My Educational Philosophy

There are many different things to consider when addressing an educational philosophy. Ideas also come from many different sources. This is me trying to pull those sources together and come up with what I want my classroom and teaching style to look like.

According to the self-inventory I took, my ideas lean toward Progressivism with other ideas belonging more to the Romanticism category. The results are broken down into metaphysics, epistemology, axiology, and logic. Metaphysics: what is reality? Romanticism states that reality is stable and derived through self-development away from society. I agree with most of this, but I think a person develops because of society. No man is an island. Reality is based on circumstance—action and reaction— but is ultimately decided by that person. Epistemology: what is knowledge? Knowledge is gained through sensory experiences, interaction with one’s environment, individual experience, and shared experiences. Children discover things on their own easily, but if that experience is shared with another child who thinks about it in a different way, then that discovery has taken on more meaning. Axiology: what are values? I definitely agree with the progressive ideology: “Determined by each individual in interaction with his or her culture, based on the shared values of the community culture.” Children will learn and accept the values and ethics that they are taught and, more importantly, shown. I strive to be a good example at all times. I want to be the nicest, most helpful, hardest working person you’ve ever met. Logic: how do you think? This is mostly referring to inductive or deductive reasoning. I think that both methods should be taught and understood. What can we induce from this experience? And, what can we deduce from these givens?

I have a list of things to do as a teacher. It’s a very short list for now, but it’s where I plan on keeping the best ideas that I want to incorporate into my classroom. I believe that every child should have an opportunity to learn. Even more than that, they should have the opportunity to learn in a way that’s most effective for them. Therefore, I plan on having an early lesson presented in each of the different intelligences (interpersonal, intrapersonal, kinesthetic, musical, logical, verbal, naturalist, visual). The goal is to find which style works best for which student.

As an educator, it’s important to teach children not only “academic” subjects but moral, social, and economic subjects as well. I have a blog post on how to teach the six levels of moral development that I plan to use early in the school year. Social interactions will be achieved through group projects most likely starting off in the arts (music, theater, or fine art). Lastly, I plan on having a classroom economy. This will teach children a lot of responsibility not only in how to handle money but also in how to handle jobs. This instills accountability as well— not to me but to each other.

There are a few more things I want to specifically teach children. One: be yourself. I’d like to have a poster of Shel Silverstein’s poem “Masks” in my classroom to emphasize this. Two: fail early; fail often. This is something I’ve learned from the world of entrepreneurs. The goal is two-fold. The first is to get the students to try, and the second is to make sure they know that mistakes are okay. Three: movement is important. Exercise and knowing how to exercise is an important skill to lead a healthy lifestyle. Walks, stretches, foot tapping, etc. will be used and encouraged in my classroom. Four: I’m available any time. I plan on using social media to make myself available to students, parents, or other teachers any time of the day or night.

Finally, there are a couple more things I want to do in my classroom. One is to have a snack drawer. This will be filled with good snacks that a student has access to anytime. I would also like to have procedures in place for any student with special needs that may end up in my mainstreamed classroom (or in my special education classroom if that’s where I end up). These will be based on the student’s needs and availability to accommodate those needs. Lastly and probably most importantly is something I read about day one of Intro to Education. It was the story of a teacher who took a private poll of each student. She asked them to choose four students they would like to sit with next week and to nominate one student who has been an exceptional classroom citizen. She did this to look for patterns of behavior of seclusion or inclusion. Who was popular last week and isn’t this week? Who doesn’t get noticed at all? The story said, and I agree, that this particular teacher was saving lives. If I can prevent a Columbine or Virginia Tech, I want to.

When it comes to where to teach, there are so many other things to consider: uniforms, autonomy, discipline, classroom setup, required materials, standardized testing, and so much more. I think I’ve hit the highlights of what’s important to me, but I plan on thinking about these things and adding them to my list.



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