Now that Sarah has started school, and I'm childless for the first time in THIRTEEN YEARS, I'm trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up! ;) Until then, I'm going to take a stab at Substitute Teaching. I finally filled out the form. It took me about 6 attempts. It says you have to complete it within 2 hours, but it's actually more like 30 minutes. So I kept getting timed out and would have to start over again. SO FRUSTRATING! But, it's done. So we'll see what happens now. Part of the application is to answer the question:
PLEASE ARTICULATE (IN 500 WORDS OR LESS) YOUR PHILOSOPHY OF TEACHING. PLEASE INCLUDE THE GOALS YOU WISH TO ACHIEVE IN TEACHING.
And here's what I wrote. Hopefully it's good enough:
Students are with their teacher the majority of the day. Therefore, teachers are a big influence on their life. I know and value the importance of this position and understand that my mood, opinion, understanding of the students, and view of the day can affect each and every student. Each child is an important part of the puzzle and I know from personal experience, as a student and as a mother, that a teacher must not only manage a class, but also respect and care about each child individually.
My brother and I both have Dyslexia, although mine is a pretty mild case. I also have a mild case of Dyscalculia, so Math has always been a struggle for me. Growing up with a learning disability and being around it my whole life, I know that every child learns at a different level. What works for one child, won’t work for another. As a teacher, my job is to find out what WILL work for that child, and implement it into the learning process.
My own personal teaching philosophy would incorporate both Teacher Centered and Child Centered learning. Some children learn better from other students, where they can hear their ideas and work in small groups, while others learn better from listening to the teacher and working by themselves. Because every child DOES learn differently, incorporating both of these styles should help address some of these issues and better meet the needs of all of my students. If neither one of these methods work, then it’s my job to find something that WILL work. My students can’t learn if I can’t figure out how to teach them.
I am the mother of three amazing children. But they are very different, so I have to parent them in different ways. I’ve learned over the years what works best for each child. I believe teaching is pretty much the same. If my own children are so different, then I have to realize that the thirty kids I’ll be teaching will obviously be different as well. It’s my job, as their teacher, to take the time to get to know them, and to discover their strengths and weaknesses, which will then help me learn what teaching methods will work best for them. As a parent I know I make mistakes on a daily basis. But I’d like to think I LEARN from those mistakes and I try to do things differently the next time the situation arises. As a teacher, I know I will also make mistakes, but I have to get up, dust myself off, and try to learn from them. The only TRUE mistake is the one we never learn from.
In the end, being concerned about what’s best for my students is what’s really important. As long as I am learning about them, teaching them, and honestly trying to do what’s best for them, I know I will be an effective teacher.
So, what do you think? Does it sound like I know what I'm talking about?! ;)