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Erin Russo "education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." William Butler Yeats

About Me

I'm a Chico State student, completing my coursework online from Lincoln, Ca. I'm working towards my Bachelors degree in Liberal Studies and hope to become a credentialed multi-subject elementary school teacher. I'm passionate about education and think that it's important to keep our minds open to new ideas and innovation. Some of my core values include curiosity, compassion, structure, routine, and respect. I am devoted to being a lifelong leaner and will continue to seek and embrace knowledge and wisdom, now and always.

TEACHING PHILOSOPHY

As a future educator, I hope to become an impactful instructor and mentor that can instill the foundations for a love of learning. My philosophy is that education isn't something that happens in a classroom, it is an approach to life; and, it should be exciting and engaging. I will create a classroom culture that is safe, supportive, and free from judgement. I will embrace curiosity at every opportunity. Education isn't about the memorization of facts, it is learning how to find the answers and how to think critically.

I hope that one-day people remember me as a teacher who cared deeply about her students, and who inspired children to discover the world, explore their passions, and think critically. I want to be a teacher whose legacy is that of igniting the flames that turn into wildfires of passion for learning.

Teaching and Learning

I will develop curriculum that is engaging and reflective of my students’ interests. I will boost critical thinking ability by asking students follow-up questions that allow students to explore ideas deeper and investigate their ideas in a meaningful way. I will create an enriching and equitable classroom environment for students in which I can maximize learning opportunities. I will incorporate Gardner's theory of Multiple Intelligences because we know that a one-size-fits-all approach to education leaves many behind, and this approach gives students an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge in a broader and more inclusive way. I recognize that students can be intelligent many different ways, and I will adapt my curriculum to explore those intelligences and give students an opportunity to thrive in the classroom. I will never make assumptions about what I believe students already must know. I will remember that all students have preconceptions based on their own ideas and experiences that have to be addressed and if incorrect then debunked before learning can happen in a meaningful way.

It is important to develop a caring and supportive classroom environment where each student is valued and respected. Each child should know that they belong and they are cared about as an esteemed classmate and student. This is important for the wellbeing of each child and will encourage students to participate more fully in the learning process.

To promote teamwork, autonomy, and self-efficacy I will utilize Student Directed Learning, as theorized by Alfie Kohn. Student Directed Learning reflects a constructivist approach to learning and discipline. Students learn how to make good choices by making choices, not by following directions. As a teacher, I will circulate amongst my students to provide support while they are working together. I will often have classroom discussions that are conducted by students. I will create a positive learning environment where students collaboratively work together to solve problems. I will provide many opportunities for students to help one another.

Collaboration is imperative. I believe that having positive working relationships with my colleagues to share ideas and work together to produce meaningful lessons is essential to the success of students. It is also vitally important to have close relationships with the families of my students. I will communicate with families often and encourage copious participation in their child's learning and education experience. When families are uninvolved in their child's learning, I will use this as an opportunity to discover ways to reach the family and work with them do develop a plan for them to participate in a way that works best for them. Most importantly, I'll remember not to assume that these families "don't care" because that is more often than not a misconception that inhibits learning opportunities.

I hope to become an elementary school teacher. But, more than that I hope to become a mentor and leader to guide young minds towards discovery, knowledge, innovation, and critical thinking. My goal is to always be learning and growing as an educator so that my students are given the best possible opportunity for an equitable and impactful education in my classroom.

Growth Mindset

Carol Dweck has a powerful message about how teachers have an opportunity to shape our students to have a growth mindset that will allow them to develop into learners that are more engaged, confident, and who persevere when confronting challenges. Intelligence is not fixed, and with hard work, students can make deeper connections that will allow them to achieve greatness and overcome hurdles. If students are given praise for their efforts rather than their intelligence, they will develop a growth mind-set where they will believe that they are capable of achieving higher levels of learning through hard work. Helping students to develop a growth mindset will motivate students to learn and to try again when they fail.

References:

https://www.slideshare.net/rscapin/how-to-manage-a-classroom-with-the-byodapproach/58Classroom_Management_AppsOrchestration_Pierre_Dillenbourg

http://www.learn2study.org/teachers/motivation.htm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_X0mgOOSpLU

Credits:

Created with images by AlexanderStein - "colored pencils pens crayons colour pencils colorful" • designedbyjess - "page book bindings paper" • lawuhsuket - "table seat color" • Kelli Tungay - "untitled image" • geralt - "teamwork team gear" • rawpixel - "adult people woman" • Element5 Digital - "untitled image" • TeroVesalainen - "thought idea innovation" • Pexels - "books college cover"

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