your students should know what to expect from you and by this I mean that you have to be honest and reliable. Students need to know that they can count on you, they need to know the boundaries of the classroom environment, and they need to know that they can trust you and believe in you. I have secondary level students and at this point I expect them to be reliable and honest and it is only fair that I return that expectation. This is expected of them in the real world, according to Dewey (1938/1997) the objective is to prepare students for the real world and their responsibilities (p.18). Building on this expectation I try and bring them real world information to enhance that of the SOL standards and bring the information together so they are tied together and have a practical application. Since “teachers are the agents through which knowledge and skills are communicated” (p.18) it is our responsibility to develop and encourage a stronger and more developed learning environment for our students. I tend to treat my students as my children and I want the best for them and high expectations for them. I realize that they are not all on the same level and encourage them according to their abilities. I also encourage some of the higher functioning students to take the lower levels students under their wing and help them flourish.

While this is only a portion of my philosophy I want to focus on the reading from Experience and Education. You would think that after years and years of research, practice, and development; education is not any better off than it was fifty years ago. I think that we have developed some amazing practices, delivery methods that are interactive, great evidence based practices, and new methods and practices for dealing with behavioral issues. Why do we find it so difficult to pull all of the wonderful things that are developing in education and implement them in schools and turn around the declining trends? I think we should be able to put our personal interest aside and get together and build a strong solid foundation for implementing functional and effective educational practices and standards for our students and stop thinking that all students are meant to be scholars and provide students with the education that functions best for them and the many levels of students that are in our schools.

I will finish by saying that the main goal of my philosophy is to provide my students with a solid foundation of knowledge to help prepare them for their individual future and I feel that while not all students will attend college I think that we should provide them the opportunity to excel and prosper in their career choice.

 

Dewey, J. (1997). Experience & Education. New York, NY. Simon & Schuster. (Original work published 1938).

Categories: Foundations of American Education.

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Why Teaching?

January 19, 2014

I am in the process of getting my initial teaching license, and have done a lot of substitute teaching along the way. Can I just say it has been an interesting journey. I decided to go an alternative path and took classes that I felt would be beneficial to me and my students. It is important to first educate teachers if we want to offer students a better education. Education in the United States can be improved, but we must first start with the key element of education, teachers.

The Holmes Group published Tomorrow’s Teachers, which recommends these steps:

  1. To make the education of teachers intellectually more solid.
  2. To recognize differences is teachers’ knowledge, skill, and commitment, in their education, certification, and work.
  3. To create standards of entry to the profession examinations and educational requirements that are professionally relevant and intellectually defensible.
  4. To connect our own institutions to schools (members of this education panel).
  5. To make schools better places for teachers to work, and to learn.

While this list pre-dates NCLB, it still offers starting points or building blocks for a solid teaching foundation. I feel that this article puts a lot of emphases on teacher responsibility, while teachers are responsible for a tremendous amount these days I think responsibility should be equally distributed among all elements of education. Schools and administration also have a major responsibility to provide tools, proper learning environments, and offer support for teachers. I also feel that parents and students need to accept a certain amount of responsibility for their child’s education. That being said, I think that the Holmes Group were correct in saying that they had a responsibility in offering their students a better education, so students could become better educators.

I think that there are many areas of improvement in education, and you could spend countless hours debating the topic and making lists, suggestions, and brain storming. Until we come together and accept the challenge to actually improve education, things will continue to remain at a standstill. I know one thing to be true, one of the best things that happened to me in school were awesome teachers that made an impact on my life and influenced me to work harder and make something out of my life.

Soder, R. (1986). Tomorrow’s Teachers for Whom and for What? Missing Propositions in the Holmes Group Report. Journal of Teacher Education, 37(6), 2-5. doi: 10.1177/002248718603700601

 

Categories: Foundations of American Education.

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