I did not really know my teaching philosophy before I went into the three-week block. However, when I was asked to bring my teaching philosophy I brought a copy of my entry essay into the Education program. When I read through it, I managed to find pieces that did reflect my teaching philosophy.
In the essay, I talked about two teachers that reaffirmed my decision to become a teacher. A line that I had written was, “As a teacher, I want to bring this excitement and appreciation for learning into the classroom.” I believe that this hasn’t changed for me because I do want to bring my excitement about English into the classroom. However, I realized that it is a challenge to be excited about something when the students look back at you with blank faces as you ramble on about Grimm’s fairy tales. This event that happened was when I was team teaching an English A10 class and we were talking about foundational stories. We had the students split up so that each group would take the Disney version, the Grimm’s version, and the kids’ version of the Grimm’s. We did this for three different stories for three days in a row and I became excited because I love Disney movies and I love to compare them to the actual Grimm’s version. I would try and let the students talk and tell me about the differences between each of the three. It was challenging because not every student will love English the way I do.
Another part in my essay was about a teacher who “assisted and inspired me to become a dedicated, organized and passionate student” and that I will “bring those great skills into my future classroom. This statement is very true because I am dedicated and passionate about English and I found that I did bring those skills into the classroom. Organization, though, I found was a bit difficult. I had one binder that I kept everything in and I found it hard to keep track of everything. I need to become more organized when I do my internship placement.
The final sentence that I wrote in my essay was “I look forward to being a part of my students’ lives and being a part in the classroom.” This was very true for my three-week block because I did get to know the students I was with. I had fun speaking with some of the boys in my A10 class about trucks and how Ford is better than Dodge. I do want to be a part of my students’ lives and show them that I do care about their education.
Finally, I had the eye-opening experience that not every student attends class and hands in every assignment. I come from a small Kindergarten to Grade twelve school where everyone attended every day and if they didn’t somebody knew why they weren’t at the school and everyone handed in assignments. So because of this experience, I expected to have students in full attendance and hand in every assignment. When I went out to my school for the three-week block, I was shocked to have only half of the students hand something in to me. Also, I found that I didn’t even get to meet some of the students because they didn’t even show up in the three-weeks that I was teaching at. On that note, I am glad that my school doesn’t give late marks because I feel a lot of students would not pass their classes.
Overall, I believe that my teaching philosophy is developing slowly. I believe that students should be given a choice in almost everything they do and that teachers are just there to guide them. Even something as simple as “Can I go to the bathroom?” could be answered with “My concern is that you are going to miss an important part of my lesson. You choose.” Giving students authority over their own decisions gives them full responsibility on everything they do whether it’s on assignments or simple requests.