My teaching philosophy centers on the idea that a teacher’s most important gift to students and a student’s most important gift to teachers is the intangible gift of knowledge. That knowledge can never be spread too thin because it can be applied and related to so many facets of life. Helping people help themselves works in so many ways. Students gain not only job and life skills but also, if I’m achieving my personal goals as a teacher, increased self-esteem, self-worth, motivation, passion and independent thinking skills.
Knowledge is gained not on a monumental but rather a modest scale. I know too that I should not set my sights too high. A teacher must set goals within the student’s reach and raise knowledge a step at a time while being sensitive to various learning styles. If I can increase the knowledge of life skills or reading ability of even a small percentage of my students by a mere level or two, my students and I both will have succeeded.
As I was thinking of what to write here, I started thumbing through old boxes of stuff from years gone by to get ideas, I found this teaching philosophy that I wrote almost 15 years ago during my training for the Peace Corps where I served as a secondary school literacy teacher for bi-dialectal students. It was hand-written on a musty smelling old piece of paper yellowed by two years of the suffocating heat of the dry seasons and immeasurably humid damp rainy seasons. Termites had left holes along the upper edge as they ravaged through the entire stack of papers that it was bundled with. Despite its ragged appearance, it remains a testament of my passion to share my knowledge with others and learn from them. A relic of my past, yes, but still a part of who I am and what I believe today.
I carry this passion with me everyday as teach and learn from my students here at Jackson Elementary School.