My first attempt at becoming a teacher was put on hold over a decade ago. If I had written a teaching philosophy then, in my early twenties, it would be much different then what it is now. If I were to write a philosophy ten years from now, I bet that it will look a lot different than this. I have spent the last decade working with at risk youth from across Canada. This experience has provided me with a much different view of the profession of teaching. I have learned how important it is to celebrate the small accomplishments of individuals that are struggling in their lives and how these small accomplishments develop into the foundations of becoming more successful. I think that my philosophy on teaching will be entrenched in this idea, to focus on the little day-to-day improvements of students, both social and academic, and use them as building blocks to becoming more successful learners. For those students who already have a solid foundation of socialization and learning, I will find ways to motivate them to continue to grow towards reaching their goals.
My philosophy also needs to encompass the idea of the school being the social epicenter of the community. It has to be safe, inclusive and a positive environment for all the people involved within it. In order for this to happen, the teachers need to be exemplary role models. If I am a positive role model for my students and am able to connect with them at their level, I will have created the opportunity to be a highly influential teacher. If I am able to have a positive effect on my students through role modeling healthy behaviours, fun, compassion, and encouragement, this will inevitably lead to me having a more profound impact on them as learners. If all teachers are able to espouse this role, then the school will be an environment that is nurturing, welcoming and more conducive to opportunities for learning.
I hope that I have a variety of dimensions to learning in my classroom. I feel that I have strong communication skills that will help me teach students effectively through lecturing and discussion. I really feel that it will be important to incorporate inquiry-based learning in my classroom. It will be important for students to explore their own questions through and find ways to motivate themselves to learn new ideas, solve problems and communicate back to fellow students and myself (a link to an article on inquiry based learning). Most importantly, I want there to be adapted learning in my classroom so that all students have an equal opportunity to feel successful and be able to grow at a pace that will nurture their education experience.