"She provides them with the tools to be successful in today's society... ...and allows them the freedom to express themselves and room to grow as human beings and learners while setting appropriate limits."
Disclaimer: This is not an open letter but rather my philosophy statement on education. I wrote this for my EDLS class but I felt that it was important for me to share this. I truly mean everything and I hope whomever reads this doesn't judge me. so here it goes.......
My favorite question is when people ask me why I decided to become an educator. I have so many reasons as to why but most importantly because I believe that education is very important and a privilege. Many people in the world aren’t as fortunate as I am. I have grown in a great country where education is a granted right, but for me I see it as a privilege that I need to work for. Growing up my parents always pushed me to become the best I could be. They always emphasized the importance of education and have always said that being educated is not just about being knowledgeable on a topic but rather using that information to do so much more. Growing up I was an only child, being an only child taught me many life lessons that I want to pass on to my future students. My parents have always told me that the world is in my hands and that I shouldn’t be afraid to do anything because anything is possible if I truly believe it. I’m truly grateful for this because they have opened doors for me to succeed in life. This is why I want to be a teacher; I want to be able to provide more for my students than what they think they deserve. My intentions to become an educator is very personal, it defines me as a person. I strive to be a better version of myself by learning from others. I hope that my educational philosophy impacts my future students lives for the better.
As an educator, I believe in the importance of providing a safe learning environment to my students. I believe that students learn best if they feel safe in their environment and are more comfortable to address their needs. Besides addressing my students needs I also think it’s important to focus on the relationships I can build with them. By knowing my students I’m able to assist them and see where they are coming from. I also get the chance to converse with them and see what subjects and issues are important to them. Knowing what is important to them gives me a sense of how they feel about experiencing the world. I want my classroom to be less than a classroom setting but more of a community. I want my students to be able to share their ideas and communicate and learn from each other. Although they are young I want them to be able to feel comfortable to speak out in what they believe in instead of feeling that they must settle for whatever is said. I believe that when small children are educated and express themselves without worrying they capable make a change in the world if they are given the opportunity to.
I am very thrilled to work with elementary aged kids. They are at the age where they are starting to explore the world and seek their interest for the future. This age is very important because they are starting to engage themselves with others and learn from their peers. Elementary school is a vital part of a child’s personal development. They are learning from those who surround them and taking in what they believe is best for them. They are so young and many opportunities are waiting for them as they keep growing. I want my students to think of me as a positive role model and cheerleader. I want them to feel that they can come to me for anything because at the end of the day I will be there for them. I also want to give them the self-reassurance that they can be independent learners, but they can always seek for help if they feel they need it. I want my students to seek for their own success with my aid, I want to be there to provide opportunities for them to build these skills while they are in my class. I never want to forcefully push my students instead I want it to come from them.
I believe that having a good relationship with my students is built on a strong foundation of mutual understanding, respect and trust. In order to effectively asses my students wants and needs, I will open doors of good communication with them. Although I know that not every student will show this initiative I want to be at least somewhat close to them in order to help them. I will never force a child to tell me something they do not wish to because I know that some children tend to be afraid to speak out because of things going on at home or their parents not being fully involved in their education. Besides having a good relationship with my students, I want to be able to reach out to their parents with any information or concerns. It’s important for a teacher to have a good connection with their students’ parents because at home they are responsible for continuing their child’s education out of school premises. I have strong believe that both teachers and parents seek to give their children all the opportunities there are in life. Teachers become students second parents, like their parents they are teaching them life skills they need to succeed in life. I want my students to be able to go home and talk to their parents about me without sounding like I’m failing at what I’m doing. Being a teacher to me is very important because I believe that educating children is preparing our future citizens for life. I want my student to seek for the best and feel respected as individuals.
Besides just being known as the teacher who just teaches the material I want to be well respected in the professional sense, by this I mean that being a teacher, I’m put in position of authority. I know that I will have authority over my students but I do not plan to be authoritarian. I have a strong feeling about being authoritarian; I don’t think a person who is grounded to the rules is effective. There are many things one can do with being well respected. I want to be able to be a friend and confidante for my students but not cross the line of professionalism. There’s a fine line between being a friend with students that must be carefully drawn do to situations in which that trust must be broken to comply with the law. For example, if a student tells me that they are being abused at home or even at school, I have the obligation to report it. Not because the law says I have to but because I believe that no one should be maltreated by another human being. I will look for all the signs my students present in my classroom to keep them safe at school and at home.
