It is crucial to explore why one wants to teach (Melrose et al., 2017; Pratt & Collins, 2000) to then proceed to articulate a philosophy of teaching. In my case, I aspired to teach because I wanted to share my passion for mathematics and science with a diversity of students, in the hopes that they would develop that same zeal for these subjects. Although this still is applicable today, instead of teaching K-12 students, I am sharing it with pre- and in-service educators.
I strive to ensure that all students feel welcomed and safe in my classroom, and I proceed with the assumption that there is diversity, whether visible or not, among students (i.e., their gender, their ethnicity, their beliefs, their religion, their culture, their family unit, their interests, etc.). This is of upmost importance to me, as students should feel that they can try new things, explore innovative ideas, and make mistakes, without being judged by the teacher or their peers. It is important that students’ efforts, successes, and failures are respected. To me, it is fundamentally important that I take a humanistic approach to my teaching.
In addition to caring for students’ well-being, I am also a motivator, a facilitator and a learner in the classroom. I endeavour to offer engaging educational activities that promote critical and creative thinking. Collaborative learning is also central to my teaching philosophy as it allows students to communicate and work together to solve problems and to gain new insights and knowledge. This is crucial to the establishment of a learner-centred environment whether it is in an in-person or a virtual classroom. While preparing lesson plans, I consider my students’ knowledge base, their abilities, their identities, and their life experiences. I choose content that is significant, but also challenging for the students, with the anticipation that they will exceed expectations.
Over the past decade, I can reveal that I learned considerably from my students, and to the best of my abilities, I strive to accompany them in their individual learning journey.
Melrose, S., Park, C., & Perry, B. (2017). Chapter Two Where Do I Fit In? Articulating A Personal Philosophy. CHAPTER TWO – WHERE DO I FIT IN? ARTICULATING A PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY – Creative Clinical Teaching in the Health Professions (pressbooks.com)
Pratt, D. D., & Collins, J.B. (2000). The Teaching Perspectives Inventory (TPI). Adult Education Research Conference. http://newprairiepress.org/aerc/2000/papers/68