Intro to Teaching
Philosophy of Education
May 3, 2011
I had to take an Introduction to College Algebra class one year, and much to my surprise it was actually my favorite class of the semester. Each couple of weeks we learned a new process, and then spent those weeks learning different methods to tackle each type of process. Now, some of these ways were horrible for me personally, but in each set of weeks, I learned at least one way to handle each set of problems that fit me, and if need be, I could solve the problem using a different method as well. Now, math will never be my forte, and I cannot even really look at a calculator without cringing, but I left that semester and that classroom with more confidence in my mathematic abilities than I had ever had before, and will ever have after – guaranteed. This is what successful teaching looks like to me; students learning to flourish and grow into themselves by any method necessary, surrounded by teachers who do not expect them to figure out the secret of pi, but still encouraging them to try. Albert Einstein said, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid”. If I could make this one sentence my entire philosophy and stop at that, I would. Instead, this quote is what I want to base my philosophy on.
In my classroom children will become well-developed in the fields of math, science, history, and English through the means of hands-on and minds-on learning. Core subjects are very important to me; they are the foundation upon which the school system was built. That being said, I think creative outlets like music and art are supremely important to the development of a child as a whole. I believe shop class to be good for the mental development of young men, and I think sports are cathartic. Schools should keep an atmosphere of discipline, while incorporating creative techniques that will introduce students to examine and question realities. John Dewey was once quoted as saying, “Education is not a preparation for life; education is life itself”. It is my role as a teacher to prepare children for the adult world with real life experiences, and I think it is important that children are knowledgeable, and it is the roll of my students to ask questions, and to argue, and if they think another method is superior to the method that is given, then I want to hear it. I want to inspire children for life, not just the months that they spend sitting in my classroom. I want to encourage them to over-achieve, inspire them to think outside the box, and push them to achieve their highest goals. Each student is unique, and I believe in arming them with the knowledge and intellect and emotion that is required in the world that they experience.
Teaching is important to me because I think every child has the potential to be outstanding in life, in their own way, and they just need someone to show them how to get there. I will be that person.