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Running Head: PERSONAL TEACHING PHILOSOPHY

Personal Teaching Philosophy


Sierra Allen
Regent University

In partial fulfillment of UED 496 Field Experience ePortfolio, Spring 2016

PERSONAL TEACHING PHILOSOPHY

Introduction
If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people together to collect wood and don't assign
them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.
(Antoine de Saint-Exupry)
There are many things that education should not be. It should not be a continual list of
assignments and busy work. It should not be focused on filling in the right bubbles on a test. It
should not be a room where children are taught to think the same way and fit into a nice, neat
box. Education needs to be the fanning of a flame. The classroom needs to be a place where
dreams flourish and curiosity is the motivation. Teachers should facilitate and inspire new
educational pursuits and create an environment that is positive and safe.
My educational philosophy is focused on students realizing their potential and reaching
for new levels of learning. My goal, like the quote above, is to teach my students to long for the
endless immensity of the world in front of them. Not to just teach, but to inspire a powerful
desire to learn and to pursue.
Philosophy on Learners
Every student has the ability to learn. Not every student is given ample opportunity.
Children come from a wide variety of backgrounds and have experiences that shape their opinion
on school. As an educator, it is important to find what motivates a student to learn and work to
create achievable goals. Each student needs someone who believes in them and who will
encourage them to dream up massive goals. Students will respond to a teacher when they have
built a relationship of mutual trust and respect.

PERSONAL TEACHING PHILOSOPHY

It is important that learners are not constricted by labels and opinions. Students with
disabilities, delays, or difficult personalities are able to participate and engage in instruction
when they have a committed teacher. Teachers cannot discount this students, but should put in
the extra time and effort to find new ways of motivating them. Each child has something special
to bring to the classroom and the surest way of building a strong community is to let them
display their gifts and talents. Finding ways to incorporate each childs unique abilities will
encourage an accepting classroom environment.
Philosophy on Instruction
Instruction in the classroom needs to be versatile and flexible. In this profession, we often
put a lot of time and effort into creating strong lessons that are engaging and aligned with the
standards. It is important to spend this time in planning and preparation. However, every day in
an elementary school classroom is different. There will be days when the lessons go perfectly
and the students get all of the work done. But there will be more days where something goes
wrong, a student has a meltdown, a fire drill interrupts, and the plans are not followed to the
letter. My belief is that teachers should have a plan and use it when possible, but they should
always be willing to adjust. If Im using technology, I need to have a back-up plan. If my
schedule is interrupted, I need to readjust my day. Flexibility is required for the profession and
will save any teacher from unnecessary stress.
When it comes to instructional planning, all lessons need to be student-centered. It can be
easy to stick to the most comfortable teaching methods, but part of growing as an educator
requires pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones. My goal is to really know my students so I
can target my lessons towards their needs and learning styles. This can be done through a
mixture of whole group instruction, intentional centers, songs and games, and education

PERSONAL TEACHING PHILOSOPHY

technology, all of which will be included in my classroom. Instruction should also include any
accommodations needed for students to create a safe learning environment. Every student who
enters the classroom will come with different experiences that stem from their background,
culture, and family. When creating lessons, all of these factors need to be taken into account.
Philosophy on Classroom Management
Classroom management is foundational for all learning. Students cannot grow in a
classroom where they do not understand the expectations. This is why establishing clear rules for
student behavior and appropriate communication should be the main objective for the beginning
days of the school year. Younger grades in particular need repeated practice for how they should
ask questions, walk in the hallway, speak to one another, or behave during an emergency. The
key to an effective classroom behavior plan is practice.
Each classroom, however, is different. Students in one class may respond differently to
different types of reinforcement. Some classes will need more extrinsic motivation, while others
will be more self-motivated. Educators should come into the school year with many options for
behavior management and choose the one that their students respond to. Most importantly,
students need to be in an environment where they are supported. They will work with a teacher
who they can tell genuinely cares for them. Building strong relationships with students is the
cornerstone of any classroom management plan.
Integration of Faith
In every aspect of teaching, I consider what would be pleasing to God and why He might
have chosen to place me in that circumstance. Everything I do in the classroom has an eternal
effect, so its vital that I make a choice that is in line with my faith. Teaching is a passion and a

PERSONAL TEACHING PHILOSOPHY

calling and those who choose to pursue is should take it as seriously as a calling into ministry.
Colossians 3:23-24 tells us, Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,
knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the
Lord Christ. (English Standard Version) When I consider that my classroom is exactly the place
the Lord has destined me to be for this season, I am reminded that teaching and loving my
students is a hard and holy thing.
Conclusion
Throughout my time in the teacher preparation program, I have grown and evolved in my
educational philosophy. Before student teaching, classroom management seemed much simpler
and I often saw it as one size fits all. I did not fully understand how important it was for
students to connect to their teacher and I was not aware of how varied each day in the classroom
can be. The main area of growth has been an understanding of the nature of teaching. Teaching is
a profession where you are constantly thinking on your feet and adjusting to what happens
around you. Preparation is key, but being willing to let go of the idea that the day must follow the
plan is vital to success. More than anything else, I hope to teach my children to chase their
dreams and remain in a growth mindset in all that they do. When a child is shown the enormity
of the world around them, they will desire more than just learning, but complete understanding.
Those who seek to understand have the ability to cause change in the world around them.