My Philosophy of Education
I consider myself to be extremely blessed. I’ve been lucky enough to have had several teachers and mentors that lit fires within me and fundamentally helped shape me into the person that I am today. They not only taught me to master their subjects, but to be confident, to think critically and to find my voice at a young age. They also showed me that there is always something to learn from opposing opinions and that in every “enemy” is the potential for an ally. As a teacher, I must create a safe, inclusive classroom where all voices are heard, cherished and respected. It is the exploration of our differences that help us grow into more aware and well-rounded individuals.
I believe the best way in which to reach students is to make classes directly significant and relatable to their lives. If there is no perceived intrinsic and extrinsic value in what I am teaching, and if it has no real world application, then the material ultimately won’t stick with the learner because it will have little relevance to them. Moreover, when students are personally engaged in the material because they see connections to their interests and futures, classroom management becomes a secondary concern in my experience. While the ability to deliver curriculum and manage a classroom is of course a fundamental part of education, the ability to inspire is what sets apart good teachers from amazing, life-changing teachers.
In a day and age where every fact, figure and statistic can be found online in mere seconds, the focus of teaching moves away from “filling the pail” and focuses on finding information, analysing the credibility of sources and determining the biases of the authors. The way in which we have to teach has changed from lecturer to “facilitator of knowledge.” I think it would be detrimental to not embrace technology and collaboration in the modern classroom. We must speak the students’ language in order to reach them, and this means learning through the many tools and technologies available to us. In a world that is rapidly ever changing, I believe that we cannot fight the modern age and must be adaptable and never stop learning ourselves. This will help us become timeless teachers.
It is my personal goal to help all students find their passion and gain the tools to be able to achieve their dreams. While they may not remember what I taught them years down the road, they will remember how I made them feel. I aim to make them feel valued, powerful, confident and able to take on the world, like my teachers did for me. I made the difficult choice to change careers in order to make a true difference. I will not waste any opportunities I am given. I feel that teachers have the potential to have the biggest impact on the future generations, and I strive to be one of the teachers that students remember for my impact on their lives. Education at its best should be the “lighting of a fire.”