As a future educator, my philosophy on education rests on four principles. These four principles are based in my beliefs, values and why I chose to become an educator. The four principles that make my philosophy are the faculty and staff, curriculum, passion and teamwork, and instructional approaches.
I believe that every quality school starts with a great faculty and staff. Without a foundation of quality administrators, teachers and the rest of the staff that helps keep a school run smoothly, what would be left? First, I believe that teachers make or break the quality level of a school. I believe that a teacher has the power to influence the lives of every student that walks into their classroom each and every year. Quality teachers have the ability to create passion for subjects that students may never have had otherwise. I remember a teacher I had in tenth grade during high school. For me, history has always been fairly boring and not something I had a particular interest in. How Columbus discovered America has never inspired any enthusiasm or made me want to learn more. But, in this class my teacher made every single day exciting. Every day I went to school I would look forward to history class and the teacher that taught my class. I may not remember exactly what I learned in that class, but I will never forget the teacher I had. A defining characteristic of a quality teacher is what the students remember of that teacher afterward. The low quality teachers that I have had over the years have faded from my memory, and the grades I received with those teachers was lower than with the quality teachers. I believe that quality teachers inspire the students in their classes to do their best and achieve things they might not achieve otherwise. I hope that when I begin my first teaching job, I will have the chance to inspire my students to be the best they can be.
What is being taught in the schools is vital to the success in schools. I believe that in order to provide a quality education the curriculum needs to be carefully created. Every grade level will not be learning the same information at the same time so it is very important to evaluate what should be taught at each grade level. Also, teaching the same information year after year will not be effective for the students or the teachers. A quality curriculum should clearly show exactly what each grade level will be learning over the course of the year. Not only is the subject matter important, but the types and amount of assessments that will be used to track the progress of the students. I believe that assessment is vital to the educational process. Without assessment how can we show improvement in our students and prove to the parents that our profession is necessary. Physical education is highly criticized for being just another place for the students to play games. With assessment and a proper curriculum, physical educators should be able to prove their worth and provide a quality education for the students.
I believe that passion and teamwork are an underrated characteristic of a quality school. The teacher at a school need to be passionate about what they do and love coming to work everyday. If you come to work in the morning and give only fifty percent of your full ability, you will not teach the students that they need to learn. I value a person that works hard and does everything in their power to teacher their students as much as possible. I believe that teachers need to work together to provide an adequate education. Too often teachers stick to what they believe is right and will not accept help from others. But, sometimes the other teachers in the school may have a brilliant idea that could take your teaching to the next level. Additionally, I believe that incorporating different subjects into your classroom can be very effective. Especially in physical education, incorporating math, science, or history in your lesson can be as simple as having a map on your gym wall. During your international games unit, teach the students some history of the games home country and have them find that country on the map. Asking the other teachers what they are currently doing in their own classrooms and incorporating that information will help the students learn even more. Teachers should love what they do and be willing to communicate and work with one another to provide the best education impossible.
The final principle of my philosophy in education is instructional approaches. I believe that a teacher needs to be willing to use a variety of teaching techniques in their classroom throughout the year. In physical education, there are many different techniques such as command, practice, guided discovery, peer teaching, etc. Different units and different grade level may require different teaching techniques. For example, for elementary education it can be important to allow the students to figure out their own solutions to problems and use their imaginations. When teaching a new skill to your students, you may want to use a more direct approach like the command method. If classroom management is a problem for one particular class, perhaps an indirect style may not be effective. Also, varying the strategies you use over the year can be very effective. In my experience, when a teacher does the same thing day after day, I get bored. Being versatile and creative in your teaching and teaching methods can be great for you and your students.
Instructional approaches, passion and teamwork, faculty and staff and curriculum are the basis for a quality school and educational program. I believe that with all four of these principles working in harmony, a teacher can provide their students with the tools they need to succeed and enjoy education.