My Philosophy of Education
TEACHER ROLES: I believe that the teacher of elementary students has many roles. I will sometimes be a facilitator-guide, sometimes a supportive, nurturing mother-like figure, and sometimes a sage who imparts knowledge. I will encourage my students to become more self-aware and self-managing. I believe that elementary school teachers must focus significant classroom time on the acquisition of social and community skills such as mutual respect, cooperation, friendship-building skills, and kindness. INTELLECTUAL DEVELOPMENT: In order to be prepared for our rapidly changing, global society, children must begin early to learn how to think critically and to question. I will plan a curriculum which demands my students to analyze and to judge, especially in the disciplines of writing, social studies, and science. MOTIVATION: I believe that teaching and learning are creative and very social. In order for classroom learning to take place at all, there must exist in the community a sense of order and rules. In order for order to exist, students must learn to become self-managers. I will need to convince my students that it is in their best interest to behave appropriately. I will need to convince them that good things will immediately happen to them if they make good behavior choices. In addition to motivation toward good behavior, I will often need to help motivate my students in their pursuit of learning. Providing motivation and persuasion are critical and highly gratifying parts of teaching. Even when my students come to school rested, well fed, and cared for by their parents, they may not necessarily come to school "ready to learn." Therefore, I will often have to motivate them, drawing on Skinner's theories of behaviorism and operant conditioning. Young children crave rewards and affirmation from their teachers. I must first establish a rapport with them and let them know that I respect them as individuals with unique needs and...
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