Tag Archives: philosophy on teaching

Philosophy of Education – Revised

This is a short revision to my previous piece on my philosophy of education. With this, I have aimed to try and better encompass my beliefs and understandings of what an educator is in a direct and brief statement.

The role of an educator is ever growing and extremely complex in nature. One must not only act as a beacon of knowledge and information, but then must work numerous ways of ensuring that this information is passed to students in a viable, relatable, and understandable way. This is extremely difficult to do on its own, but that does not fully encompass the role of an educator. One must also be aware of their students and their lives. They must be willing to step back out of their own shoes and do everything that they can to ensure success for each and every child to the best of their abilities. This means going beyond just teaching content. This means that an educator teaches everything, from math and English to life skills and awareness of all facets of the world around us. It is extremely complex and unimaginably difficult. Yet people do it each and every day. They pour themselves into their work and aim to push past the limits of what is plausible and possible to create the best future possible for the next generations.

I aim to cater my own role as an educator to fit within these stringent parameters. I want to be the teacher that is there for my students no matter what they need or when they need it. This will no doubt include long evenings and sleepless nights as I work to perfect lessons and even just to understand students as they come into my life, and I into theirs. With time, patience, and love, I hope to create a classroom, every year, that acts as a place of caring, warm, and learning. Afterall, students learn the best when they feel safe and happy. They learn the best when they feel like they and their input is important, which both of these things are. My role will be difficult and there will be times that I feel it is too much, but I hope to never stop helping students to grow, and I hope that with this, I never stop growing and learning myself.

TEDU 410 – Beginning Philosophy of Classroom Management and Discipline

This is a personal piece in which I formed my own thoughts on classroom management and discipline when teaching. It is an in depth analysis of my own thinking in regards to the subject, that helped to better understand how I would approach classroom management and hope to do so in my future classroom.

Beginning Philosophy of Classroom Management and Discipline

Like everything else in the world, schooling and a formal education hold a purpose. Such a purpose may not be as straight forward as others, for example the purpose of fish having gills is so that they are able to breathe underwater, but nonetheless, it is present within all forms of schooling. The purpose behind schooling or education is to help teach students about all the different aspects of the world, and to help them to reach a sense of purpose in the world, in which they know who they are and what they want to achieve in their life with the knowledge that they gain from their schooling both academically and generally. As such, a teacher’s role works to attain this goal. A teacher’s role is to guide his or her students to towards gaining that understanding of the world through their learning of various subjects and content, and to help students form ideas and perspectives about the world and themselves. They work to help their pupils grow in knowledge and understanding.

A good portion of the teacher’s job, as they work towards enlightening their students, is classroom management. This is, in the words of Carolyn M. Evertson and Edmund T. Emmer (2017, p.1), the actions and strategies that an educator uses to manage or guide class behavior. It is something that is critical to teaching, but how it is practiced within a classroom varies from teacher to teacher. There are many factors that can influence it as well, one of the biggest being a person’s socio-cultural background. For myself, I know that my own perspective on classroom management is indeed influenced by my own background. Because of this background, my ideas on management are very focused on organization and procedure. My family and my background, Chinese American, have traditionally always placed a heavy emphasis on perfection, a cultural trait, and to attain such perfection one must be well organized, know what to do, and be well prepared. I know that I will be sure to teach my students procedures for everything, and that we will practice them until everyone understands, as well as I know I will strive for organization in the classroom, teaching my students to be so as well in an attempt to help them to reach a ‘perfection’ for themselves in which they are doing the best that they are able to, even if it really is not perfect. I am well aware, however, that perfection does not exist, and I will not pressure my students into trying to obtain it. I will no doubt aim to be organized and make sure they know how to do everything, but I will not force them to be perfect. They will be in school, after all, and my job is to help them learn and grow, not judge them on little imperfections. No one is perfect and to try and force someone into that mold is not proactive. Instead, I will work with my students so that we can maximize our learning time with good management, and in turn, hopefully help them to be the very best that they can and learn all that they can while still making it fun and avoiding unnecessary stress of trying to be absolutely perfect.

Of all the different aspects of classroom management, one of the most important is discipline. And being so, it is important for every teacher to have an understanding of what kind of approach to discipline, and classroom management in general, they would use within their classroom. I, personally, would like to manage and discipline my class with a more authoritative based approach. This idea meaning that I would like there to be structure and order in my classroom with a clear notion that I am an adult and am in charge, while at the same time still giving students opportunity to grow without too much of a heavy hand on their shoulders and showing them warmth. I would want my students to understand there are rules that everyone needs to follow, but at the same time, feel comfortable in my class, even if they do make a mistake, and that what I ask of them is to help them to learn and better themselves.

