Monday, September 1, 2008

Good luck to my fellow SMACers on their first day of teaching! What is your educational philosophy from the outset?

So, I found this when I was looking through other edubloggers' sites this summer, and was interested in its implications for the use of technology in the classroom. Also, in our Foundations class we have been discussing educational philosophy, and am very curious to know about my colleagues' educational philosophies and how they might be stated in short form like this one. However, I think that this statement would be better balanced if it included a positive component (e.g. "IF ... then I will be a fantastic teacher!"), as well. So I am challenging my classmates to respond with a little summary of their feelings on teaching in their first week, with regards to technology and/or to their educational philosophy in general. :)


Lisa said...

My philosophy thus far is that everything you think that you're going to do as a teacher becomes so much harder when you actually have to do it!!! I find myself saying things like, I'm going to be funny and keep the students engaged... and then when I actually get up and try to teach, all of these lofty expectations fall apart and I'm left standing there with nothing interesting to say. Will need to work on this...

Laura said...

Well, at the beginning of school last week I thought I had more of a teacher-centered philosophy, but after this week, I now think the total opposite. All week I watched my mentor and other teachers talk at the students, even while most of them nodded off and looked stricken with boredom. I hope that when I'm a teacher, that my classroom is a place of intellectual that I mean a place where students ask big questions and struggle with answers. I also want to incorporate a lot of technology to keep students engaged--I also think this is a good way for students to feel a sense of ownership over the material they learn.

Jeff Stanzler said...

What a great conversation you've started here, Chloe.
These are some profound challenges that certainly give me a "check yourself" moment or three. Lots to think about.
Lisa, you're so far ahead of the game if you're already observing yourself contrasting yourself with your mentor, and then realizing that so many of the crucial "little things" take time to develop. This indicates a willingness, and an ability to self-examine. Believe're ahead of the game on this.
Laura, your student teaching experience is already causing you to do some thinking about who you are (or who you aspire to be) as a teacher. That's wonderful. You're smart and conscientious, so you have key pieces in place...the work you most need to do (I would submit, anyway) is exactly what you seem to be doing...figuring out who Laura is as a teacher. Thinking about "self as teacher" can easily fall into cant, or empty slogans unless we're willing to actively engage with the matter. Sounds like you're doing it. Figuring out HOW, in a way that meshes with your personality and what you learn about your students, is a worthy research project for this student teaching year and beyond.

linguaphile said...

great question!

If I-

-make language meaningful
-teach to students' interests
-show students that I care about their success
-keep high expectations
-try new methods and experiments when appropriate... and flop sometimes
-remember that I'm teaching a foreign language and resist the idea that using English in the classroom is more efficient...
-incorporate authentic, current materials in the classroom from native speakers
-get lots of experience!

then I hope that according to at least some students, I will be a good teacher.

Chloe Root said...

Ooh, good ones, Allison!

Laura and Lisa, I definitely feel what you're saying. I am having a difficult time putting into practice the great notions I have about educational philosophy when it's all I can do to get over my nervousness in front of the class! I'm sure that, as Jeff said, if we remain open minded and reflective that our teaching skills will develop with time, but right now I feel like I'm at the bottom of a very steep learning curve!