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Philosophy of Teaching As I sit at my keyboard, starring at the blank screen in front of me, I cant help but realize that

this blank screen exists, not for a lack of words, but an overload of information and ideas that I am preparing to put into effect as a future Spanish teacher of adolescents. One of the most important things that I have learned from my experiences and my education classes is that a teacher must always be prepared; they need to have multiple backup plans for every situation imaginable. The way I instruct may suddenly need modified to meet the needs of the students. The way I handle behavioral issues will vary depending on each individual. Each choice I make must be well-informed based on many changing variables. For this reason, I believe flexibility is a necessary component of effective teachers who realize teaching is all about learning. As a future Spanish teacher, there is a huge focus on the communication aspect of the language. I agree that this is a very important aspect to learning a foreign language. After all, many people learn another language in order to become communicative for the purposes of traveling or for their job. I believe that it is important to embrace language in all its forms. When we are spoken to, we not only hear the words, but we read a persons body language as well. Sometimes people visualize the words as they make meaning to the sounds they hear. Others, like me, may actually picture the words in their head. This all is done involuntarily in most cases. The reason I mention this is to address the importance of reading these signals as much as hearing them. Language is expressed verbally and visually. For this reason, I believe that I must not only create a safe environment for students to produce oral phrases, but also teach strategies on how to read the language as well. To do this, I will actively engage my students with authentic reading materials suited to their age ranges, and fill my room with many dual language books that can be easily accessed at any time.

Relevance and engagement are two intertwined aspects that also are imperative in my classroom. Every single moment will have a purpose, a plan, and will engage students by making relating the material to their personal lives. Each activity that I choose, homework assignment I assign, and decision I make is important. I will integrate technology into my classes as often as possible, as these are 21st century skills that are necessary for the next generations. These activities can help engage students since technology is very relevant to their lives; furthermore, technology is developing so quickly that there are always fun new creative ways to use it! In addition to the technology aspect, I am a firm believer of cross-content teaching. Spanish very easily allows the promotion of many subjects. What better way for a student to learn a language than to practice language used in their current lives. As I prepare lesson plans, especially for checkpoints B and C, I will be constantly incorporating skills used for content areas such as Geography, History, Math, Science and English Language Arts. Also, as I plan these classes, I would love to have teachers of these subjects collaborate efforts in order to synchronize our lessons together as best as possible. This would aid in prior knowledge for the students as they learn the Spanish equivalents to issues addressed in other subjects and vice versa. This also aids in the national standards 5.1 and 5.2, as students will be more likely to use their Spanish skills outside of the classroom if it is relatable to the subjects they are currently studying. Teaching, as Ive already stated, requires that flexibility because teaching is a non-stop process of learning. New philosophies and strategies are always emerging. Students are always changing. Adding onto the topic of flexibility, I also will foster an environment that demands respect and order, while still engaging students through interactive, fun activities. I believe that

students crave structure, but learn through enjoyment. It is our job to provide that structure but also welcome the energy and excitement that, if done properly, should be an inherent part of the learning process. This, again, is where the flexibility comes to play. Theory suggests that some of the best learning is done when we encounter a bit of disorder. When the mind struggles for comprehension, this is when we learn the most; when we sort out the problem at hand. I will be prepared to engage in these unplanned moments that help us make more meaning in a classroom, and will encourage moments like these. I want to foster an environment where students learn through reflection and using their critical thinking skills. I believe that it is my job to provide the tools for students to become the best global citizen they can possibly be.