School has always been a positive space for me, so in turn, I want to create that space for others; helping students find their ground, find their voice, and find their passion, meanwhile providing them with a place where they actually want to be. I plan to do this through, and with, my educational philosophy, which is based upon three pillars:
- Knowledge and teaching are multi-faceted and holistic
- Teaching is a craft
- Learning creates opportunities for growth
At the foundation of my teaching, lies the belief that knowledge and teaching are multi-faceted and holistic. A multi-faceted and holistic approach to education is understanding that it there may not always be one right answer, or one right way to complete a task or approach a subject. It is the ability to “read the room,” and adapt to the learning styles and needs of each student. It sometimes means going out of our own comfort zones to better understand where students are coming from. It is the belief that everyone has a story to tell, and everyone knows something that the next person may not know; that we can all learn from, and with, each other. It is empathy and compassion, and understanding that our histories, biographies, and geographies have a central role in shaping who we are as students, teachers, parents, and friends.
Pillar #2 is the belief that teaching is a craft; it is not something that can be mastered over night, nor is it something that should be mastered over night. It is an ongoing journey that demands respect, patience and consistency. It is learning lessons through trial and error, pushing boundaries, and challenging ourselves and our students. It is meta-cognition, or taking responsibility and ownership of our thoughts and actions. It is taking and giving feedback wherever possible – reflecting on our own practices, beliefs, triumphs, mistakes, and biases etc., understanding what works well or what we need to improve upon, and then taking action to improve. Teaching as a craft means that we aren’t afraid of the hard work; it takes responsibility and leadership to teach not only subjects and content, but to teach individual students. As teachers, we are helping students evolve as individuals, as learners, as citizens, and ultimately, as people.
Pillar #3 is the belief that learning creates opportunities for growth – as both a teacher, and a learner. No matter what we are doing, we are learning; whether it is a language, a skill, social cue, or social construct, we are learning all the time. The ability to learn is essential to a changing and growing society, and in an educational setting, allows us the ability to lead by example through our own inquiries and experiences. Having a growth mindset means that personal and professional development are continuous; it means that there is always more to learn. Learning creates opportunities for growth, and it also gives us a platform to set goals, and conquer them – inspiring, learning, and growing.