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Inquiry Project Part 2:Thoughts on Teaching Philosophy

I thought the most important thing to do in order to understand what a teaching philosophy is and how it effects my students, was to ask educators. I made a Google docs and tweeted out the link and asked educators to contribute. I wanted to share some of my interesting findings with you all as part 2 of my project. Enjoy!

1. What do you define as a teaching philosophy?

  • A position or way of thinking in regard to your style and beliefs. Teachers can center their beliefs around students, curricula, standards, etc.  Your own personal experiences and biases affect the way you see and interact with the world.  My own philosophy centers around the notion that everyone has value and that as teachers we must help children find a way to succeed in their own way in the world.  We need to use our time with children to help them learn and grow in any way we can, to make our world the best place possible. @csgamble
  • An ever-changing and growing set of practices around teaching and learning that shifts with experience, learning opportunities, and networking with other teachers. Students have as much influence over my teaching philosophy as anyone or anything else! @mrs_bn

2. How have you seen personal beliefs in one’s teaching philosophy? Has this been good or bad?

  • I don’t think personal beliefs are necessarily a negative influence on teaching philosophy, as long as teachers are willing to look at other points of view, integrate new understandings, and keep up with current educational research. In fact, I think it is exceedingly difficult to completely divorce your own personal beliefs from your teaching philosophy. If we could all do that, we would lose something I think. Variety? Different perspectives? @mrs_bn

3. How has your teaching philosophy effected your classroom atmosphere?

  • My philosophy reflects my personality, so my classroom is a very light hearted and fun atmosphere….though still under control.  I think that is the number one factor in creating a comfortable class climate/community…merely putting your personality in the classroom will make your life easier. @rieldeal77
  • My teaching philosophy is a work in progress. But it has always moved in the same direction; my desire to be effective, and my desire to make good connections with my students.  @jagill
  • The societal norms that we set up in our classrooms are a reflection of our personal culture and biases.  You need to be aware that the lenses through which you see the world are not the same as everyone else and that although you may be the sage on the stage you are not always right or right for everyone.@csgamble
  • Much of my teaching philosophy falls within an inquiry model, and a 21st century perspective on learning. That has huge implications for how I approach a teaching and learning relationship, because the emphasis falls on process as opposed to product, helping students develop a passion for learning and a desire to answer their own questions, and skills / values over informational outcomes. The atmosphere in my classroom (which is a library this year), is charged with emotion: sometimes excitement, sometimes curiosity, sometimes frustration when things don’t go quite right. But there is almost always a sense of purpose and student engagement as students work through these emotions and the process of taking ownership over their learning. @mrs_bn

4. Any other comments or concerns you have discussing teaching philosophies and how it effects student’s
learning.

  • I think one of the best things a teacher can do is discuss what they feel are their teaching philosophies with a peer, or a team of peers.  It helps to solidify their ideas, their values, and gives a chance to ask their peers if what they are describing is what their peers see in practice.  Takes guts.  As a facilitator of technology learning teams using the Action Research model of teacher pro-d, I think that many teachers go into our Learning Team sessions thinking the important part of the session will be learning new skills with technology. But it is the discussions between peers focusing on “How does using technology ‘X’ improve student learning, and how will we know if it worked” that prove to be the most valuable. @jagill
  • I have three goals. An educator my goal is to help shape future citizens by encouraging them to be who they are and encouraging them to be contributing members of society. As a chemistry teacher my goal would be to teach them the curriculum so that they have a deep understanding of the subject in a way that they can then apply it, because memorizing isn’t learning, when they know it, they can apply it. My personal goal is to show them that I am passionate about two things, people and chemistry. I would hope that they would see my passion and develop their own passions. I want them to do what they love and learn to love what they do. @randiklassen
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