“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
Teaching is like cultivating a garden. One tends the soil, plants the seed, and watches the seed grow into a plant. Different conditions like weather, fertile soil, and the care of the gardener are factors which influences the growth of the plant. The garden metaphor is what guides my teaching philosophy as I grow and develop as an educator.
One of the most important qualities I can share with my students is my heart. I am being entrusted with the task of teaching students how to develop skills that will help them interact with a changing world. Part of respecting that trust involves putting my heart into my work and caring about what happens to students. Students recognize when they are valued and cared for.
Effective teaching is culturally responsive teaching. I believe in doing the work to understand where my students come from. It’s also important to help students develop the skills they need to support themselves. This includes students who may be at risk of falling through the cracks, or who might otherwise be overlooked. My goal is to develop the classroom as a space for inclusion, for discussion, and for being involved in the learning process.
In an electronic universe, where information transcends the boundaries of space and time, it’s critical to teach my students how to evaluate the information they receive. In a democratic society a well-informed citizen is armed with facts. Knowledge is a source of power and I’m dedicated to the idea that education is a fundamental civil right for all of my students. My goal as a teacher is to guide my students through the labyrinth of facts, half-truths, and logical fallacies. Navigating the information highway is a challenge faced by my students today, and it’s my role to help them find their way. My students will engage in critical questioning and evaluating the world beyond the walls of the classroom.
Students must be able to meet specific standards in speaking, in listening, and in collaborating with peers. I’m committed to having my students meet the highest standards, to succeed in college, and in the workplace. This includes practical skill sets such as writing professional emails, giving presentations, using different types of media, and being poised to become lifelong learners.
Finally, as the gardener who tends the plant, I want to see my students absorb the seeds of knowledge, develop solid roots, and branch out in their studies. As my students learn, I will strive to remain teachable myself. Being an involved teacher is key to developing learning partnerships with my students. My time in the lives of my students is intended to be seasonal in nature, and I want to make a positive impact at this stop in their journey.