Philosophy of Teaching

“Kids will do well if they can—not if they want to, but if they can.”
-Dr. Jean Clinton

To state my philosophy of teaching is to take a step back and examine myself: at my core, what do I believe about students and learning? I believe that all students can learn. I believe that all students have unique contributions to make to their classroom, community, and world. And I believe that for those students to able to learn and make those contributions they need an environment that allows them to discover that they are capable of learning.

There is so much that goes into creating an environment that fosters student growth. Rather than follow a prescriptive set of policies and designs, it is necessary to acknowledge that every student, and every group of students is unique and will bring their unique perspectives and backgrounds into the classroom with them, shaping the environment as they respond to the course material. Therefore, every new experience with students is one in which the teacher must discover who the students are and what they are bringing with them. In other words, the teacher must enter into a relationship with the students and create the environment that allows everyone the opportunity to share and discover themselves and each other. This is essentially what makes an inclusive classroom what it is—a place where everyone is included, is valued, and is able to contribute. 

For ELLs this philosophy focuses very specifically on the acknowledgement of their educational journey up to the point where they entered the English-speaking environment. What have they learned before coming here? How much of their experience was in a formal educational atmosphere? What have their other life experiences taught them? These are just the beginning questions that will serve to guide the ELLs and me as we work together to help them learn English, and succeed in this new experience they are having. 

My task as a teacher is to bring together all that I have learned—and will learn—about teaching and about how students learn and work to foster the environment that makes this possible. I can never anticipate every student or every challenge, but by working with the goal of meeting all learners where they are and building from there, I should be able to help keep students on their educational path for success.


Vision for ELLs

Professional Growth and What I’ve Learned