Some specific strategies I would use to try and reinforce this idea of an authoritative environment would include something like providing the necessary instruction for an activity to resolve minor behavioral issues. Often times, students act out because they do not understand the task at hand (Evertson & Emmer, 2017, p. 233). And as such, simply clarifying what is expected can resolve any issues. Words are powerful, as Paula Denton (2013) mentions in The Power of Our Words, and so it is important that we use them as needed to convey things directly and clearly, and to avoid unnecessary behavioral misconduct. Another strategy I would employ for minor instances would be to give non-verbal ques. Just as words are powerful, silence can be as well. In many cases, just giving a student who is off task a look or a gentle brush on the shoulder is enough to get them to refocus and continue on track. It offers a way to avoid further distraction and discretely resolves the problem itself. For more difficult issues, I would try withholding a privilege. It is a more serious repercussion that teaches the student that they need to change their behavior without actually interfering with their learning or their necessary actions for the day, like recess or lunch. Taking a privilege away could be as simple as not allowing a student to draw after a quiz and having them read instead. It is something academic, but also proves a point of needing to follow what is expected while not devaluing the actual activity that needs to be refocused on such as a reward incentive might do (Mercier, 2015). This strategy is clear cut and always for direct, easily understood consequences for inappropriate actions. And for extreme instances of problems in my class, I would try to use problem solving. It may sound very simple, but actually sitting down and working a major issue out with a child can effectively resolve it. It not only allows for direct communication with a student, but also exhibits to a child that you care for them. You are willing, and happy, to take time out of your day to work with them to get to the bottom of an issue and resolve it. There are of course many more strategies that can be used in classroom management to keep a serene, almost chaos free class, but these are simply a few that I feel are particularly effective, especially for the approach I would like to use.

A balanced, authoritative management approach is extremely important to use in a classroom. I can attest to such by way of experience. Within my practicum class this semester, I saw this approach being used daily to keep a class on track and flowing smoothly. For example, my cooperative teacher would often redirect students and make suggests, which were not really suggests, that they should continue whatever piece of work they were supposed to be focused on. She was sure to be stern with what she wanted them to do, while still being warm. She was always happy to help when they really did need it, but there was a clear line of authority and the students held respect for that. My cooperative teacher was also sure to be clear with her instructions, even amending them on the spot when the class did not understand them at first. She knew what they needed to stay on track and do their best, and did her best to cater to those needs. Over all, she exemplified the sort of classroom management philosophy that I hope to be able to implement into my own classroom one day. With a stern, but loving approach, I know that I will be able to guide my students in their learning and help them to achieve their greatest results.

References

Denton, P. (2013). The Power of Our Words, 2nd Edition: Center for Responsive Schools, Inc.

Evertson, C. & Emmer, Edmund T. (2017). Classroom Management for Elementary Teachers, 10th Edition: Pearson Education.

Mercier, T. (2015). Teaching Without Using Rewards, Retrieved from https://www.responsiveclassroom.org/teaching-without-rewards/

TEDU 414 – Philosophy of Teaching

This is a personal writing and perspective of my own philosophy on teaching. It touches on several ideas based around teaching and was a way for me to really consider what I believe to be true for teaching.

Philosophy of Teaching

The role of a teacher is simple, yet complex. They are there to act as a mentor to students, as someone who can help a young mind come to understand the world in which they live, both academically and in life itself, and furthermore, help them to find where they belong in such a vast place. A teacher’s role is to facilitate learning and promote internal and external growth in their students through dedication, care, patience, and love. And as such, a teacher must be aware that all students learn their best differently and must then be able to cater their teaching to these differences. A good teacher, a teacher who truly wants to see their students succeed and excel in shaping the future of our world, is one that will work with a student, no matter what they need, and help that child to reach their full potential in all areas of learning.

With my own teaching, I hope to be able to fulfill this role as a mentor, a guide, and a caregiver. I will do everything in my power to ensure that my students not only learn, but have all of the necessary tools to learn what they need to and have fun while doing so. I hope to incorporate a plethora of different lessons and activities in my teaching, such as getting the students moving with content based movement games or allowing them to so their artist expression and understanding of a subject through fine arts and projects, to ensure that all of my students, no matter if they are a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learner, gain something from their schooling. And not only will I work to make sure that they have what they need to be prepared for the future, but I will also be sure to be prepared myself before teaching them. I will plan my lessons beforehand, using the state standards as guidelines and my own thinking as well as help from my fellow teachers or other resources, to ensure maximum time spent learning and reduce the chance of any issues with time or behavioral management. After all, the less time spent quieting the class down or setting up an activity, the more time can be spent actually teaching the content. Technology will also have a place in my classroom. I hope to be able to use any available technology to enhance my teaching, whether it be implementing SmartBoard, interactive activities into my teaching or simply helping students to have visuals with their notes by creating PowerPoints. There is nothing that I would not try to use in my classroom to expand and help perfect the effectiveness of my teaching.

While there is always room for growth and improvement, and one should never stop striving to learn and grow, there are a few aspects of my teaching that I know work in my favor as an effective teacher. I am very energetic. It is easy for me to get a group of students excited or for a lesson because I am able to go into a room with pep and pizzazz enough to make the content interesting. I am also quite patient and can easily sit down and work on something for long periods of time without issue. But even being such, I understand that my students may not be the same and that sometimes we may just need to change things up. I also come from a very diverse family and background, with all of my family being from places all over the world, and can use that to not only interest students, but also connect with them. I can use it as a stepping stone to support diversity in my class and help students understand we are all different, but that it is good and it makes us who we are. These are just a few of traits that I know I possess and can use to better support my students as they learn. But even with that said, there is so much more for me to discover. I hope to continue to build up my teaching and my own learning so that I can better help to inspire students to do the same, to keep learning, to keep growing, and to keeping working towards being the best person that they can be.