To readdress the importance of my class environment, I stand my ground on making my classroom feel like a community. When I think of my own community I think about how its gives me a sense of warmth welcoming and accessibility. I want my classroom to feel like that for my students. I want my students to feel comfortable enough to come in and know that I will always be there to provide them with resources. I will explain to my students how to use these resources and make plans in which I can include all my student’s special needs and be mindful of their diversity. As a 21st century teacher there are many things to be mindful of, one of them being that schools these days are very diverse. I will have students possibly from all parts of the world and some students whom English is a second language to. I want to be able to address my lessons to them and for them to understand rather than feeling lost or left out. From personal experience as a child I remember being someone’s helper in my classroom, they didn’t speak English and my school did not have a ESL program that could help them. I grew up in a town where most of the population is white and there wasn’t much diversity till about 6 years ago. The school district now has many ESL teachers to help those students with the language barrier. Now looking back, I realized that although I was not very fluent in Spanish I was able to help assist the student and the teacher with communicating. Looking back at this event I remember how good and important I felt and still feel till this day because I was helping someone that truly needed my help when in reality it was the districts responsibility. I want my classroom and school to be inclusive of all these factors. I am very fortunate to be bilingual, Over the years my parents have stretched the importance of speaking two languages even if sometimes people think as it being odd. By this I mean that sometimes people look at you weird if you’re not speaking English. Yes, I understand English is the native tongue in the U.S.A, but we live in a country that’s a melting pot. I want my students to be exposed to this type of diversity, to not be afraid to speak because of what others may think. Being mindful of others diversity creates a sense of closure. When I think about my classroom display, I think about the walls being properly decorated. I envision the bulletin boards to be filled with examples of my students work and interesting information about the topics the class is studying. As well emphasize the importance of keeping the classroom neat and organized and ran in an organized fashion so students know what’s expected of them.
I believe that to be effective with my student’s development and progress in the classroom, I must be enthusiastic about the material being studied, because if you show that you care your students will care. Some students are very hard to be reach but if you put all your effort in they see that you care and they will try their best to be engaged. As a teacher, it’s very important to be open minded about criticism. Every student learns and thinks differently due to factors such as diversity, moral values etc.; I must be their role model and set classroom standards so that they are respectful towards one another. I want my them to be able to listen to each other and compromise when they disagree. I want them to become individuals who can learn from one another and continue to be lifelong learners. Although I’m the teacher I will always find myself learning new things, students tend to have this effect. They come in and bring all their ideas and as a learner myself I will be expected to learn how to work with them and what I can provide for their best interest.
Being a teacher does not mean I know everything and automatically makes me in charge of the students. Being a teacher means that I am willing to learn and build on my professional knowledge by involving myself in the community that my students belong to. Being part of the community is like being a part of a family. You get an insight of what’s important to parents and others. Although many believe that parents are always right, I think it comes down to what’s best for the student, therefore it’s important to learn where your students are coming from. As a teacher, I want to educate myself more than what my degree says I am. I am willing to take additional courses, attend workshops and conferences with fellow teachers to exchange ideas and theories. I want to improve myself as a teacher so my students can be up to date with information as much as possible.
My philosophy of education is based on what I know and have experienced throughout my own education career. I am sure that my teaching philosophy will change as I learn more about myself and my students, that’s one of the reasons why when I decided to go into the education profession I took that into consideration. As an individual I know I will face times when I will make mistakes, learn something new or make changes but that’s a part of life and learning. I just want to give my students a different experience than what I had at school with some of my teachers. Throughout my school education I experienced teachers who weren’t fully supporting when it came to my needs, I want to be different. I truly believe that teachers are born not made. Sometimes people will go into professions because they think that it’s their calling but they hate what they are doing and I never want to feel like that. Therefore, I think it’s so important to learn about one’s own personal interest, I never want to feel like I’m being pushed to do something or feel like I’m wasting my time. Looking back to when I was a child, I can say that when I felt true interest in learning and teaching was when I was in second grade. From having the experience of helping someone in my class it opened my eyes and saw that I had a deep passion for learning. I was very young but I knew that that feeling I had was because I enjoyed it. I’m a strong believer in that people can reach their highest potential. Becoming a teacher is the potential I work hard for. It’s become my goal and hope that I can make a change in someone’s life. I am truly grateful for all the opportunities I have thanks to my parents as well as my teachers and lastly for growing up in a country that believes that education is important and that everyone deserves to be educated. Some people think that being an educator is just about an individual teaching the material and getting their students to learn the material so they can pass a test. I see it as much more because teachers are the ones who influence and help each student discover what they want to be in life. If it wasn’t for teachers and education we wouldn’t have presidents, CEO’s etc.; all these careers and occupations have come to be because of all the efforts educators have worked for. In colonial days’ being educated was mostly common amongst the wealthy and usually instructed by men. In today’s world education falls under the line of being a privilege and a right and now both women and men can hold the same occupation. From personal perspective knowing that many people in the world don’t have the right to an education makes me realize how important it is to educate the people who are fortunate enough to have an education. What also inspires me is that someday one of my students may be the next president or hold some other occupation that’s very important.