Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world. ~Nelson Mandella
I believe the purpose of education is to:
- Give every student equal learning opportunities
- Equip students to communicate with other people peacefully
- Equip students to contribute to society
- Equip students to work toward reaching their goals
- Help students understand and value themselves and people around them
- Help students reach their full potential as unique citizens
- Help students develop a love and appreciation for learning
- Help students develop critical thinking skills
- Help students explore their interests and strengths while exposing them to new experiences
- Help students grow in their weaknesses and embrace their strengths
- Help students become problem solvers
As a teacher, my primary job is not to instruct, but to facilitate meaningful discussions and explorations. I create a student-centered classroom so students take ownership of their education. Every day, I work to challenge students to dig deeper with “how” and “why” questions, as inspired by Common Core, and avoid saying anything my students can say for themselves. The students know when I clap once and say, “Teach!” it is time to turn to a partner and teach the concept we’ve discussed as a class.
I believe in using a variety of teaching strategies to engage more parts of students’ brains and cultivate learning through the multiple intelligences. This means we sing, chant, gesture, act, teach one another, explore, discuss, create, engineer, and more, and have as much fun as possible while doing it!
I believe that children learn best when they feel safe, are encouraged, have positive examples to follow, have opportunities to express themselves, and have high but reasonable expectations held for them. The learning experiences I create for my students must be engaging and cross-curricular and allow students to take ownership of their own learning. I believe every child is unique and requires individualized, differentiated instruction.
As an elementary educator, it’s important that I possess energy, compassion, enthusiasm, strong communication skills, a respectful and positive attitude towards all children, families, administrators, and co-workers, the ability to both challenge and encourage students, and a commitment to constantly grow and improve as an educator. I must be comfortable working with diverse students and be willing to adapt in order to best meet their unique needs. I work to treat my students with the care and compassion with which I would want my own children to be treated. I believe no decision should be made without first asking, “What is best for my students?”