Teaching Philosophy

Teaching

Acceptance – recognizing the state or situation one is confronted with without rebelling and protest. Not all students are created equally, or are entering a classroom at the same level of development. But that does not make any child lesser or any less deserving of attention or respect. In order to teach the students one is given, one must accept the students’ personalities and learning abilities, regardless of ethnicity, gender, religion, intelligence or any other underlying factors. Acceptance does not mean students should be treated equally, but rather, that every student deserves respect and understanding. A child who is First Nations must be accepted as Aboriginal and one should never make an attempt to change who they are, and should instead shape their teaching to accommodate for the diversity of the classroom. If a classroom includes student of East Indian descent, a lesson on their culture should be added, keeping learning culturally sensitive and without making any assumptions about the student being taught simply because they are of a different racial descent. Being aware of the culture of the classroom involves making exceptions and accommodations in order to include the entirety of the classroom, without changing the integrity of the lesson or the integrity of one’s teaching style.

Student Learning

Adaptation – behaviour shifts or changes to ensure ease in dealing with a situation. The ability of a classroom to focus and be attentive is largely based on the energy of the classroom. If it is a Friday, or the day before a long holiday, focus is limited and students are easily distracted. Early mornings can find students irritable and tired. Lessons should be planned and developed to accommodate for the changes in mood and attention. Tests should not be put on a Friday as attention is at its lowest. A teacher should not attempt to force learning upon students, and should instead attempt to shift the energy of the classroom to allow for implementation of the lesson. Removing distractions, or breaking the lesson up into smaller sections will enable a more attentive audience. Students learn when they want to learn, and one cannot force a student to learn what the student does not want to know. Knowing the energy of the classroom, the dynamics of the students and the culture of their class will allow a teacher to create lesson plans more efficiently. For example, I don’t believe in closed book tests, and instead believe in questions made to develop thoughts and allow students to extrapolate from given data or work. Instead of making a student recite facts, a learner should be able to explain the importance of the facts, and how the facts can be applied. Instead of telling a student to define alliteration, ask instead for the student to write a grammatically correct sentence utilizing alliteration.

Provide Instruction to Students

Adjust – alter slightly to accomplish a desired outcome.  A lesson is never going to happen in the way the lesson  is expected to because one can never predict all of the factors that will affect a lesson or the student’s ability to grasp the concepts of a lesson. Instead, a teacher should work from the desired outcome and adapt the lesson as necessary to achieve said outcome; a top-down instead of bottom-up approach. I teach drama to students and one of the most effective and enjoyable ways I have taught is by constantly changing my plans, and not being afraid of changing the script entirely. I begin with the concept, and hash out ways in which to lead students to learning said concept. Then, when I begin teaching, I keep communication with students constantly, asking questions and reading facial expressions to know if the students are keeping up with the material. If the lesson is confusing, we take a step back and try a new approach, such as providing more examples or going back over material already explained in a slower pace.

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2 thoughts on “Teaching Philosophy

  1. Pingback: Metaphors and Shoveling Snow | Sarah Kirschman's Education Discussions and Feelings

  2. Pingback: Opening Night | Sarah Kirschman's Education Discussions and Feelings

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