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Teaching Philosophy

Why I TeachIve come to a frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. Its my personal approach that creates the climate. Its my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a childs life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or dehumanized. Haim G. Ginott This quote is a great representation of why I teach. I want to make a difference in someones life. I hope my students will remember what I teach them, but even more, I hope they will be better people from being in my class. Teaching is a tremendous opportunity to influence the world for the better, through the life of a child. What I TeachAs a Performing Arts teacher in Dance and Theatre I teach students the mechanics of movement and acting. I also teach communicating their feelings and expressing creativity. I teach cooperation, responsibility and reflection as they work together to create a piece and share it with each other. I teach critical listening and responding as they perform for and critique each other. I teach respect for other people and their views, and an appreciation of cultures of the past and present. I teach them the value of taking care of their physical bodies. And I teach my students about how dance and theatre can help us understand literature, mathematics, history, geography and science. How I TeachBefore my class begins, students have the opportunity to play games that improve hand-eye coordination, large and small muscle control, flexibility, agility, and pantomime skills. My lessons often begin with a read-aloud on the topic for the day and a class discussion. I use technology to bring exceptional examples of dance and theatre to my students. Technology also allows my students to experience authentic cultural songs, stories and dances. They often work cooperatively in small groups to choreograph dances, create scenes or tell dramatic stories. Each Friday, students write in journals to help them internalize the things they are learning, from classroom procedures to dance and theatre vocabulary, compound sentences and informational writing. I use questioning techniques and brainstorming to assist younger students develop writing topics, and Venn diagrams assist them in writing a compare, contrast paper. How I Measure My EffectivenessAs I teach, I am constantly assessing individual students and the group at large. I give immediate feedback to help students refine dance skills and steps. I adjust

pacing according to student understanding and work with groups or individuals as needed. I have students perform in small groups to better assess individuals. For choreographic assignments I use a rubric to document whether or not students have fulfilled requirements of the assignment. After a performance, I have students watch a recording of their show and give a self-evaluation, reflecting on what they did well and how they could improve. I read student journal entries as they are being written to help guide writing and correct problems. I receive official observations and evaluations multiple times each year and use the feedback I receive to revise and improve procedures, instructions and curriculum.