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Teaching Philosophy

Growth Through Guiding

By SchmalzPublished 2 years ago 4 min read
Teaching Philosophy
Photo by Eugenia Ai on Unsplash

I believe the purpose of education is to expand our understanding of the world through investigation of many points of view on topics that are unknown in order to help us better understand what the world is like because then the world becomes easier to map. Education should expose different areas of life, content, and skills to aid in how the individuals within the class develop their approach to the world. Because no tool is more important than being able to help student’s build a map for their life and what kind of person they want to be in it. Therefore, education should assist students articulate their values and build upon their models of the world in order to best navigate the world for themselves.

Ultimately education should be built upon supporting students in self actualization and cognitive processing. This is done through providing students material that is relatable to their environment but not totally understood, and offers students choice to explore topics on their own in order to take ownership of their learning. Then the teacher serves as a guide for students to develop their higher level thinking skills to solve problems through their model of the world which helps students gain clarity of thought in a growing complex world. Through this dynamic approach students should gain a love of learning, build upon their moral models, develop clearer thinking, and problem solving capabilities.

I teach in order to be a guide to students on their paths in life, to discover their strengths in their values by guiding them to realizing what these are and giving them the tools they need through strong relationships that allow for their growth as students and myself as a teacher. I want my students to be able to build a strong worldview and develop their skills to help them achieve their goals for life and build meaning. I want students to gain an intrinsic love for learning that will help guide them throughout their life because there is always that which we do not know that can be helpful to us. I teach because I still wish to learn.

My role as an educator is to serve my students as a guide and not the sole arbitrary holder of knowledge as there’s always that which I do not know. It is my responsibility to my students to meet them where they’re at: to give them the content to be explored through choice that is yet to be known and then guide them through processing new content. To be something almost akin to a guide requires a strong classroom community paired with strong relationships with each of my students. I will greet all of my students at the door, repeating their names to them in order to drive their name into my memory. There will be dedicated class time to allow students to share what their experiences outside of the classroom are because the classroom is only one specific place within the multiple complex systems that students inhabit. This will allow me to drive upon what will become a shared experience to encourage learning in the classroom. By relating classroom material to the impact of students daily life. I will encourage students' voices, challenge their arguments, and continuously confer with them in order to build the trust that lies at the basis of learning.

Students learn in diverse ways that relate to what their values and beliefs are because this is what shapes how we build meaning out of the world. Therefore, different scaffolds need to be in place within the classroom that allows students to take on the role of an explorer of their educational experience in order to build agency and ownership over their education. I believe that through strong classroom rituals that encourage strong relationships with my students will create an environment in which they and I can learn. Such as including time during daily instruction for socio-emotional development that will build strong relationships with my students, paired with conferring that shows students an invested interest in their development. Therefore, students learn best from educators that they respect.

I think instruction that informs students through various forms such as art, music, primary/secondary sources of multiple points of view will help guide students in building their map of the world because it will place them into a place between their knowledge and the unknown. This recognizes the diverse ways in which students can learn from material and that learning can take place among many places. As well as ensuring that differentiation is provided to students who need it either through data analysis, IEPS, 504s, and ELLS through sentence stems, visuals, graphic organizers, read alouds, etc.

My beliefs around teaching and learning is that students need to see how what they’re learning applies to them as useful information that will help them beyond the classroom. Students should recognize the skills that they’re building will not only help them within the classroom but beyond into the world we’re preparing them for. This is most important in guiding students to learn to be learners, the power of being able to read, speak, think, and write well as a means to helping them achieve what they want out of life. As a teacher this means creating an environment in which students can do so through our lesson planning that offers choice, piques students interest, ensures understanding over moving through content, and building productive relationships with students. To do so means to take on a stance of humility, meaning that students may have something to teach us as well, to be a stable presence for them, and patience that will allow learning to occur.


About the Creator


Welcome to my page! I am a writer whose interests are vast and believes in the art of the word. In my writing you will find Non-Fiction, Fiction, and poetry in pursuit of the value of language.

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