My Teaching Philosophy
I believe that a teacher must also be a student: ever-learning, so that they never forget what it is that their students are going through every day. They must be patient and dedicated, and even when their energies start to lag, they must never appear to be any less than the most important educator in their students’ lives at that moment. They must recognize that not all students have the same learning styles, not all will be at the same place in their education, or will learn at the same rates or in the same ways. Not all students will come from the same backgrounds, beliefs, or cultural values and all of these must be taken into account when presenting new information to them.
I believe that more than anything, all children are born scientists with a natural curiosity that becomes subdued beneath facts and memorization. As described in Piaget’s theorems on schemas, assimilation, and adaptation, these thought processes should be emphasized rather than muted. These natural scientists need to be kept and cultivated so that throughout their lives, these students never stop asking questions or seeking answers. To do this, we as teachers need to constantly challenge their ideas and have them learn that not only is it okay to think critically and to change your mind, but that as a civilization we thrive on it.
I believe that education and learning never stops. At any given time in a person’s life, they are a student of someone else, and at the same time they are a teacher for someone else. Teaching and learning are an endless cycle rather than a periodic event, so to cultivate good habits and mindsets early in life is the single most-important thing that a student can do. The best way to teach is to constantly have students thinking critically and challenging their ideas, and to have students do rather than simply listen, and to give lots of descriptive feedback to instill confidence in them that they are on the right track.