Philosophy of Teaching
In describing the profession of teaching, teachers have been described as creators, sculptors, and artists or painters. These analogies imply that teachers select the colors or ingredients, and create individuals as what the teacher wants the student to become. However, these analogies do not correctly describe the role of teachers. Instead, teachers are more like a faithful gardener. A gardener makes conditions optimal for growth. A teacher supplies the guidance of proper soil and fertilizer, the water of inspiration, and focus through pruning. Just as a gardener does not decide what type of plant a particular seed will produce, neither does the teacher decide what students will ultimately be. As the gardener controls some of the variables, but not all of them, it is so with the teacher. As the gardener can remove weeds, fertilize soil, and water the plants, but cannot affect the climate, sun or length of growing season. Teachers can inspire, provide materials, and optimize classroom conditions, but have no control over factors like students home environment. The teacher, like a gardener, can optimize conditions for growth, but a student’s natural abilities and gifts, combined with their life experiences, determine the extent of the potential reached.
“Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach him to fish, he eats for a lifetime.” I selected this ancient proverb as my metaphor for teaching, as it embodies my philosophy that teaching is an act of empowering the learner to identify and maximize his/her abilities, while developing a well-defined sense of self as a lifetime learner. The learner ultimately will function well in both interdependent and self-dependent situations. A primary part of my teaching philosophy within the proverb is that teaching/learning is an ongoing, “lifetime” process for both the teacher and learner.
My unique experiences and education molded me into the type of educator I have become. I would describe myself as patient, kind, flexible, hard working, and persistent. I enjoy working with other people and I do not mind constructive criticism. However, sometimes I am my greatest critic. I am not very easily upset and I am able to adapt to different situations. I do not like to give up and I have always had a very strong work ethic. I feel these attributes will enhance my chosen career as I develop my teaching skills. Some areas I plan to work on are giving clear explicit instructions and using different classroom management techniques.
Video of teaching