I Believe in the Potential of Children
“Anybody, any kid can learn if he or she has the desire to do it… The teacher plays an important role in education—we all remember the first teacher who really touched our lives, or gave us some encouragement, or at least appreciated our best. The teacher gives us the desire to learn, the desire to be Somebody…The teacher has to have the energy of the hottest volcano, the memory of an elephant, and the diplomacy of an ambassador…Really, a teacher has to possess love and knowledge and then has to use this combined passion to be able to accomplish something.” --Bob Alante, teacher
Concerning the nature of students, I agree with the Sophist point of view—although all children are not born with the same level of intelligence, all children have the capacity to learn. I do not think that children are born entirely good or entirely bad. A child is influenced by his environment, and models his behavior to match ...view middle of the document...
I want my students to realize that they are all different, and understand that diversity is a good thing. I believe that there are different types of intelligence, and creativity is just as important as logic.
Teachers’ behavior should reflect values such as tolerance, compassion, forgiveness, and open-mindedness. Effective communication skills are needed to encourage students to share their concerns. Teachers should not try to persuade students with their personal points of view, nor should they shy away from showing students that they have strong beliefs. An ideal classroom environment is one that allows students to feel free to express individual beliefs. I will try to exemplify these ethics by using a variety of teaching methods, alternating between visual, kinesthetic and audio instructional approaches in an attempt to reach all students.
Concerning discipline, I will use the principle of least intervention. Research shows the time spent disciplining students is negatively related to achievement (Sadker textbook, 56). Flexibility is an important aspect of discipline. Constantly taking away privileges and threatening punishment can cause students to feel intimidated and victimized.
I consider my philosophy of education to be eclectic. I agree with the Progressivist idea that people learn best from what they consider most relevant to their lives. In addition to reading textbooks, students learn by doing. I agree with Rousseau that memorization without understanding is useless. I also embrace the Essentialist ideas of emphasizing core subjects. Reading is one of the most valuable skills a person can ever learn. It gives students a strong foundation on which to build other areas of academics. I also believe that math and science are very important, as well as history. Learning from past mistakes is the best way to prevent future ones.
One of the things I remember most about my elementary school days is frequently being bored in class. Teachers often underestimate the abilities of their students. I hope to be a teacher who challenges her students and encourages them to push the edge of the envelope. The one thing a child may need to be successful is to have somebody to believe in him. I want to be that somebody.