My educational philosophy becomes more complex as time goes on. Some aspects constantly shift and evolve, pieces occasionally go through a radical change, and there are a few elements that remain identical to the original teaching philosophy I created as a student teacher years ago.
I strongly believe that all learning relationships in the field of education must be based upon mutual respect and trust. From this statement follows my belief that everyone learns in his/her own unique way and that each learner’s individuality, culture and traditions should be respected, nurtured and cherished. Furthermore, a variety of teaching strategies are needed to maximize learning and create an inclusive learning environment. I believe that learning needs to be fun, lively and exciting, yet at times it should be quiet, awe-inspiring and profound.
I lead by example and believe that educators are role models to all. I believe good pedagogy to be the result of qualities such as dedication, caring and a deep appreciation of children. I think good teaching is as rewarding to the teacher as it is empowering for the student. I think that empowerment and life-long learning are the keys we give to children to unlock the mysteries of adulthood. I strongly believe that every child deserves the best education possible, and thus has a right to good teaching. I feel education is the potential, the possibility, the hope of the future.
After several years of teaching I discovered this at the front of my mother’s daybook binder. It speaks to her teaching philosophy, and if you’re wondering about her and her relevance to my teaching, you can read about that here. This was an important piece of her pedagogy:
When we plant a rose in the earth, we notice that it is small, but we do not criticize it as “rootless and stemless”. We treat it as a seed, giving it the water and nourishment required of a seed. When it first shoots up out of the earth, we don’t condemn it as immature and underdeveloped; nor do we criticize the buds for not being open when they appear. we stand in wonder at the process taking place and give the plant the care it needs at each stage of its development, the rose is a rose from the time it is a seed to the time it dies. Within it at all times, it contains it’s whole potential. It seems to be constantly in the process of change; yet at each stage, at each moment, it is perfectly all right as it is.
Timothy Gallweny – The Inner Game of Tennis
And finally, I’d like to add a little quote that I think sums up life in general and teaching in particular. Not sure where this came from or who said it (please let me know if you do) but I quite like it if for no other reason than it’s simplicity:
When I’m green, I grow. When I’m ripe, I rot.
Thanks for reading! Stay green!