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Educational Philosophy

When I was in the eighth grade, I tested into an advanced math class. During my regular
math period, I had to leave the school building and go to the mobile trailer behind the
school for this math class. Whenever I made a mistake, and sometimes when I didn't, the
teacher would tell me that I did not belong in the class because I was a girl. Several
decades later, I still remember both how I felt leaving that class and how much I
appreciated my classmate who would tell me everyday that I should in fact be in that class
and that it was ok that I was a girl. This memory has shaped my life and inexplicably
shaped me as an educator.

From this, I have developed an educational philosophy that most resembles Robert
Fulghum's "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten"

These are the things I learned (in Kindergarten):

I believe the best teachers are


the ones that are not afraid to
learn from
others. Collaboration and
teamwork are essential for
both personal and student
success. Thus, work product 1. Share
should be shared and edited
and made better by all, and everything
constructive criticism should
be celebrated and
appreciated. Our goal as
educators is to build a
supportive, cooperative
I am strict and I have high
classroom. This same
expectations, but I am always
philosophy should apply to work
fair. My students respect me
with colleagues.
because they know that while
2. Play fair I may not always agree with
them, and while I will not
always support their actions, I
am always fair, and always
A teacher holds a powerful willing to hear them out.
position to scar a child. A
teacher's words and actions
should build up a child and help
them grow, not cut them
down. Thirty years after the
incident, I still remember the 3. Don't hit
words of my eighth grade math
teacher. I do not want my
people
words, nor those of other
students in my class, to hurt
someone, thus, I emphasize a
positive classroom culture of
mutual respect and tolerance.
As educators, we must always
4. Put things "walk the walk and talk the
talk". We are role models for
back where the students; they need to see
Honesty is always the golden you found us display the same actions
rule in my classroom. I always that we are demanding from
explain to the students that
them them.
things will always turn out
much better for them if they
are just honest and then I
follow through on
this. Allowing students a
forum in which to realize the
5. CLEAN UP
value of honesty and the value YOUR OWN
in sorting through problem
constructively provides a MESS
strong foundation for
adulthood. Problem solving Throughout my educational
and critically thinking through career, I have been lucky
our everyday "messes" are enough to work with some
crucial skill sets for life both amazing colleagues. In the
inside the classroom and Professional Learning
beyond.
6. Don't take Communities that have been
most successful, the teachers
things that involved were most focused
aren't yours on students success. I
strongly believe in
collaborating on ideas,
sharing work products and
As an educator, I do not working together towards a
believe you need to be common goal.
perfect. In fact, I believe it is
okay to let your students know 7. Say you're
when you make a mistake. I
know I will make mistakes and SORRY when
sometimes say the wrong things
to both the kids and my peers you HURT
and I know I need to say sorry, somebody
and mean it. Perfection is not
required, but honesty and
humility are Vital. Often times I joke that
students are in my presence for
more waking hours than they
are with their parents. In this,
8. Wash your I believe we have a
hands before responsibility to help not only
educate students in the
you eat academic subjects we teach,
but also to provide them with
the social skills in which to
navigate life.

Sometimes the basics are


just the basics, a necessary
foundation for life. I believe
we need to make sure
students have a good grasp 9. Flush
on the basics; they will need
them far beyond the
classroom. Sometimes we all need to be
mothered. I think it is
important to know your
students well enough to be
able to identify when they are
a little "off" and be able to
10. Warm adjust your interactions
cookies and accordingly. This does not
mean that high expectations
cold milk are are forgotten or abandoned,
good for you but maybe just softened
because you saw the look in a
child's eye first thing in the
Teach in a balanced way - morning that told you they
There are students with a were a overtired, or a little ill,
variety of leaning styles in or just not quite themselves.
every classroom. Varying
teaching styles and
11. Live a
strategies and integrating balanced life -
educational games and learn some and drink some
inquiry-based activities not and draw some and paint
some and sing and dance and
only allows me, as an play and work everyday
educator, to reach all some.
students, but also allows
the students to enjoy
While homework helps to
learning.
practice learned skill sets, we
are still educating students
that spend long days in school
12. Take a and need their sleep. Long
and tedious assignment
nap every accomplish nothing when
afternoon students are overworked and
over-tired. Remembering that
Community is an invaluable students are still kids and
asset and one of the first need rest and play time is
things I work to build within important.
my classroom. I value and
praise students helping their
peers and celebrate acts of 13. When you go
kindness. I am realistic: I out into the world,
recognize that not all watch out for
students will be the best of traffic, hold hands,
friends, but I hope to create and stick together
an environment where
students feel comfortable
and free to be themselves not
just with me, but also with
their peers. I believe a teacher has a
responsibility to create a zest
14. Be aware of for learning in children. I want
wonder. Remember my students to become curious,
the little seed in the self-directed, lifelong learners
Styrofoam cup: The roots
go down and the plant goes
that ask why and question
up and nobody really truths and stare with
knows how or why, but we amazement and enjoy beauty
are all like that.
and in general, are aware of
wonder.

Hence, it is our mission as


educators to make sure that 15. Goldfish and hamster
we have provided the next and white mice and even
the little seed in the
generation with the proper
Styrofoam cup -
tools to be lifelong learners
that can kindly and peacefully they all die.
navigate through a global So do we.
society.

16. And then


remember the Dick-
and-Jane books and
As educators, we need to apply
the first word you
our own lessons to ourselves -
learned - the biggest
stop, look, listen and learn.
word of all -

LOOK.

Excepts taken from: Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten