Philosophy of Teaching and Learning

Philosophy of Teaching and Learning

"The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires."
~William Arthur Ward

“I would fain grow old learning many things.”
~Plato

Myphilosophy of teaching is always evolving with every new student andwith every new school year. While I have many strong beliefs aboutlearning, instructional design, and classroom management, I am alwaysseeking to improve my style of teaching. I am always ready to try newthings and to look at learning from a different perspective. I havedeveloped an approach to teaching and learning that creates a safe,challenging, and joyful classroom.

Using principles from Harry Wong's Effective Teaching and the Responsive Classroom approach,I have a set of procedures and routines that structure my classroom forlearning. These procedures and routines allow many activities to takeplace in the classroom, often simultaneously, with a minimum ofconfusion and wasted time.  Because they know what is expected of them,my students feel safe and secure and rarely have to be reprimanded formisbehavior. The focus in my classroom can be on learning, not managingbehavior.

I believe that the teacher’s responsibility is not to teach the content. A teacher’s responsibility is to teach the students, and to make sure that all students learn something new every day. Brain research confirms what experienced teachers and parents have always known:

No two children are alike.

No two children learn in the identical way.

An enriched environment for one student is not necessarily enriched for another.

Becausemy students come to me with varied backgrounds, abilities, and skilllevels, my challenge is to differentiate instruction to meet theindividual needs of each student. Differentiating instruction meanscreating learning activities so that students of different abilities orlearning needs experience equally appropriate ways to absorb, use, anddevelop concepts as a part of the daily learning process. Whether thestudent needs acceleration or remediation, my goal is to provideopportunities for every student to continue to growacademically. That is why students will not always be working on thesame things. Sometimes students will work in small groups or with apartner. Sometimes students will be working independently or with theteacher. Differentiating the curriculum allows all students to work atan appropriate level.

My classroom community is one where everystudent feels valued, respected, and safe to take risks. I am a teacherwho believes in creating life-long learners. I want to make learning funso that my students look forward to coming to school each day. I wantthe children to leave the classroom every day excited and wondering whatthey will be doing tomorrow. Above all, I want each student to feelthat they can, and will, be successful in third grade. I want mystudents to always put forth their best efforts. When students leave myclassroom, I want their experience with learning to be an experiencethey will never forget.