As mentioned in my professional interests, I love people. This is the heart of my philosophy of education. I relate well to kids, and I value relationships. My first priority in my classroom will be establishing sincere, meaningful and healthy relationships with my students. I am interested in people – in their lives and stories. In my classroom, students will never question my unconditional positive regard for them. I will strive to be a mentor and an advocate for them in their educational career and life. The best learning happens when people know they are loved and cared for.
Secondly, it is my duty as a teacher to educate my students according to the standards set out by provincial curricula. While my subject area is English Language Arts, I believe teaching is a skill that is not bound by subject. I will be happy to find myself in any classroom at any level or subject because my passion for teaching and for students is not subject-driven. That being said, whatever I end up teaching, I will strive to provide meaningful and authentic learning opportunities for my students that give them confidence in their abilities and further challenge them at the same time. To not have high expectations is condescending. I will choose texts and materials that encourage students to think outside the box, empathize with diverse points of view, and reflect critical on their own beliefs and ideologies.
I will use various forms of assessment to develop student learning and to inform my own practice. I intend to use assessments that provide students with strong descriptive feedback, which will help them monitor their own learning. I will also seek to include students in assessment to give them a sense of ownership over their learning. In my classroom, students will have multiple and varied opportunities to express their learning. Not every student learns in the same way nor expresses their learning in the same way, and I am more than willing to accommodate these different learning needs.
In the context of traditional schooling, most learning has taken place in desks in classrooms. However, I feel that deep learning can take place in many different or unexpected ways and spaces. In my classroom, I will have the flexibility to recognize when students need a change of space or scenery. School has not always been a positive experience for many children, but as teachers, it is our calling to go above and beyond to create environments that foster learning, and sometimes that doesn’t mean desks and whiteboards.
Each child is gifted in a variety of ways, bringing new and unique perspectives to interpreting and constructing knowledge. Every child has a “spark.” It is my job to fan that spark into flame – to encourage students to reach their potential and pursue the things they love. My classroom will be a place where students feel secure and accepted; free to express and explore their state of becoming.
Again, for me, it all comes back to love. I love the students, and if I can foster in them a love for what they are learning, a love for themselves and for others, that love will change the world.