Philosophy

 

My main mission as an educator is to create authentic learning communities, where students are empowered to learn. School should not be “done” to students; it should be “done” with them. Students need to take ownership of their education. I want to invite my students into the process of  setting the standards for their learning environment, the material they learn, the learning process, and their assessment. Of course, depending on the age or level of the students, I will need to set up some structure for how these decisions should be made –  and there will always be some non-negotiables.  

On the whole, students should have a voice. I believe this is how life-long learners are born. In creating the learning environment, I want to work with my students to set clear expectations of how we should treat one another, how we should treat the physical rooms and materials used to facilitate the learning, and how to create the process which we would take when someone is not living up to those set guidelines. This way the expectations are clear, they make sense to the students, and they facilitate increased accountability among them.

The material we explore needs to be relevant and engaging. Allowing students to give their input into the various subjects and units of study,  leads to engagement. I strive for personalized learning as much as possible. We are living in a time where personalized learning has never been more attainable. Using the technologies that are right at our fingertips can take us to places we have never been before. Of course we know that our students will learn in different ways; this is why differentiating the instruction and providing options for ways to explore the material is vital. I distance myself from the “teacher knows everything; students know nothing” idea, as I move away from the teacher-centered classroom. In the learning community I strive to be a part of, the teacher is there to lead and facilitate the learning. This leads to full engagement, which then leads to authentic learning, which ultimately leads to empowerment.

I want my students to be empowered to learn, to do anything they set their minds to, and to have the confidence and critical thinking skills to speak up and be heard in the world around them.

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