Friday, September 18, 2009

Teaching Philosophy

My Teaching Philosophy
For me, Enthusiasm, Flexibility and Change, have come to be the cornerstones of my teaching philosophy. Not sure I have them all down pat yet, but as with most things it’s an evolving process.

I believe that one’s philosophy, whether it be for teaching - or for life, has to involve a good portion of these essential elements. Especially in today’s world it is even more evident that the “essentials” of the information we learn today, may not be the “correct” information of tomorrow. Therefore an educator has to be flexible and open to changes and adjust their curriculum and presentation accordingly. Guess that’s why I’m taking this class!

Of course this is coming from someone who’s lived and worked in over 40 locations so far, and I’m still eager to add to that number. I love finding out how and why people learn and do things the way they do!

I’ve had the great delight in teaching the gamut of students from Kindergarten, thru to college students and adults and while they may have a number of learning traits in common quite often it is their differences that stand out and to which I have tried to respond to as a teacher or facilitator.

I remember reading somewhere, that someone said that education would one day evolve into more of being able to find the WHERE of the information, rather than the actual accumulation of the information. That always intrigued me. With today’s ever changing technology advances it looks like we are headed there and yet … helping the student to learn the skills to then “deal with “ the information once they find it. That’s where we come in!

Therefore, I also enjoy the challenge of fostering the critical thinking skills needed to use the information presented to the student while helping the student find that “one thing” that is ultimately important to them, that helps the “light bulb” moment happen. The finding process, the readjusting of what I do and how I do it for each class, especially when the social dynamics of the classes change, is learning process for me also.

Having a student actually “enjoy” the learning process I think is for most of us one of the most satisfying aspects of teaching. Quite often for them to do this, the teacher has to somehow show their own enthusiasm for the subject while also providing the students with the tools they will need to learn more on their own when a teacher isn’t around. I wish I had found Karl Menninger’s quote years ago – he said, “What the teacher is, is more important that what he
teaches.” I think I would have been less rigid in my early days.

1 comment:

  1. There sure is a lot of information to "deal with" for students! They have access to soooooo much more information so much faster than I ever did that sometimes I actually feel a little sorry for them. There is so much out there that it's hard to filter.