Teaching Philosophy

firefox Philosophy of Teaching
Learning is of course, the main purpose of education. It is the goal of every student and the task of every teacher to increase knowledge and understanding in the classroom. I believe that the concept of learning should be focused around five main areas.
* Independent thought is essential to the development of each student. To be able to form constructive independent ideas and to produce self-sufficient learners can be achieved through constructive teaching methods. I strive to use teaching techniques that will empower all learners to be self-sufficient.
* Group interaction is also an important part of learning. Being able to share ideas, validate them with the ideas of fellow students are important processes in social and mental development.
* The teacher should be able and prepared to lead students in the direction they should go to reach correct conclusions and answers, without always providing the answers.
* Stressing the use of learned ideas and processes in new situations is essential. By using information, students should be able to apply what they have learned to new or life learning situations. Such a transfer of knowledge is what really determines what has been learned.
* Laboratory experience is important to the education of chemistry students. Laboratory experiments that illustrate basic chemical principles, which are still of interest and relevance to the student’s collective worldly experience.

I believe the teacher should integrate enabling technologies in a way that will foster learning, encourage self-sufficiency, and introduce skills that will be needed throughout the learners’ educational journey.

In order to aid students attain their desired learning goals; the teacher must have a clear set of objectives. I believe that the teacher should serve a number of purposes;
1. The teacher act as a guide, pointing students in the direction they should go to find answers and solve problems by providing them with the essential information they need to do so.
2. The teacher should act as an advisor or facilitator. Students at this level need input and more assistance in deciding on courses to best reach their personal academic and career goals.
3. The teacher acts as a mentor and buddy to the student, the student can begin to make professional contacts, and have an academic source to call upon when stresses of classes begin to be overwhelming.
4. Teachers need to make education as enjoyable and beneficial as possible to all students.

The teacher should also set specific goals for students. Mastery of information has always been the goal for teachers, and should continue to be one of the essentials. In addition, realistic long term goals for students should be set allowing students to worktoward goals over time. As part of this, intellectual development of each student should continue over time, allowing students to use what they are learning in life. It is also the hope of all teachers that students will develop an interest in the subject area being taught. Although it does not occur in all cases, students should at the very least develop an appreciation for the subject and the material being taught in the classroom.

This leads to an expected question; how does one implement his/her philosophy? No single teacher will ever be able to implement all of his/her personal educational philosophy at one time. By constantly creating ideas for day-to-day use, the teacher can begin to work towards his/her philosophical goals. Over time, these can become long-term goals, allowing the teacher to develop the teaching styles and methods that work best for him/her. Finally, by continually asking, “How do I conduct my classes?” the teacher can examine how close or far he/she is staying on course to their educational goals.

As with all stakeholders in education, student or teacher, a personal growth plan should always be included. One never develops socially, intellectually, or academically, without consistently, learning new things and striving to further oneself. This can include classes as a part of a continuing education program, receiving regular input from students and consistently attempting to improve the teacher’s teaching style, or trying new ideas or strategies on regular basis.

Each teacher needs to have a personal philosophy of teaching to guide his/her actions and to help the teacher focus on having successful students. My teaching philosophy is to guide me through my teaching career. It is by no means all-encompassing, but it provides a basis for what I feel about education, and how I want my students to feel when they leave my classroom.