Philosophy of Education
I believe that education is an individual, unique experience for every student who enters a classroom. In order for children to benefit from what schools offer, I think that teachers must fully understand the importance of their job. First, I believe that teachers must consider teaching to be a lifestyle, not a mere forty-hour-a-week job, because a teacher's goals for his/her students encompass much more than relaying out-of-context facts to passive students. As professionals entrusted with the education of young minds, teachers must facilitate learning and growth academically, personally, and ethically. By providing a quality education to each individual in one's classroom, a teacher equips children with the tools necessary for success in life.
In order to accomplish these lofty goals, I think it is important first to establish a mutually respectful, honest rapport with students — a relationship in which communication is of the highest priority. Through this relationship, a fair, democratic environment based on trust and caring can be established in the classroom, making it possible to interact confidently and safely in an academic setting. Once this foundation is established, the educator has already accomplished a major goal: the ethical characteristics of equality; open, honest communication; and trust have been emphasized and put into practice without having to preach to students. Demonstrating these ethically correct behaviors in the classroom and expecting students to model them prepares them for adult interaction and survival in the future.
Academic learning must begin with motivation and inspiration. Students deserve an educator's passion for both the subject at hand and learning as a whole. Teaching and learning become a simultaneous journey for both the teacher and students when students' energy is aroused by a teacher's genuine intensity for learning, because everyone is ready and willing to participate in active learning. To achieve active learning, a teacher must demonstrate enthusiasm and express confidence in the students' abilities to learn and be successful. Employing constructivist methods of teaching in one's classroom forces students to take an active role in their education by making choices and assuming responsibility for intelligent inquiry and discovery. For instance, discussions, projects, and experiments ensure student achievement and allow students and the teacher to discover individual student's preferences and strengths. This approach facilitates differentiated activities for each student's distinctive ambitions, making the subject more relevant to every student's life.
Personal growth is accomplished when a teacher adopts a mentoring role....