My Personal Philosophy of Education
By: T.L. Burney
I believe each student is a unique individual who needs a secure, caring, and stimulating atmosphere in which to grow and mature emotionally, intellectually, physically, and socially. I feel every student brings something unique and special to the world. I desire to help students meet their fullest potential in these areas by providing an environment that is safe, supports risk-taking, and invites a sharing of ideas. I assist students in discovering who they are, so they can express their own opinions and nurture their own ideas. I feel Kindergarten builds the foundation for reading success. That is why I like to make sure each student gets the right start, with lessons to reinforce phonemic awareness, listening comprehension, the alphabet and beginning reading concepts. In order to establish such a strong learning environment; I act as a guide, allow my student’s natural curiosity to direct their learning, and promote respect for all people. Each group of students presents a unique community of learners that varies not only in abilities, but also in learning styles. In my opinion my role as an educator is to give children the tools with which to cultivate their own knowledge. In order to accomplish this goal, I teach to the needs of each student so that each student feels capable and successful. I present curriculum that involves the interests of the students while making learning relevant. I incorporate themes, integrated units, projects, group work, individual work, and hands-on learning in order to make my students active learners. I consider the teacher’s role is to guide, providing access to information rather than acting as the primary source of information. I feel that for students to construct knowledge, they need the opportunity to discover for themselves and practice skills in authentic situations. Providing student’s access to hands-on activities and allowing adequate time and space to use materials that reinforce the lesson being studied creates an opportunity for individual discovery and construction of knowledge to occur. In our competitive society, it is important for students to not only receive a solid education, but to work with someone who is aware of and sensitive to their individual needs. I combine learning with the world community to help children become caring and active members of society. The increased globalization of academic work, brought about by relative ease and speed of travel, the growth of international organizations and conferences, the increase in contact among a multicultural group of colleagues, and the widespread use of the Internet as a means of global communication and electronic publication of scholarship all portend a time when diversity and difference move centrally onto the agenda of issues of concern to education. My classroom is a caring, safe, and equitable environment where each student can blossom and grow. I allow students to become responsible member of our classroom community by using strategies such as positive discipline and democratic principles. In showing children how to become responsible for themselves as well as their own learning, I am giving them the tools to become successful in life, to believe in, and to love themselves. Teaching is a lifelong learning process about new philosophies and new strategies, learning from parents, community, colleagues, and especially learning from the students. In my classroom, we continually discuss authors, illustrators, community, and global issues. For me, teaching provides an opportunity for continual learning and growth. One of my hopes is to instill a love of learning in my students, as I share my own passion for learning with them. I feel there is a need for compassionate, strong, and dedicated individuals who are excited about working with the students of today to establish the society of tomorrow.