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Alexandra Dallara

Educational Philosophy

Alexandra Zannie Dallaras

Educational Philosophy

SCIENCE AS A BRIDGE BETWEEN CONTENT AND PRIOR KNOWLEDGE: I believe that science is a universal language. Science explains the world around all of us, regardless of our academic, cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. It does not matter who you are or where you are from we all have cells, tissues, and organs, making science something we can connect to personal experience. The previous exposure we have all had with our own bodies and interactions with the environments we live in give each of us a distinct advantage when it comes to understanding the concepts and material presented in science. My aim is to introduce students to the mystery of the world and the possibility of using scientific inquiry to answer many of their questions. I hope to create inquisitive students that make informed decisions in their future while considering the environment. I make every effort to show my students connections between academic content and their lives. To do this it is important to understand my students as individuals. Making connections between our own lives and academic content makes learning more accessible and an engaging experience. Having taught biology labs as a graduate student for three years, I quickly learned that the hands-on nature of science laboratory work is an excellent means of communicating across language, academic, and cultural backgrounds. Tactile learning can help anyone transition from observing to doing and aid in advancing their understanding of a concept. Laboratory work serves as an excellent means of assessment helping to inform an instructor as to when it is appropriate to move forward with curriculum and when it is important to reproach a concept. Observation based assessment of lab work can aid in evaluating student understanding at various levels, from lower order thinking in Blooms Taxonomy to analysis, synthesis and evaluation. Observation based assessment is a tool that I regularly use in my classroom to inform me of student progress and understanding.

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Alexandra Dallara

Educational Philosophy

A FOCUS ON STUDY SKILLS: My goal is to teach students skills they need to be universally successful in education and in their lives outside of school. Study skills are integral tools that students need for their academic and future careers. Exploring your own learning style can be key to student self-esteem and ultimately academic success. I strive to expose my students to a host of different techniques and approaches to learning, reading, vocabulary acquisition, note taking and studying that they can apply to future courses and experiences. PROMOTING SELF-CONTROL: As an educator one of my goals is to have students learn to manage their own behavior inside and outside of a classroom setting. I consider students very capable individuals and I believe self-control is well within their means. Given the appropriate tools to manage their own behavior, all students can learn the appropriate way to conduct themselves in a professional setting. I promote self-control by clearly outlining and upholding the guidelines for appropriate behavior in my class and try to mirror the school rules for consistency. Students struggling with appropriate conduct are given time to reflect on inappropriate behavior to gain an understanding of their own reactions and improve impulsivity in future. INCLUDING 21ST CENTURY SKILLS AND PLANNING: In the 21st century technology is ever-present and rapidly changing. I believe that incorporating the many tools that technology offers into the educational experience of my students is mandatory for readying my students for careers that mandate exposure and experience with these tools. Incorporating technology into presentations, group work, simulations, and study material can foster student engagement and ready them for the technologically savvy careers. Using varied online and electronic methods for student presentations has been successful for engaging and challenging many students. Observing my students prestigious skills with online presentation mediums has been exciting as well as a learning experience for me. I enjoy learning from my students as much as I value sharing my knowledge with them. Wiggins and McTighes, Understanding by Design approach to lesson planning provides me a clear vision of a unit by outlining the goals and working backwards from assessment to lesson planning. Identifying the essential questions has helped me to focus the curriculum on supporting the main ideas for each unit. Having received training on learning progressions, assessment audits, essential questions formation and lesson planning, I use UBD as a tool to organize myself and clarify the academic goals for my classes. COMMUNITY IN THE CLASSROOM AND THROUGHOUT A SCHOOL: I have a personal goal of building community in my school and within my classroom. Growing up in a very rural area and then going to high school in a much 2 of 3

Alexandra Dallara

Educational Philosophy

larger setting left me feeling lost during that transition. This experience helped me to value aspects of a school that help to make a large school feel smaller and safe. My classroom environment can nurture that community and help students to feel more comfortable and safe at school. I believe that Stephen Krashens the acquisitionlearning hypothesis is correct: a learning environment where it is safe to explore can lower their affective filter, making the learner more receptive to the acquisition of knowledge. I pride myself on my ability to make a personal connection to each of my students and learn about their background and interests. Showing interest in my students lives outside of a classroom has helped students to know that I care about them and has supported me in tailoring my lessons to my students. Using information about my students lives and interests in my lessons has made material approachable and memorable. I bring my own experiences and enthusiasm for science into the classroom to facilitate a comfortable and engaging environment for my students. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND ENTHUSIASM IN A CLASSROOM: A career as an educator appeals to me so greatly because it is always changing. I relish the challenge of encountering these new and diverse facets of education and pushing myself to grow and improve as an educator. We have all observed how much easier it is to learn any material from someone that displays an interest in the subject. This makes enthusiasm the best pathogen; it is the only contagious thing that you want to catch. My passion for my subject and teaching, along with my drive for continued learning has been my best asset as a teacher and will be for years to come.

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