My Educational Philosophy
I strongly believe that nobody is unteachable. This applies to all age groups.
The means in which we reach those people may differ and the extent to which they learn may change, yet at a very base level every single person , I believe, has the capacity for change.
I see this in my own practice and the ways in which others within the profession choose to deliver their practice.
As an educator, I have had the opportunity of working with a diverse range of individuals, sometimes challenging, sometimes fun yet always rewarding. The differences we make and more importantly the understanding of how and why we strive to make those differences is what drives my thinking and understanding of a learning environment.
Each child who walks through the door is not merely an empty vessel awaiting a plethora of knowledge. They are, and will continue to be, complex human beings with individual needs as a learner who too can impart knowledge upon us. It is my job to ensure I meet the needs of these learners in a way that is meaningful , stimulating and engaging not only for them as individuals but for the collective whole including myself.
‘Every day is a learning day’ is my mantra and not only for the children that I come into contact with but also for myself . We can never profess to know everything and we should never assume that as teachers we know more than the children we teach. As much as I can impart knowledge to them I can also receive their knowledge. We must be willing to accept this. Whether it is about the latest Skylander trap team member or the latest fairy book series, these will be things relevant and meaningful to them so therefore it is relevant and meaningful for me.
A level of trust and respect must be reached by engaging in meaningful dialogue with the children; be interested; ask questions; build confidence and self esteem; celebrate achievements no matter how small and equally foster a sense of pride within themselves and others.
In the same respect we must be confident in ourselves, we must be interested in learning we must celebrate our own achievements and foster a sense of pride and high self esteem within ourselves.
How can we expect these things from our learners if we first do not engage with them ourselves?
I recognise that there will be challenges that we as teachers face but I also recognise that challenges are just that, challenges. With will and determination and an open minded approach these ‘challenges‘ can be overcome within a partnership built on mutual trust and respect with the children.
I have been told on numerous occasions that I am idealistic. I once said to a very dear friend “ I want to make a difference , I want to change the world.”
I still want to do these things and I believe that I will. I know my expectations of myself and others are high but without those expectations how then do we push ourselves to achieve.
I think it is pertinent to explain what it is I mean by this statement.
The first part ‘making a difference’ I believe I already do this by demonstrating good practice and by interacting with meaningful dialogue with children I already have made a difference. In psychological terms, every person we meet has a direct or indirect influence on our behaviour and we subconsciously make changes in our behaviours according to differing social circumstance. By effective role modelling I am setting examples that these children will take with them throughout their lives.
After reflection ‘changing the world’ whilst initially said in jest, has actually been a driving force for my continued professional development. I actively seek out opportunities to expand my understanding and knowledge at every opportunity and in doing so I am able to modify and enhance my practice and delivery thus, in theory, making for a better learning environment.
Who knows where the next great scientific mind will emerge from. Who knows where the next ground breaking researcher will appear from.
It is fair to say that they could possibly be one of the many children who will cross paths with me at some point ?
If I have been privileged enough to have influenced them…I have in fact changed the world.
Children are our future and I believe we can reach every single one of them through careful planning, understanding and a passion for change. Each one of these children have the potential for greatness and we, as teachers are tasked with nurturing them to succeed.