See Part Three for the previous reflections…
I guess the subtitle could be: “How the heck do I make this more concise and still keep the passion I feel about it?”
So, I started the new semester on January 5th, 2022… dove into teaching my high school classes online with the help of my amazing mentor, and transitioned to live/in-person classes on. January 17th. Simultaneously, I have the final university class towards my teaching license every Thursday night. We are a small group of 9 teachers-in-training and the professor has each session set up as a seminar / groups support meeting. We share our experiences and help each other out… the prof. also gives feedback.
Last week we did our Teaching CVs… I contemplated sharing it, but I’m concerned about privacy issues from all the info it contains… Imagine about 30 years of experiences related to teaching, training, coaching, etc… All boiled down into only three pages, hyper focused on my as yet clearly defined teaching philosophy… makes me wonder if we should have started with our philosophy instead…
Moving along… I took the last one I submitted (last year); tweaked, added, subtracted, edited, modified, expanded, and contracted almost every sentence. I still feel it’s long and repetitive. I also feel it lacks anecdotal narrative (an example story).
As always, I welcome any and all feedback fro my readers!
My Teaching Philosophy
Who am I
- I am a multidisciplinary & cross-curricular educator who firmly believes his greatest teachers are his students.
- I believe freedom of expression has the potential to drive all subjects and disciplines towards more common understandings; modelling my desire to understand, before being understood, helps me guide my students towards greater self-esteem and self-efficacy.
- I foster a practice of making art that seeks to unwrap individual perspectives; in sharing them, expands understanding and empathy towards the experiences of others..
- I am fueled by the individualities of my students and motivated by finding possibilities where I can scaffold upon those uniquenesses to deliver a safer learning environment and more rewarding learning experience.
- I see each of us, regardless of age, having curious five-year-old inner-selves, desiresing ‘a-ha’ moments; which drives me to encourage curiosity and a life-long love of learning in my students.
My Core Teaching Values
- Freedom to experiment and explore improves problem solving skills.
- Expression and understanding over technical perfection fosters meaningful intentions.
- Embracing perspectives and experiences over right or wrong answers nurtures open-mindedness.
- Defining mistakes as positive learning moments encourages risk taking.
- Forming the love of learning instead of the mastery of the subject creates life-long learners.
My Teaching Statements
- A teacher is a provider of possibilities and a mentor in exploring them. We lead by example, from a practice of co-learning the possibilities 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 something unique in each student that motivates them to engage in their learning experience.
- I see every student, regardless of age, to have unique interests and experiences that can be incorporated into the subjects we need to learn.
- Genuine interest & respect for individual dignity opens the door to good relationships with my students, and builds their trust.
- My desire to show I care is a core value forming one of the reasons I love the nurturing role of working with younger elementary students. However, it is the diversity of genuine perceptions of their world that inspires my interest in students of all ages; 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.
- My other two reasons for loving to teach elementary ages 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, and continuously teach me hope.
- I believe learning is a continuous and collaborative process that further allows me to build a society of learners: colleagues, parents/caregivers, and community. My goal is to inspire the desire to collaborate the learning process with the community.
My Guiding Concerns
- The opportunity and danger to feed our curiosities has never been more possible than it is currently; the use of open-source media (internet) is increasingly ubiquitous in the classroom. A teacher provides students with the tools to successfully navigate an information-rich society and more importantly, a safe forum in which to discuss and analyse the information.
- Here, more than anywhere, we must act as co-learning-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.