As I begin to contemplate my educational philosophy, I have arrived at the decision that there are 3 major components to my personal beliefs. For this reason, I have chosen a triangle to represent my plan. Although I believe that my philosophy or ideas may change over the course of my career, I do feel that these 3 principles are the bedrock of my belief system.
The first component I would like to address is intelligence. As an educator I believe that it is extremely important to have a very strong head knowledge of what you are teaching. It is through understanding that we are able to properly transfer knowledge into our students. Head knowledge is a very important part of my plan. I must study and keep abreast of new exciting technology and programs offered. It is essential that we have a higher education before we can begin to educate.
The second component of my plan is my hands. I believe that I possess power in my hands through teaching. I am offering my knowledge to my students and handing them keys to a successful future. I realize that I cannot force my passion onto students; therefore I must encourage and make their learning fun. Hands on activities are a wonderful way to do that. I know that I must model good habits, in order to show my students the right path to take. All students will not come from a loving home, and many may be headed down a path of destruction. It will be my job to not only educate them, but to change their course. This will require dedication, persistence, knowledge and compassion.
The word compassion brings me to my last principle of education. My heart must become involved. I have seen over the course of my career as a paraprofessional many students who come to school, hungry, tired, dirty and unloved. This is where my heart is. I want to be the person who will never judge a student by how they look or what they’ve done. I want my doorway to be a doorway of love and excitement for learning. Early in my education at Reinhardt, I was introduced to a short book entitled “If she only knew” by Jeff Gray & Heather Thomas. This book looks through a child’s eyes at their own perspective of his teacher. Sadly the teacher has not taken the time to get to know the student’s personal situation. This book makes a very bold statement about the trials of students outside of our classroom. For me, reading this book was a life-changing moment. I never want to be the teacher that never knew. I vow to know!
Lastly I would like to say, that although I am entering this fabulous profession at the age of 43, I am extremely motivated to make a difference. For many years, I have felt compassion for students who need help. How can we expect them to succeed when they carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. I want to lighten their burden, offer them a safe haven, and hand them the keys to a successful future. I want to break the circle.