I believe writing needs to be integrated throughout the content areas and language standards embedded in, not isolated from, writing instruction. Of equal importance is that students feel safe in a community of writers so that they can develop a strong voice and express themselves in a variety of writing styles and share their creations with each other for feedback.
I believe educators need to build a strong conceptual understanding of mathematics for our students through the use of manipulatives, not only in elementary years but also in secondary education. Students need to discuss math strategies with their peers daily. Finally, mathematics needs to be real for our students. Therefore, teachers need to make application to real life contexts when teaching mathematics.
I believe that social studies instruction plays an important role in the education of children. Through this content, we as educators can facilitate discussions on what it truly means to be a citizen of a country. I support the latest in social studies instruction which focuses on inquiry-based learning, gathering and evaluating of evidence from primary and secondary sources, and collaborative discussions about current issues in society.
I believe in a balanced integration of technology in all classes. From the core subject areas to specials and extracurricular activities, students should have access to technology so that they can create artifacts of their learning. Technology should not be merely a substitution for paper-pencil activities. Rather, technology should be a tool that opens the door to students making their innovative ideas come to life. Read more about my philosophy below.
TAKING MY PHILosophy Abroad
In 2012, I served as an English teacher in Kesennuma, Miyagi, Japan, an area hit by the Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011. I was able to implement best practices for teaching English language learners in this context.
Throughout this opportunity, I was reminded of the value of having a growth mindset. Japanese adults were eager to continue learning no matter how old they were or how challenging the English language!