Over the course of my post-secondary education, from undergraduate to postgraduate, I have impressed upon myself that my education is only valuable if I can then apply what I have learned through professional practice beyond the classroom. That is why the touchstone of my teaching philosophy has always been to encourage critical thinking and problem solving over memorization and recitation. This has in turn helped me to establish a series of unchanging values for myself and my future career as an educator.
It is essential to continually promote respect within the school by showing respect in the daily interactions with students, colleagues, parents, and the community at large. I believe that maintaining a respectful approach can foster positive relationships as well as defuse potentially confrontational situations. Respect not only impacts the way students interact with each other, the staff, and the community, it also fosters an environment that generates positive learning, where children are willing to take risks and tackle new challenges.
Safety reminds us that all educational partners, but most especially the students, deserve to be treated as valuable to the teaching/learning experience. A successful learning experience requires that rules be established, explained, and consistently and equitably enforced. By following this principle, I believe that I can create an environment that encourages students to take meaningful and active ownership of the teaching/learning experience, as well as trust that they can safely raise any concerns that they may have to me.
I have experienced first-hand the positive impact of solidified routine and structure in school. Beyond instilling necessary habits at home, such as brushing your teeth and washing your hands, structure in the classroom encourages effective task management and goal setting for long-term success. As an educator, it is then my responsibility to impress upon my students these practices through organized lesson plans with detailed expectations for the students both within the curriculum and after its completion.
The goal of education must be to help each and every student achieve success to the best of their ability, while guiding them to become productive, contributing members of society who are ready and willing to give back to their community. As such, teachers must be open to collaborating with the students, understanding their individual needs, and reflecting on their own teaching strategies to accommodate the students. Through intentional collaboration, I can foster an inviting and accepting learning environment in which all can contribute and succeed.