My Philosophy of Education

        "A teacher affects eternity; he or she can never tell where their influence stops." - Henry B. Adams. Looking back on my own education, I distinctly remember teachers that impacted my life. Teachers can be the most influential persons in the lives of children. My hope is that I will continue to influence the lives of my students long after they leave my classroom.

        Each and every child possesses the ability to learn. As a future teacher it is my responsibility to provide each student with opportunities to learn. My classroom will consist of children who are diverse in their learning styles and backgrounds. With this in mind, I must meet the needs of all my students. To meet the needs of all my students, I will implement various teaching styles and strategies. My approach will include instruction for visual, auditory, and hands-on learners. I will strive daily to motivate and challenge each of my students. I will have high expectations for each of my students. I whole-heartedly believe that every child can be successful. I will provide my students with a reason for learning so that they will understand that everything they do has a purpose.

        Students are the center of the classroom. My classroom will be student centered, with the curriculum focused on my studentsí needs and interests. The curriculum includes the essentials that contribute to the studentsí social, academic, and physical development. My approach to teaching will contain both cooperative learning and whole class instruction. I feel it is imperative that children be able to work together so they will mature and gain respect for others. In a world of increasing diversity, the classroom will consist of more diverse students. Again, it will be my responsibility to provide experiences to meet the needs of each of my students. In my classroom, students will strive to meet goals. However, they will understand that mistakes only provide more opportunities to learn.

       The classroom is a community of learners where students feel ownership. Each student plays an important part in the classroom. The community consists of responsible students who respect each other as well as their teacher. Children must be provided with a certain amount of freedom in the classroom where they can learn to be more responsible. When students are a part of a community and feel ownership in their classroom, they gain self-worth and pride in their efforts. In addition, students gain respect for their fellow peers, teacher, and their classroom.

        Effective teachers possess several characteristics. Teachers must be enthusiastic about teaching. If a teacher shows enthusiasm about learning to their students, the students will be enthusiastic as well. Teachers must also be prepared for school so that they can teach their students the importance of organization and responsibility. Children thrive on structure, and a well-prepared teacher will provide structure to his or her students. Also, teachers must be respectful toward their students. If a teacher does not respect his or her students, then why would the student respect the teacher? Teachers must be fair and consistent. If children are expected to follow the rules, then they must be presented with both consistent and fair actions from their teacher.

        In addition to being a teacher, teachers must be positive role models for their students. Children need positive influences in their lives to help guide them through their various journeys. Teachers that are positive role models will continue to impact the lives of children far after the children leave their classroom. In our society, teachers may even act as parents. More and more, children are being deprived of attention and love at home. Many times the only person a child can look up to is his or her teacher. With this in mind, teachers must be compassionate toward every student in his or her classroom. It is important for a teacher to be able to be more than just a teacher to his or her students.

        There are certain rules that must be intact in a classroom to ensure safety for the students. Teachers should have control over the classroom, while at the same time, children should have a voice. The number of rules should be minimal, and the rules should be posted where each student is aware of them. Again, the teacher must provide consistency with his or her actions concerning classroom management.

        As I gain experience, I will make adaptations to my educational philosophy to be a more successful teacher. I hope to provide children with the experiences and opportunities to obtain the knowledge necessary to succeed in the world. As Robert Maynard Hutchins once said, "The objective of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives." My goal is to instill or deepen a love for learning in the life of every child in my classroom that will influence children throughout their lives.