Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Teaching Touchstone

Teachers guide students, but who (or what) guides teachers? Principals and Department Heads can be wonderful mentors, but at the end of the day, you have to be responsible for yourself and your teaching style. I think teachers who have an internal compass are more joyful than those without. 

We know I enjoy spending time with kids. I love teaching. I'm passionate about education. But what kind of teacher am I, and do I want to become? And what about days that are not so good, personality clashes, or just plain burnout? 

I need something more than "likes kids", and that's where my touchstone comes in.

A talisman for when things go haywire, a touchstone for reassurance, and a compass to guide my planning and daily decision making, it's my personal teaching philosophy:

I believe a good education is essential to a successful future, and that all types of learners can become engaged in classroom activities. I strive to teach by example as a compassionate, inclusive and fair teacher. I work to build confidence in my students by providing them with opportunities to explore and grow in a dynamic classroom setting, valuing communication and effort over perfection.

Michel Foucault, one of my fav philosophers (source)
This is a living statement - it has changed and will change over time as I gather and reflect upon my experiences as an educator. That's the beauty of a personal philosophy - it grows with you. You can develop your own philosophy by thinking of why you teach, what kind of teacher you want to be, and how you want to support your students.

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