William Arthur Ward once said, “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” It is my goal to be a great teacher. I believe that there is no “one” philosophy of education that is “right” or perfect. I also believe that philosophies may alter with time and experience. This is my personal philosophy of education as of right now.
The purpose of education is:
- To prepare students with the basics that will help them succeed in life. Day to day living would be a struggle in our world today without a basic knowledge of math, English, science, and history.
- To help students discover who they are. Education plays an important role when students begin developing their personal values and beliefs. Their values and beliefs can be altered based on what they learn.
- To provide students with options. One student may prefer history classes while another student prefers music classes.
- To prepare students for the future. They will choose their career paths based on their experiences in school. One student may excel in science and go on to be a doctor while another student chooses to pursue a career in agriculture.
I believe students learn best by:
- Discovering and understanding their own personal learning style. Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences describes eight different intelligences. Students may have a specific intelligence that is “stronger” than another. Teachers can use the knowledge of these multiple intelligences to incorporate different learning techniques into their teaching.
- Having a positive attitude and wanting to learn. A student learns best if they are enthused and focused on the subject at hand. I believe that teachers have the responsibility of making the learning fun and interesting for the students.
- Asking questions. Students should feel confident in asking questions. If there is a concept they do not understand, I would be more than willing to answer any questions they have.
My goals for my students are for them:
- To learn something new every day.
- To be confident in asking and answering questions.
- To work efficiently in groups.
- To be responsible and get extra help if needed.
- To enjoy class and learning in general.
I believe that effective teachers have to be:
- An effective teacher must be dedicated to their teaching and to their students. Effective teachers have a passion for learning and for teaching. They will do what is best for their students.
- An effective teacher must understand that every student is unique. They all have different values, personal beliefs, preferences, and learning styles. The best way to understand your students is by getting to know them.
- Skilled in leadership. An effective teacher must be comfortable and confident in leading and regulating a class. There is no particular leadership style that is best; there are a number of different leadership styles that are effective. Effective teachers must develop the leadership style that works best for them. Effective teachers must also understand that leadership is not about controlling the class; it is about being responsible and putting in effort to achieve a goal as a group.
I want to become a teacher because:
- I have a passion for learning. I believe that you truly can learn something new every day.
- My teachers were my role models. I cannot possibly thank my teachers enough for all that they have done for me both inside and outside the classroom.
- I want to make a difference. I want to positively influence my students the way my teachers have influenced me. For example, it was my high school biology teacher who made me want to become a science teacher myself.
- I know that teaching is the career that will make me the happiest.
My students will not be the only ones learning in the classroom; by teaching, I will learn more about myself, my personal beliefs, and my values. Albert Einstein once said, “The only source of knowledge is experience.” As I continue with my teaching career, I will adjust and further develop my philosophy of education based on my experience.