Teaching Philosophy

Why do you believe your students want to learn?  Describe them as learners in any way you can.

I believe students want to learn, given that they have had positive educational experiences and role models, that they are engaged in the content they are learning, and if what they are learning is authentic and can be applied to their own lives.

What are your aims for teaching?  What do you hope to accomplish when you teach?

When I become a teacher, I hope that I will encourage and inspire my students to become lifelong learners.  I want to provide them with the knowledge and skills to help them do so and to become successful where ever their lives might take them.

Does your subject matter affect your beliefs about teaching or learning?  If so, explain how?

Absolutely! I will note that I have recently developed the understanding that math is about developing the students minds and developing their thinking.  Previously I had thought that math was only about teaching students math and that they just needed to know it.  Now that I have this understanding, I realize now that many subjects that I never quite understood have a similar meaning and purpose and designed to help students be capable citizens who know how to think through and solve a tough situation.

What do you believe about learning?  How would you describe it?  What are your sources for your beliefs?

Learning is where students not only know what is being taught, but they understand it and know how to apply it to their own personal lives.  When students are learning, they are engaged, having discussions related to the topic, asking deep, reflective questions that require some in depth research, taking control of their learning, and they are gaining knowledge and learning by practicing and involvement.

Why do I teach the way I do?

I teach mainly based off of my previous experiences.  However, as of late, I am trying to steer away from this due to the fact that times and our students are changing so we must be able to adapt to these changes and teach effectively so that they are engaged.

Why am I a teacher?

Teaching is my true passion.  I always thought that I had a true passion for teaching up until this past year, I believe.  How much I’ve learned and grown has made me realize that my passion for teaching wasn’t very strong, at least compared to my passion now.  Also, I’ve always wanted to be a teacher and I really do enjoy helping others.

What motivated me to select a career path that includes teaching?

The first experience that I had that really motivated me to become a teacher was in grade eight.  There were two hearing impaired students in my class and they required an interpreter to come into the class to sign for them.  Sometimes, the interpreter could not make it to class some days and because I was quite fluent in sign language at the time, I would often step in and interpret for them.  One day, my teacher approached me and asked me what I wanted to do with my life.  I told him that I had never really given it much thought and that is when he suggested that I become either a teacher or an interpreter.  The thought of teaching immediately intrigued me and ever since then, I have always wanted to be a teacher (although I’ve often jumped around with what I wanted to teach, which ultimately ended up being mathematics and business, but nonetheless, teaching is what I decided what I wanted to do and I have stuck with it ever since).

What is my personal definition of a great teacher?

A great teacher, in my opinion, should have/be able to do the following:

  • Create a warm and safe classroom where students are open to discussion and unafraid to answer questions even if they are unsure of their answer.
  • Allow students to ask and answer questions at any time.
  • Make their learning real and authentic.
  • Allow students to take control of their learning.
  • Wherever possible, teachers should try to build on what students know and put it in friendly terms first then introduce harder terms.
  • Effectively and efficiently engages students.
  • Treats students with respect and students respect him/her.
  • Encourages students to become life long learners.
  • Develop skills and understandings that will allow them to be successful in life and be able to deal with change.
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