Philosophy of Teaching
As I think back to teachers in my past, many images come to mind. I remember teachers that were kind, patient and understanding. I also have memories of teachers that were short tempered, angry or just plain lazy. Some were eccentric, while others taught with a relaxed teaching style. So I ask myself, what separates the good from the bad? Why are some teachers so effective while others fall short? What in fact makes a good teacher? Obviously these are not easy questions to answer. All I can do is share my own opinions and beliefs on qualities that I feel make a great teacher.
As teachers we have an overwhelming responsibility to prepare students for the rest of their lives. When they leave high school or college they should be trained to meet the challenges, and be prepared to handle any number of new and unusual situations. I feel that school puts too much emphasis on what some may consider to be core subjects. The essentialism approach to teaching is the most common, however I feel it is not the most effective way to prepare students for the real world. Essentialism does have its place in education, however I feel students are forced to learn too many useless facts and skills that they will probably never use. In the long run do all those algebraic equations really help when you are entertaining clients or planning a business trip? These are good skills to have, and it is important to know facts about the world we live in, but we must also include real world problems and situations.
In my opinion the best approach to teaching is progressivism. I feel that the best way to prepare students for the real world is to put them in real world situations. We must not just teach students facts; but show them how this relates to the world they live in and show them why they should care about history or math. When they see how it relates then they will develop an interest in learning. For example, instead of just memorizing boring facts and dates about history; make it come alive through role play or a group presentation. Take the students on a field trip to the local courthouse so they can see our judicial system in action. As adults we do not live in the classroom, why then should we spend every minute of our young lives in one. In order to live in the real world we must be taught in it. As teachers we must find ways to peak student’s interest so that they want to learn.
As a student I always hated to have subjects forced on me. Even now on a college level I grumble at the very idea that I must be forced to take so many classes in math and science. It is my belief that most students feel just that way about education. If they aren’t personally interested in a subject then it could be a real struggle for them to grasp the concepts of that subject. Instead of forcing these subjects on students why not let them decide what they want to...