Friday, November 5, 2010

Philosophy Impact

My personal philosophy of education will impact my future classroom in a lot of different ways. This impact will determine my effectiveness as a teacher and I am hoping for it to be a positive one! My philosophy will affect classroom organization, student motivation, discipline, assessment, classroom climate, technology integration, learning focus and teaching and leadership styles.

Classroom Organization
As a teacher, I want my classroom to be welcoming, organized, and full of books. I want my students to feel comfortable and excited to be in my classroom. I want student work on the walls and a work station that has a variety of supplies that students can borrow (pens, pencils, glue, tape, rulers, markers, etc). It is important to me that everything has a place. I want an organized desk and many organized shelves. I would like to have an entire bookshelf dedicated to books and magazines that my students would be able to sign out and borrow.

After putting together a presentation on motivation, I certainly have some better ideas about how I would like to motivate my students. The most important thing is to connect the students to what they are learning. One way to do this is by connecting it to their interests. A student will get more excited about something if it is something they enjoy doing. Along with that, I also believe in the importance of giving students choice. This is time for students to develop a sense of responsibility. One of my favorite ways to motivate students is through the use of technology. Students can use their laptops to do a lot more than just type a paper, and I intend to use it to its full potential in the classroom.

Discipline and Classroom Climate
For me, discipline isn’t about punishment. It has a lot to do with positive and negative reinforcement. Students will learn better from being told when they are doing something correctly as opposed to be being punished when they do something wrong. When a student does act out in class, it is important to deal with it immediately. I certainly don’t believe in sending students to the principal’s office because it doesn’t really teach them anything. I would much rather find a way to turn their negative behavior into a positive one. I want my students to feel comfortable in my classroom at all times. I will not tolerate bullying, interrupting or inappropriate language. From the beginning, I want to establish a set of rules (created with the students’ help) that everyone understands and agrees with.

Assessment and Teaching Style
The key here is variety. Tests are helpful on occasion, but I don’t see myself using them on a regular basis. I like the idea of projects that require many skills in order to show what has been learned. There are many ways I could do this. One of my favorite projects in high school was based on choosing from the multiple intelligences. We could sing, draw, write, organize, relate it to nature, etc. Our options felt endless and it made it very enjoyable to design the project in our own way. This is the best way for students to show what they have learned. I also intend on using a variety of teaching styles within the classroom. Discussion, collaboration and blogging are some instructional strategies I would love to use on a regular basis. I am a firm believer in formative assessment and would like to make sure that my students are on the same page as me throughout the entire lesson.

Technology Integration
I believe that technology integration is crucial to helping students better learn the material. It is interactive and provides an opportunity for exploration and collaboration. I also want to make sure that I am not using it to say that I am using it. In other words, I want to use it in an effective and productive way. There are so many great websites and programs out there that I would love to implement in my classroom. I want students to be aware of them and know how to use them, but be able to choose the ones that work best for them.

Learning Focus
The student should always be at the center of the learning. Students are the ones doing the learning and therefore, the focus should be on them and their differences. I am one person. My students will all be very different and my lessons need to reach each and every one of them. I believe in giving them some choice when it comes to learning and showcasing that learning.

Leadership Style
Over the past few years, I have found myself in many different leadership positions. I’ve come a long way to get to the point that I am at now when it comes to being comfortable as a leader. I want my students to look up to me and I want my colleagues to respect me. I intend to stand up for what I believe in and want to encourage my students to do the same. In the classroom, I want to start a conversation that my students can effectively take over and have it on their own.

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