Posted by: meredithbuchanan | March 15, 2010

My Aproach to Teaching

I am not interested in superficial learning; I am set on deep understanding. All learners should be engaged and all material should be relevant. I want to move away from learning as “memorization of facts” towards a type of learning that is the “internalization of concepts and ideas.” This is the pathway towards deep understanding. Children need to learn in a safe, active and joyful environment. To create this, I as a teacher must set clear and consistent expectations for classroom behavior. There is a time and place in each classroom where loud and boisterous learning should be encouraged, there should also be time set aside for silent, independent work. It is essential that all students learn to function well in both settings.

I believe differentiated instruction is an essential part of a successful classroom. I want to teach all material in a way that is exciting and makes sense to my learners; I also want them to feel good about their own learning. We need to stimulate all of the different intelligences in order to meet all students in a meaningful way and to help create well-rounded individuals. Rich language experiences should and can be infused in all subject areas.

I want to encourage creativity in my students. I am fascinated by something Sir Ken Robinson said. “We don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it. Rather, we get educated out of it.” As we grow older we become afraid of taking risks, and making mistakes because mistakes are reprehensible. There is an element of risk involved in the creation of something new. If we continue to stigmatize mistakes as the worst thing one can make, we educate our children out of creativity. I want my students to flourish as both deep learners and rich creators; where their learning contributes to their creating and their creating contributes to their learning.

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