My primary goal as an educator is to instil a life-long love of learning. I aspire to engage students in rich and meaningful learning that will provide them with the tools they need to be successful in the classroom and beyond. It is also my goal as an educator to help all students develop their passions and succeed to their fullest potential.

Observations with an Eye Loupe.

Here I am learning how to sketch visual observations with an eye loupe. Being a life-long learner is integral to my approach to teaching.

As an educator, one of my jobs is to guide students in the acquisition of knowledge. I help students achieve this goal by showing them how to access and assess information. As a teacher, I provide students with the tools and resources they need to: investigate, draw connections, synthesize, and think critically to construct their own knowledge. I am also responsible for creating an environment that is conducive to learning and encouraging ongoing meta-cognition by asking students to continually reflect on their learning journey.

As a teacher, I acknowledge the importance of differentiated instruction to ensure that every child is able to succeed in my classroom. To achieve this, I teach through a variety of methods and strive to find balance between direct instruction, experiential learning, cooperative learning, and independent study. I also aim to teach to the various modalities of my students by planning lessons that appeal to visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners. By ensuring that every child feels their environment meets their learning needs, we as teachers help to engage and motivate each of our students as individuals.

math card games_integer snap

Students playing integer snap to reinforce their mathematical understanding of positive and negative numbers through a hands-on, kinesthetic activity.

When I picture my future classroom, I envision a space where all students are actively engaged in their education and work together as a learning community. This learning community is a safe, positive, nurturing, and inclusive space where all students have a voice, feel appreciated, and work cooperatively with one another.

Achieving a true community of learners takes time, but a crucial preliminary step is to build personal connections with each and every student. A key part of my teaching philosophy is that the students should always be at the heart of everything I do in the classroom. I believe that in order to make informed decisions about how I approach learning, I need to have a solid idea of who the learners in my classroom are. Therefore, building strong relationships with students and among students is crucial for me as a teacher.

My approach to teaching also incorporates the tenets and principles of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL). I firmly believe that, in order for students to reach their fullest potential, they first must first feel safe and respected within their learning environment. In order to achieve this, I believe that teachers must work with students to provide the tools that they need for positive social interactions, such as self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and responsible decision making. I think the poem, Educate the Heart, eloquently demonstrates the importance of incorporating SEL in our schools. The author writes that, as teachers:

“We have an enormous responsibility, and an amazing opportunity. If we truly want to  prepare [students] for the world outside, we must also educate the heart… To navigate the world outside with compassion, acceptance, and tolerance – we need to teach [students] compassion, acceptance, and tolerance.”(2012)

This poem strongly resonates with me because it beautifully articulates why it is so vital that teachers spend time explicitly teaching students how to be socially and emotionally competent.

Miss Morris posing with Shane Koyczan - the voice behind the poem, Educate the Heart. Shane Koyczan's poetry was used to introduce students to spoken word poetry and also inspire them to challenge their previous notions of poetry and take risks with their writing.

Here I am with spoken word poet, Shane Koyczan who is the voice behind the poem, Educate the Heart. During my practicum, Shane Koyczan’s poetry was used to introduce students to spoken word poetry and also inspire them to challenge their previous notions of poetry and take risks with their writing.

When it comes to classroom management, positive reinforcement is my preferred style. Wherever possible I try to motivate students by praising positive behaviour. Personally, I believe this management tool helps students to build positive self-esteem and encourages them to strive to their personal best. Most importantly, it teachers students that, while their behaviour may be inappropriate at times, they are not defined by their behaviour – they can always aim to do better.

That being said, I acknowledge that some students require more support with managing their behaviour. For these students, I try to work with them to discuss the source of the behaviour and how we can work together to help minimize or eliminate it. I believe in working with students to initiate an action plan to incorporate self-regulation strategies. Equally as important as the initial “check-in” with students is the continual follow up to assess how the strategies are working.

Lastly, I believe that teacher mindset is crucial for classroom success. As a teacher, I believe that greater value should be placed on the process, as opposed to emphasizing the outcome. By shifting my mindset, I believe I am able to show students that I am diligently invested in their learning and their sense of belonging in my classroom. I wholeheartedly believe that students’ emotional and intellectual intelligences are not static. As a teacher, I have the “enormous responsibility, and amazing opportunity” to teach students new ways of perceiving the world around them. Personally, I want my students to see learning as a life-long journey, as opposed to knowledge as a destination.


Here I am touring the Colosseum in Rome. Traveling is one my strongest passions. Exploring the world around me has greatly influenced my outlook on teaching and  learning.

Explore – be inspired by the world around you!

Works Cited

Educate the heart. (2012) Vancouver: Dalai Lama Center.

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