My teaching philosophy is (so far) based a lot around my own learning and my school experience. I think deep down I wanted to become a teacher so that I could do for my pupils what some teachers couldn’t do for me, really engage, care and support them. Prepare them for life after school. My philosophy of teaching also matches up well with the IB learner profile, I embody a lot of these things.
As a teacher I constantly reflect on my own professional practice weather it’s on one lesson or looking at the bigger picture. Reflection is a key aspect when it comes to being able to adapt learning to suit all pupils. It also allows me to adapt my own learning to allow me to constantly grow. With each placement I will have more to reflect on which will allow me to become a better teacher. Reflection is something that needs to be a continuous process to allow us to continue to be the best teacher the pupils could have.
Balance to me means not focusing on one area, as the word suggests it’s all about finding a balance. This isn’t just with subjects but over our whole lives. Its’ important to model this balance for the pupils so they can see what it looks life. Finding a home school balance. Finding a physical and mental balance.
Part of my teaching philosophy involves risk taking because I believe without a bit of risk we would never change. For example, if a lesson isn’t working stop take a risk change it try something new. Part of risk taking is also realising that’s it’s okay if the risk doesn’t pay off, come back try something new. Risk to me promotes change which is a key aspect in teaching. It’s all about constant development.
Being caring is a huge part of my teaching philosophy, it’s not necessarily about breaking down the barrier between pupil and teacher but for the pupils to understand that you do support and care for them. Being caring is also something that’s very important to model within the school, with other colleges and parents to ensure that your pupils also become caring individuals.
Being open minded is a huge part of the whole of the IB programme and is also a big part of my learning philosophy. Walking into a classroom you never know what background and cultures the pupils will have come from and you as a teacher need to be open minded and sensitive towards this.
Principled to me and my teaching philosophy is all about knowing what you believe and modelling those values every day. For me it is about showing farness and modelling respect across my whole life and with everyone I encounter. It’s about showing what you believe in every interaction you have every day and not changing those views depending on who your speaking too or the situation.
Communication is something we have every second of every day and for me as a teacher honesty is at the centre of all communication. With honest communication comes resect which means listening to other people and trying to understand their point of view even if it is one we don’t agree with. Again, communication is something that has to be modelled to the pupils, this can be the way you communicate with them or other staff and parents. For me its ensuring that you model the behaviour you want. When I’m talking, I would like people to be respectful and empathetic and listen and I will do the same for others.
I’m still so new to IB so I’m struggling with ‘thinkers’ and how it relates to my teaching philosophy but the first thing that comes to mind is challenging why we think things. Where have these ideas come from and ensuring that we dig deep into the pupils thinking to allow them to understand and question their own ideas. To me it could also involve respecting everyone’s thoughts and ideas no matter what they are.
Inquire is an important part of a child’s education because it involves them being interested in what they are learning which in turn sparks enthusiasm and curiosity. This means that children really want to learn and become engaged in the lesson. For me an example of what his would look like in my classroom would be a science experiment, any lesson really. Start with a word, a picture. Continually question the pupils about what they think it could mean, what’s the lesson about? Get them interested and excited. This then means that they can become responsible for their own learning. Learning to take this kind of responsibility is a key skill for life which for me is a something pupils need to be able to do before leaving school.
When I think of being knowledgeable there are two quotes that come to mind, ‘you can never be overdressed or overeducated’ and ‘knowledge is power’. Knowledge is something that is key to learning but not just hard facts and tired ideas. It’s all about having knowledge that helps you better yourself, knowledge that you can actively use every. day. Its’ also to me about teaching the pupils this knowledge in a way that’s fun and interesting. This relates to my learning philosophy because it’s about understanding that everyone learns differently and understanding this is the first step to becoming successful educator.
Reflecting on life but particularly my last placement I feel my biggest strengths are my confidence. I think this is due to having some life experience before coming to university, being confident also means I have a good classroom presence. This is something that was noticed during my last placement. Although I did build on my organisational and time keeping skills, I feel like this is still an area for improvement. It’s something I will continue to build on this year and hopefully improve on it and make it one of my strengths. I need to realise that if a lesson isn’t working it’s okay to say lets’ stop, take a risk and try something new. This is something I feel will come with experience in teaching. I also want to continue to improve my knowledge of behaviour management strategies and not be afraid to try new ones, if they don’t work that it’s okay, we can try something different tomorrow.
For me it’s encouraging the pupils that’s it’s okay to fail it doesn’t mean that you can’t do it or you should give up, it shows us the areas we need to work on and more importantly failure shows you’ve tried. I think as a teacher I want to be firm but fair, a good balance is key. Respect is something that will always be given to the pupils to build up trust and I will expect the same level of trust and respect back.
I’ve chosen IB because I want to be a teacher and during my time at university I want to teach as much as possible. I also feel like because I took three years out before coming to university, I’ve ‘learned from life’. IB will give me the best opportunity to do what I love, hit the ground running, as soon as I graduate.