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Philosophy of Teaching

Philosophy of Teaching
Allison Brown
Kansas State University

Philosophy of Teaching

Every educator has his or her own thoughts about what teaching
is. They also have their own way of teaching and things they consider
important. There is not just one way to teach, there are many.
Educators are coming up with many great ideas on how to teach the
information students need to know. Even though we all have different
ways of teaching, most of us share the same beliefs about the
importance of planning and preparation, instruction, and
professionalism. All teachers can agree that these three things are at
the core of education, and every educator values them.
I think that there are a handful of elements that are essential
when planning and preparing meaningful lessons. As a teacher, it is
very important to consider the needs of all your students. Not all of
the students in your classroom are going to be at the same learning
level. Some are going to be above, right at, or below grade level. This
means, that you have to fit the needs of all of those students. For
students who are performing above grade level, you need to make sure
that you are constantly providing them with lessons or work that
challenges them. That strategy could also work for students are
performing right at grade level. For the students who are performing
below grade level, you need to make sure that you are working with
them on the things that they are struggling with. You could work with
these students before or after school, and even alter some of their
assignments to fit their needs.

Philosophy of Teaching

I also think that you need to be aware of your students prior


knowledge while planning and preparing lessons. If you were planning
a lesson that covers material that almost all of the students know, then
you would be wasting that lesson time when you could be covering
new material. As teachers, we are already limited on the amount of
time we have to teach the information we need to teach during a
regular school year. It is important that we do not waste time, and
focus on what information needs to be covered. Also, being aware of
your students prior knowledge will allow you to get an understanding
of what learning level the majority of your students are at.
As a teacher, it is really important to consider the cultural and
linguistic diversity of your students when planning and preparing
lessons. When you have a classroom that is filled with students from
all kinds of different backgrounds, it is important to acknowledge those
backgrounds. Brown vs. Board of Education has paved the way for the
acceptance of diversity in the classroom, giving our classrooms a rich
mixture of differences. As teachers, our lessons should relate to all of
our students. They should address all cultures, that way all of our
students can identify and connect with what they are learning.
It is also very important to know the content we are teaching to
our students. There is almost no way one can teach a lesson without
thoroughly knowing the content. Well, it will not be effective if you do
not know the content. If there is content that you are required to teach

Philosophy of Teaching

your students, and you do not remember it, or are not familiar with it,
you must go back and learn it. You absolutely have to be prepared
when planning and teaching lessons.
It is important to have good, and achievable expectations for our
students. It is good to have challenging expectations, but nothing that
is too far out of reach. You want to set goals and expectations that you
and your students can accomplish. However, your expectations should
still be set pretty high. It is kind of the same thing as coming up with
good objectives. Objectives should be measurable, just like
expectations should be realistic. I want my expectations for my
students to definitely fit that criterion. As long as we have
expectations for our students that are challenging and can be
accomplished, they will definitely impact them. Students are more
likely to be impacted by things that challenge them and things that
they can accomplish. It gives them their own sense of accomplishment
and is something they can be proud of.
I feel as though considering the strengths of my students is an
important principle of effective teaching. Students are more successful
in learning when they are instructed in a way that their individual
strengths are supported. Instruction and achievement evaluation are
very effective, when they assist the student in finding and increasing
person strengths. Teachers are also effective in this situation when
they can provide guidance to help the students overcome personal

Philosophy of Teaching

weaknesses. However, instruction and achievement should be based


on individual and criteria referenced standards, not on socially
referenced standards.
Another principle that I feel is important is having the knowledge
to acquire and apply information into various contexts. Daily
instruction focuses on the acquisition of basic knowledge. Things such
as concepts, fact, and rules should be presented and become a part of
the students memory. It is also important to apply and evaluate these
things often in the classroom. A good way to evaluate the students is
to let them explain what they know to their peers. Teaching others is a
good way to learn and remember.
A third principal that I think is important for effective instruction
is being able to support students basic knowledge, but also support
higher-order skills. It is important to stimulate higher level thinking
along with their basic knowledge. Teaching is more effective when you
can get the students thinking creatively. They will learn more, and
retain more of the information. They need to have higher level
thinking in order to push themselves.
To be an educator who has effective instruction, you must
understand and use a variety of effective and appropriate instructional
strategies to engage students in learning. It is important that you
include critical thinking, problem solving, and reading into your
instruction. It is also important that you use a variety of verbal and

Philosophy of Teaching

non-verbal communication techniques to foster active inquiry,


collaboration, and supportive interaction in the classroom. As a
teacher it is important to be flexible and responsive to the students
individual needs. Students need to be engaged in their learning.
As a teacher, it is very important to posses professional skills. It
is important that we know how to act appropriately in our workplace.
Teaching is one of the most highly respected jobs out there. Reason
being, we know how to carry ourselves professionally. It is important
that we realize that we are people who are students look up to. They
watch every move we make, and listen to everything we say. You do
not wanting to be providing them with a bad image. It is important
that you make a good impression on them.
It is important as an educator to think systematically about your
practice, learn from experience, and to be a member of the learning
community. I want to be a teacher who reflects on their teaching, and
who continually evaluates myself on my choices and actions on others.
It is important that teachers actively seek opportunities to grow
professionally, and participate in the school improvement success. It is
very important that you foster professional relationships with school
personnel, parents, and agencies in the larger community to support
the students learning and well-being.
As a teacher it is important that you know how to effectively
collaborate with other teachers in a professional manner. You must be

Philosophy of Teaching

able to be an effective advocate for students and families in the


community. You must be able to have good oral and written
communication skills.

It is also important that you know how to be

professional with parents. They want to know that their child is in good
hands. They want to feel like they can trust you and also feel like you
know what you are doing.
You are usually remembered by your first impression on people,
so it is important to make a good one. You want the community you
teach in to look at you as a professional, one that is concerned with the
importance of education. We have chosen an profession that allows us
to be role models, whether we like it or not. It is very important we
realize that. Teaching is one of the highest respected careers in the
work force. We help pave the way for our youths futures. Its our job
to see that they succeed.