One strategy that I employ to have students become actively involved in their own learning is to align my instruction with the tenets of the inquiry method. By allowing students some degree of control in the direction of their learning I am able to bring forth an enthusiasm that improves the quality of work produced. Presenting students with some measure of choice in their own education makes for a more productive and innovative learning environment. The ultimate expression of this student-centered learning occurs in Genius Hour, which is an integral part of my classroom. Students showcase much of their work in online learning portfolios to share with parents. poster of genius hour photo
In the information age a teacher is required to act as a guide through the labyrinth of available data and elucidate what is pertinent for the young learner. Employing technology in a collaborative manner allows me to speak in their "language" and connect with them as learners in the digital age.
Student Art Critique
In the end, my teaching philosophy comes down to having students become critical thinkers who are proficient at evaluating arguments while generating original thoughts of their own. It is imperative for them to continually ask the question why and in turn be induced to explore and discover.
When it comes to science my unit plans consistently integrate all aspects of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). Through hands-on learning experiences, whether it be constructing hydraulic machines or co-creating an experiment to test how light travels, the focus is on student collaboration and discovering exciting theories as a "team of researchers." I choose to energize the science and applied arts curriculum by incorporating such tools as Maker Spaces, animation, coding, photo editing, computer game design, and video documentation of experiments.
Guided math stations is an integral part of my teaching. It allows for students to receive targeted small group instruction that can be tailored to individual needs. During "teacher time" I am able to help students with specific challenges that they are facing and hear their mathematical thinking. Stations vary from reviewing concepts and hands-on curricular math activities to student's recording how they solve a problem in mathematical language. Stations provide unparalleled engagement, variation, and differentiation.
Show you Know Math Station
Physical Fitness & Coaching
As a school volleyball, badminton, and track and field coach I believe that teamwork and personal fitness are crucial to the development of a young person. My phys.ed classes are skills-based with an emphasis on fitness and team-building activities including outdoor group runs and Indigenous athletics. I consistently promote healthy living among my student-athletes who enjoy reaching their fitness goals, learning new movement patterns, seeing the results of self-discipline and most importantly, having fun while doing so!
I consistently infuse the teachings of Christ into all subject areas. The example set by Christ can be referenced in so many aspects of the curriculum. I will also be piloting the new online Digital Samaritan course this year. In terms of coaching, my student-athletes engage in prayer prior to games and demonstrate sportsmanship during competition. The Christian service projects that my students complete often have a global reach whether it be collecting clothing for Syrian refugees or writing letters of support to prisoners of conscience around the world.