Statement of Educational Philosophy
During my public school years, I played practically every role possible in the classroom. At one time or another, I was the most popular student, the kid everybody picked on, the genius, the dummy, the teacher’s pet, and the student that the teachers wished would stay home. After playing all these different roles, I’ve come to the conclusion that each one is needed for a well-rounded classroom. Each has something special and significant to offer to the classroom. I think that these students should be allowed to interact and influence each other in order to broaden their overall thinking. No one’s ideas should be disregarded or thought less of than anyone else’s, as is common place in many public schools these days. If the teacher, who is usually the one disregarding these ideas, would just take the time to listen, they too might learn something new or exciting. This is the reason I want to become a teacher.
As you might suspect, I am a big believer in progressivism. While I do expect students to learn and build upon the basic skills taught in school (reading, writing, arithmetic, etc.), I also think that learning how to think for one’s self and learning to work with others is highly important and under stressed. As the leader in the classroom, I will design projects for the students to do, in which group cooperation is a necessity. Quite often, the students will be working in groups, as long as they are working toward the goal that they are supposed to be working toward. I will, however, monitor these group projects, in order to make sure that everyone is doing their part in the group effort. I think this will introduce two important qualities in life; the ability to work with others and the ability to handle the stress of having others depend on you.
The actual appearance of a classroom, in my opinion, has almost as much influence on the students’ learning, especially in younger students, as does the teacher. Elementary and secondary education classrooms should be highly decorated with posters, charts, maps, and anything else that can be related to the material that the teacher hopes for the students to learn. Two examples would be information on former presidents or other historical figures at the secondary level and the alphabet at the elementary level. Also, at this level of public education, I think it is very important for the teacher to show a positive attitude toward the holidays and decorate bulletin boards for each one. For St. Patrick’s Day, for example, there should be leprechauns and pots of gold displayed. This also gives the students a chance to show off their artistic abilities, as they draw or cut out the shapes for the bulletin boards. Some teachers probably think that this is more trouble than what it is worth, but I think it would be a real learning experience and could be used as a motivational tool as well.