I posted the initial draft that answered my mentor’s guiding questions in yesterday’s post: Building a Teaching Philosophy – Part 1. Following some very constructive feedback from here, this is a two page summary of the original information.
Note: I’m still working on this and will incorporate other feedback as well. I also asked my mentor the following question, that you are welcome to answer: “It seems to me that this document is much like a cover letter and CV; should it change in consideration to where we are applying to teach?”
My Teaching Philosophy
My teaching philosophy is based on a belief that learning is a life-long process of exploration. I provide my students with a safe and caring environment where they are motivated to take risks to make and learn from mistakes. The grace of inviting mistakes as positive learning opportunities develops empathy towards oneself and others in regards to how our journeys are expressed. This grace also provides a self-fulfilling prophecy to motivate learning over mastery as the continuous reward for trying.
My core values
- Experimentation and exploration = problem solving
- Expression and understanding over technical perfection = meaningful intention
- Form the love of learning over the mastery of the subject = life-long learner
- Perspective and experience over right and wrong = open-mindedness
- Embracing mistakes as positive learning moments = risk taking
A teacher is a provider of possibilities and a mentor in exploring them. We lead by example, from a practice of co-learning in the curiosities of greater understanding. My curiosity has always been focused on a great diversity of subjects; it feels boundless and is expressed with joy and enthusiasm for endless possibility. My joy of learning helps me develop strong relationships, navigate diverse social environments with empathy, and have a sense of purpose in community. I teach through the lens of my joy of learning and a goal to foster a love of learning, which I believe to be the foundational tool in overcoming life’s challenges.
When I reflect on my teaching experiences, the one thing that I’ve constantly focused on is my commitment to connecting with my students on their individual levels. I love getting to know that something unique in each student that motivates them to engage in the learning experience. Regardless of age, every student has unique interests and experiences that can be incorporated in to the subjects we need to learn. Respect in individual dignity and genuine interest opens the door to good relationships with my students, and builds their trust that I care about them. The desire to show I care is a core value that forms one of the reasons I love working with younger elementary students. The other reason is their genuine perceptions of the world. They express themselves as they see it, which serves as a constant reminder that everything can be possible from a certain perspective. I thrive on encouraging them to share their perspectives and together building greater understandings. The other two reasons for loving to teach this age is their love of humour and their desire to help: this age always seems to be very empathic and willing to help me and each other with challenging subjects. They embody community and compassion towards each other very naturally.
My belief that learning is a continuous and collaborative process further allows me to build a community of learners with my colleagues, my students’s families, and engage other community members for my students benefit. Everyone has something to share to our journey towards understanding. My goal is to inspire the desire to share these things with the community. Believing that each of us, regardless of age, has a curious five-year-old inner-self that wants those a-ha moments, continues to motivate me to inspire curiosity and the life-long love of learning in my students.
The opportunity and danger to feed our curiosities has never been more possible than it is currently; the use of public-information sources (internet) are increasingly ubiquitous in the classroom. A teacher provides their students with the tools to successfully navigate an information literate society and more importantly, a safe forum in which to discuss and analyze the information. Here, more than anywhere, we must act as mentors in the development of critical thinking. Moreover, we must start this development at the elementary level and continue it through all ages in an environment of mutual respect and openness to the reality that we are all learning together; an environment of possibilities and changing temporal truths to learn from.
One thought on “Building a Teaching Philosophy – Part 2”