I believe in the three principles of learning and teaching, and my teaching philosophy upholds these principles in many ways. The three principles state that (1) learning requires the active participation of the learner, (2) people learn in a variety of ways and at different rates, and (3) learning is an individual and a group process.
It’s important to keep these in mind when planning lessons, and when thinking about assessment and the purpose of education. One of the main features I plan to create with my students is a democratic classroom. I believe that my form of a democratic classroom works towards upholding all three principles of learning and teaching. When students have some choice in what and how they learn, and the opportunity for every voice to be heard and counted exists, so much meaningful learning can occur and student needs can be met. I plan to allow for student choice and voting when it comes to the content that is taught, the methods in which they may receive and express their learning, the criteria for projects and assignments, and of course in the classroom “rules” to build classroom community. I believe that when a democratic classroom is employed, all students can feel empowered and are able to successfully take ownership of their learning.
Because learning is an individual and group process, I believe that it is important to allow the learning process to go beyond the walls of the school. Involving their family and the community in the process can facilitate a student’s learning. We all benefit from the knowledge and experience of others, and students in school are no exception. Teachers don’t have all the information, but we can help students explore as many topics and opportunities as possible by seeking help from outside sources. By working with the community, students can develop a better understanding and appreciation for the community and it’s members. Family can be a huge asset when it comes to students setting goals and following through with their learning plans.
Both teachers and students have responsibilities in the classroom. Teaching is inherently relational. A teacher’s job is extremely important as we have a position of influence second to that of a student’s family. Creating a safe and inviting classroom community helps to build a meaningful relationship between teacher and student. I believe that classroom learning between teacher and student is reciprocal. My learning never ends; I know I can learn a lot from my students and offer my knowledge to them.
Assessment is a point of contention for many teachers, students, and families. I believe that more effective learning occurs when less emphasis is put on the grading process. Because everyone learns in different ways and at different rates, student progress should be continuously assessed in many ways, and this process should be transparent to the student and their family. Students should be involved in their assessment through co-creating criteria, self-assessing their work, having peers assess their work, and conferencing with the teacher to understand and agree with their final assessment and evaluation. Creativity can flourish when the pressure of being graded is lowered or removed. Report cards should be full of anecdotal comments and meaningful information for the student and their family to properly understand their learning progress.
My teaching philosophy revolves around what I believe to be the purpose of education. I believe that the purpose of education is individually decided, but my teaching reflects my overall beliefs about education. Education should be personalized, and should ultimately lead to feeling confident, capable, and successful. At school students should discover how they learn best, build academic, creative, social, and life skills, follow inquiry, and feel safe and supported. Throughout a student’s school life they should be able to tap into their potential and know their options in life.
I have a passion for teaching and learning, and my goal is to make learning meaningful and fun for my students. I’m so excited to get started in my teaching career.