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My teaching philosophy encompasses four basic tenets:
- In order to become global citizens, students must learn to communicate effectively, work collaboratively, think critically, and develop deeper knowledge of the world.
- Students learn differently and require various strategies and accommodations to be successful in the classroom.
- Learner-centered teaching engages diverse learners and creates meaningful experiences, which helps students develop into life-long learners.
- Effective communication and collaboration among stakeholders (the teacher, student, parent, and school personnel) is crucial for building trust and providing support.
I believe that the fundamental goal of education is to prepare students to become global citizens who have the skills to contribute and participate as active members in society. As an educator, my responsibility is to ensure my students have access to a fair and appropriate education wherein I hope to empower them with the knowledge and skills they need for success as well as foster a lifelong love of learning.
I believe that to be an effective teacher I must provide for diversity in the classroom. This includes not only cultural diversity but also the varying abilities and needs of individual students. I view my classroom as a community of learners wherein it is my responsibility to provide an environment that is conducive to learning and safe for students. In order to accomplish this, I will treat students as valued individuals and encourage the sharing of ideas through collaborative work. Furthermore, I will use varied teaching strategies and authentic assessments.
I believe that students must “own” their learning. In order for them to create meaning, they must be able to apply previous knowledge and experience. Each student will have a different knowledge base from which to build, and through learner-centered teaching, I will encourage students to explore different perspectives and new ideas using their base as a springboard. Additionally, in order to make learning meaningful, I will encourage students to take ownership through personal responsibility and accountability. Each lesson and activity will have a clear objective that leads to a specific outcome based on state standards. I will encourage students to be partners in their success by creating a supportive environment, modeling desired behaviors, and offering appropriate and meaningful feedback in a timely manner.
I believe that the students who have a strong support system are more likely to realize success. It is my responsibility to help develop this system through clear communication with all stakeholders including students, parents, and relevant school staff. I will clearly define my expectations, listen openly to feedback from others, and encourage parental involvement. Students need to feel supported within each level of community: classroom, school, and town.