Respect for self and others, engaging lessons and the love of learning are the crux of my educational philosophy. I work to develop a class room dynamic where all students respect and nurture their strengths and are aware that any perceived weaknesses are merely opportunities for growth. As an educator, I believe it is my duty to develop engaging lessons, to communicate and model effectively. I call my “classroom rules” classroom decorum; this structure is simply the conduct expected in class. Decorum demonstrates how responsibility, accountability and expectations are in place to keep students safe, prepared, and confident; while aware of their own individual abilitiy to succeed in the world.
The foundation of a successful classroom is based upon the development of trust between teacher and students which comes from creating an environment where each student is respectful to everyone. Classroom management is not merely being prepared to deliver an engaging lesson but it requires a teacher who values each voice and models an environment where students feel free to share their views without judgment.
As an educator I am aware that I am a role model for my students. Character is built over time by the people with whom we spend most of our time. In a classroom, I believe strong character is built by having many examples who show what is right, that it is not done for reward or recognition but simply because it is the right way to be. Sharing is one value necessary for personal growth. It is part of teamwork, which is a trait I bring to colleagues; and also part of student group work and discussion.
A class becomes a family. During the day when students are away from home it is important to know they can rely upon their teacher and fellow students. I believe in classmates helping one another. This is a way to show that leadership and service to others begins right where you are. They can then expand upon that experience by bringing it out into the community. During any lesson there are teachable moments, calling attention to how our knowledge and talents can help the larger society. One Middle school student, who was an introvert, credits me and my lessons, for giving him the confidence to be a public speaker. He now represents the views of his high school peers as student council President and recently called upon me to mentor him as he developed a strategy to run for State Lieutenant Governor of Student Council.
I believe strongly that if I am not authentic in the representation of my personality, beliefs and passions I cannot be an effective educator. I have found that because I love language so intensely my own excitement is contagious to students. I am creative, curious and confident and forever a student who is learning. It is my goal to help each student succeed for a lifetime by creating in them a firm belief in their capabilities and a true love of learning. Once I have accomplished that I have succeeded.