My Teaching Philosophy

For my education class, we have to come up with our philosophy on teaching.

The thing is the more I learn about being an educator, the more emotional I get. Sometimes I feel like I can’t wait to be a teacher, and other times I feel terrified to stand in front of my own class. It’s a HUGE job! And in a week or so I’ll begin my field experience where I go into a class and (hopefully) get to experience teaching some high school students. Or grade papers. Either way, I’m excited to learn!

I now have to think about what KIND of teacher I’ll be. Some days I feel like I’ll be this teacher:

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Other days I’m all:

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I’m hoping I can pave the road to teaching heaven with good intentions because there’s nothing I love more or am more passionate about.

SO here’s my official (for now) teaching philosophy:

I do not like to limit learning to one type of learning in a classroom. I am more of a non- traditionalist. I want my students to know that learning is constantly taking place and that exchanging ideas and experiencing new things and learning from other people is part of being educated. I think it is important for the teacher to give clear expectations to students so that students can rise to the occasion and become self-sufficient learners. Teachers should use discussion often in the classroom to help expand students’ knowledge and also allow the students to form critical thinking skills. I believe teachers must make an effort to get to know their students as individuals and their classes as a whole so that they can tailor their lessons accordingly. In order to best reach students, a teacher must do their best to be knowledgeable about their subject area, teaching techniques, and new technology. It’s important to always be learning and evolving so that students can follow that example. Teachers should be flexible, caring, and knowledgeable. Ultimately my goal as a teacher is to develop independent students who care about their world, are curious, and are critical thinkers. 

I’d like to hear from you about what you think makes a good or bad teacher. Maybe you could share your memories of your favorite/ least favorite teachers?

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The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers

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A children’s book! With pictures! Blasphemy!

I picked this up on a Barnes and Noble excursion the other day. The cover drew me in. I, like many of you, grew up as an avid crayon user (pronounced “crown” where I’m from). Your art tools are rebelling!

This book is an absolute delight. I took turns reading it allowed with my little (Big Brother Big Sisters), and we had a great time reading why each crown decided to go on strike, each extremely self-righteous. It’s a very clever little book with an actual child’s drawings for illustration.

To take it to a deep, literary level, it challenges children to think about why they use the colors they use when drawing. It even throws in some gender commentary (which I obviously loved). I highly recommend to young readers as a unique read. Or…readers of all ages who enjoy a good crayon tale.

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

This is a book log entry I did for my education class:

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I picked The Scorpio Races because I read the Shiver trilogy Stiefvater wrote, and I loved it. However, I was disappointed with this novel. It wasn’t as interesting as the trilogy, and I found the writing to be less than stellar.

To begin, the novel has 400 pages. I thought they would go by quickly because, like I mentioned, I loved Stiefvater’s other books. This story dragged on for the first 300 pages. I understand the need to lay a foundation, but this took it to another level. The pace was sluggish, and the real action in the story didn’t even get started until around page 350. If I wasn’t reading this book for a class, I’m not sure that I would have kept reading.

The book’s redeeming quality lies in its characters. The narration switches every other chapter between Puck and Sean. Both of them become contestants in the Scorpio Races on their island. The races are run by water horses, monsters from the sea that must be tamed by the riders. Puck is a teenage girl who enters the race on her family horse, a pony, in order to win the prize money to save her family. Sean is a horse trainer who races to gain independence and his own horse. The struggles both of the characters go through is compelling, despise the sluggish narration.

Puck is a great heroine. She’s admirable and strong. She is the first girl to ever enter the races, and works hard for her family. Sean has integrity and is passionate about his horses. The two share a pretty PG-rated romance that doesn’t take from the plot. I would like to see more characters like Puck and Sean in young adult literature just because they’re so real and are great role models. The only issue is that the author doesn’t change voice when switching their narration so they end up having the exact same voice.

I enjoyed the race scenes and the characters, but overall, I wasn’t a huge fan of the book.

Curriculum Connections/ Caveats:

I don’t see myself teaching this book in the classroom. I also wouldn’t suggest it to a reluctant reader. However, I have noticed that it’s a popular book so I would recommend it to a strong, eager reader in early high school or an advanced middle school student.  It could be connected to The Hunger Games because of the characters’ ages and the violent nature of the races.