Three key things have stood out to me during my journey to becoming a teacher.
Firstly, education is everywhere, everywhere I go I am constantly thinking
'How could I use this in the classroom?'.
This means that Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC) is a valuable part of
teaching and learning.
Secondly, the key to learning is student engagement, without that, I have nothing. Getting to know the learner, what makes them tick, and adapting my teaching to suit them is of great importance. Making learning fun, hands on and practical.
Thirdly, education is not just about classwork. Education means being part of a learning community, and contributing to that community, participating and relating to others. Skills that will help us succeed as 21st Century citizens.
This is a summary of my key learning this year, and what guides my teaching philosophy.
Being a fantastic classroom teacher is one thing. But being a fantastic teacher means more than that to me. It means stepping outside the confines of the timetabled classes and engaging with students and whanau in a range of settings. As I discussed, learning doesn't stop outside the classroom walls, so why should our time and teaching?
Being a part of the wider school community enables me to be a more effective role model to the young people in my class, and enables them more modelling opportunities and encouragement to participate in school life, make new friends and develop new skills.
Potential, motivation and growth are key factors for student. All students have unlimited potential, we, as teachers need to motivate them, to grow and strive to reach their goals.
I believe that students learn best by, doing, actualization, working things out for themselves, hands-on scaffolded activities; repetition, repeat exposure to ideas in multiple contexts; and discussion, summarizing and synthesizing what they have learned through peer discussion. As Sir Ken Robinson proclaimed,
“Human resources are like natural resources; they're often buried deep. You have to go looking for them, they're not just lying around on the surface. You have to create the circumstances where they show themselves.”
I intend to create such learning experiences, where every student feels valued and their talents are able to shine. To be successful in doing so I intend to create an inclusive classroom environment where students feel safe. Safe to take risks, and where being ‘wrong’ is not discriminated, it is part of learning, and where innovation can happen.
I believe in ako and as kaiako (teacher), my practices need to be informed by my ākonga (students). Assessment for learning and a reflective practice are what guide my ability to provide relevant learning experiences. I intend to create an inclusive learning community where all members are empowered to contribute.