It is my belief that learning is not necessarily about mastering the content of what is being taught, but rather it is about the individual fulfillment of the learner. The student is not just the mind; it is the whole being. I do not believe there is one single goal to learning and teaching. With this in mind, the driving force behind my teaching philosophy is that there is no finish line when it comes to learning and I seek to foster a love of learning and knowledge in my students. Furthermore, I believe in proving all students with equal opportunities to grow, learn, and be a part of a diverse community.
Many people assume that learning is limited to text and the amount of information that a learner can retain. This is not my belief. I feel that learning in school should reflect how we learn in our everyday lives. As social beings, we learn by participating in a diverse community of varying abilities and knowledge and through the sharing of ideas to which we can build our own knowledge. I believe students learn best by using a cooperative and inclusive method as opposed to competitive method. By allowing students to work together, it gives them a clearer view of their own knowledge by allowing them to think metacognitively and experience multiple perspectives. Students are able to relate to one another and are able to better understand one another, which then encourages and fosters the growth of the whole student.
Keeping in mind my views on student learning, I intend to provide instruction to my students in a way that emphasizes the cooperative nature of human beings. I feel the most effective way to do this is by creating a positive learning environment and community that thrives on inclusive practice and anti-oppressive education. I believe that instruction in the classroom is not about the traditional authority figure merely delivering information. Instruction is a collective effort between the students and the teacher. It is my goal for my students to feel empowered by their learning. It is my intention to instruct in a way that is engaging and provides students with the greatest opportunity for success. This would be accomplished by focusing on differentiation of instruction with my view of collective learning. Additionally, by allowing students to work cooperatively, they are making themselves accountable for their own learning and engagement.
As William Butler Yeats once said, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” This statement virtually summarizes my views on teaching. I do not believe that, as an educator, it is my job to provide as much information as possible to students in the short amount of time that I am with them. As an educator, it is my duty to foster the growth of a student as a whole being and help them to see the world as a diverse plethora of knowledge that they crave to learn throughout their life. I do not believe that when students leave a learning institution they leave learning behind. We continue to learn every single day. For teaching to be effective we must not only instruct our students but we also need to learn from them, as teaching is a two-way street. Our learners hold much potential and the objective of teaching is to release that potential in the hopes that they become active and socially responsible citizens of an ever-changing world.