When I graduated college with my undergraduate degree in teaching, one of the things that I had to do before graduating was write out a teaching philosophy. At the time, I wrote about the passions I had when it came to working with students and teaching them the content that I know and love. I also wrote about helping students to become passionate about the humanities through a variety of instructional strategies. Although these things are still at the core of my teaching philosophy, having five years of experience has allowed me to refine this philosophy and to understand it at a deeper level.
Every day I go to work feeling the weight of responsibility that I have as a teacher. I now realize that this is not just a job; what I do every day is prepare the future leaders of this country. I am teaching students who will be global competitors in various ways throughout the world. Upon reflecting on this reality, I knew I had to change the way that I teach. No longer could I consider myself a "teacher"; instead I now think of myself more as a facilitator for learning. Sure, there are times when I need to be in front of the room instructing students on new material. But, as a teacher I know that it is no longer my job to lecture at students about the content, skills and objectives in class. Instead, I believe that as a teacher it is my responsibility to facilitate students and guide them to discover the content and skills needed to be successful learners in class and in life. As I enter my classroom every day I also realize that I am my students' greatest advocate. It is my responsibility to ensure that all students feel safe while they are at school and in my classroom. As a teacher, I have had the privilege over the years of building relationships with my students, and feel it is my duty to be there for them both academically and in times of celebration and need. Because of this, I believe that relationship building from day one is an essential piece of developing a positive classroom culture.
As an educator, my desire is to guide students to take ownership in their learning, take risks to further their education and continue to push themselves when it comes to their work. This is what will create successful leaders, innovators and creators for the future. With this new understanding of what being a teacher really means, I have now dedicated my career to implementing various facilitating strategies such as project based learning, differentiation and flexible grouping. I am committed to creating a setting where individuals learn in ways that will help them, and I no longer create "one size fits all" lessons. Instead each day I walk into the building knowing that I am going to do my very best to reach all students so that I can ensure that every student that walks through my door has the opportunity to succeed.