My educational philosophy starts with the understanding that students are human beings first, and learners second. Any pedagogy that does not recognize this fact is missing key elements.
Learners are people with lives embedded in families, communities, friendships, and situations as complex as our own are. In order to respect our learners, we must remember that they are not just our learners, but many other things as well.
School supports the individuation, socialization, and acculturation of the child. Schools and teachers vary in the emphasis and value that they place on each of these processes. My philosophy places individuation first, and builds the other two processes on a supported individual.
My priorities in the classroom are:
-to establish a safe space for students physically, intellectually, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. This creates an environment that allows students to take risks in their learning.
-to establish respectful relationships between myself and the students, and to foster respectful relationships between students.
-to offer learning experiences and challenges that are easy to begin, engaging, and allow for a range of end points (low threshold/high ceiling).
-to observe and interact with students as they learn.
-to give students the means to record and show their learning and abilities.
-to give students feedback and offer ways for students to understand their own learning.
-to track displays of learning in its various forms.
-to assess and record student learning.
-to report on student learning in a clear and meaningful way to the students, their parents, the school, and the students’ future teachers.