Philosophy of Teaching
Teaching Elementary students is something that I don’t just consider a profession but I hold as a duty and carry great responsibility with. I believe that great teachers care about the future, care about personal development, and they care about people. I believe that teacher-student relationships come first, and without them students are put at a huge learning disadvantage. I also believe that fostering a positive, loving, safe learning environment where students are free to learn and explore is important and vital to a student’s growth.
Secondly, it is my belief that students learn best when instruction is engaging and teaching is tailored to the different and varying needs of all students. Engaging instruction requires careful and organized planning, bright and vibrant classrooms and energetic teaching. Students should be active in their learning, moving around the classroom, discovering instead of being told, and solving with hands on experiences. To accomplish this as a teacher I believe in an organized classroom, well planned lessons, and a structured lifestyle.
What makes Me Different
Advocator: I believe that the honor of being an educator is much more than teaching students curriculum. Being an educator means caring for and fighting for students who have no means to do so for themselves. I feel passionately about taking a stand for the rights and protection of children. I hold the responsibility to recognize, report, and help students who are victims.
Team Player: I believe that teaching a child takes a village, a village consisting of myself, parents, administrators, past and future teachers, and many more. All students deserve the best education they can get, and for me to provide that takes a team effort. It is my goal to work with everyone possible as well as possible in order to provide high levels of education or every student that I teach.
Passion For Diversity: Diversity within the classroom should be embraced and celebrated! No two students are the same and I believe that teaching should reflect this. As an educator, I hold a responsibility to be inclusive and teach inclusiveness to my students. My goal is that students will walk out my of classroom with a greater knowledge of cultures and histories other than their own.
I believe classroom management should never be negative and that repercussions should be natural and directly related to the offense. For this to be effective, the expectations in my classroom have to be very clear at all times. Expectations are given before directions and repeated throughout transitions and during instruction. I believe that frequent and specific praise is important in fostering desirable behavior, but I also believe in self motivation and in students taking responsibility and personal pride in their work and positive behaviors. I also believe that student corrections should be made as quiet and private as possible and student praise should be broadcasted.
Student Teaching Evaluations
Miss Niehaus as a Kindergarten Teacher
100th Day of School
During my time of student teaching, I hosted a Dr. Seuss Literacy night that was open for all kindergarten classes and their families. During the literacy night, the students preformed the song they had been learning, "Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss," for the audience. The students then enjoyed a read aloud of "The Oobleck" by Dr. Seuss. After the reading, students were able to join their parents again and create Oobleck! This was a great way for parents to get involved and enjoy time with their children in a school environment.
Ms. Niehaus as a 5th Grade Teacher
Civil War Unit LEssons
I believe that using primary sources while teaching social studies gives students an enhanced perspective on history. During my time as a 5th grade student teacher I constructed a Civil War thematic unit. Within this unit, students had the opportunity to analyze real life letters that were written during the Civil War. Students then got to listen to a voice recording of a letter written by a Civil War soldier, saying goodbye to his wife. Through this experience, students gained insight on living conditions during the Civil War era, strengthened their reading skills, and used primary sources to learn.
After students had the opportunity read letters straight from soldiers and their families, they were asked to write letters themselves. Within these letters they were to put themselves in the place of someone during the civil war (soldier, doctor, businessman, wife, etc.). They had to write using historically accurate details that they had been learning about. There were given a pre-write to help them brainstorm and get organized.
After completing the pre-write, a rough draft, and peer review, students copied their final draft onto a piece of vanilla paper. This final draft was displayed in the hall for all to see.