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Running head: PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY

Personal Teaching Philosophy


Lauren Bohenek
Regent University

In partial fulfillment of UED 495 Field Experience ePorfolio, Spring 2016

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Introduction

Education is something that most children in America experience at one time or another;
however the majority of children in other nations are not as fortunate. American children receive
a free education provided by government, but what is the purpose of education? Scholars debate
the specific purposes, yet each teacher's ultimate purpose is to instill knowledge and learning into
the eager minds of students (Powell, 2012). I believe it is essential to equip students with
knowledge that is applicable in everyday life such as critical thinking skills, analysis, etc.
because teachers are not simply preparing students for the next classroom but for the future
beyond the classroom. Education is a time for growth and preparation for adulthood. Teachers
should provide students with realistic applications of standards and create real-world scenarios
that will prepare them with tools that apply to their lives, careers, and futures.
Learners and Teaching Environment
I believe all students are intelligent and can do anything they set their minds to. A quote
from The Help, 2011, that depicts my perspective of student learning is "you is kind, you is
smart, you is important." Although this is a simple phrase, it can be powerful and sincere. Thus I
intend to make all students feel of level of significance in my classroom and encourage students
to view their peers as a part of family that should be treated with dignity and kindness. This also
correlates to my faith because I firmly believe that God deeply loves all of us, and since we are
made in His image we should honor and respect others. In addition, I believe it is essential for
students to establish a sense of community among their peers because a major 21st century skill
is effective oral and written communication. Therefore students must learn these skills in a
classroom of peers to effectively use them in the workforce. In addition, my goal is to create an
environment that is accepting of students regardless of the baggage they bring to school. The

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teaching environment should generate a positive learning climate that encourages community
building. "A classroom community is not just a place but also a way of actively learning
together" (Powell, 2012, p.152). Thus it is important for the teacher to create a safe and
encouraging environment that stimulates student growth.
Instructional Strategies
I plan to meet student's academic needs by integrating varied instructional strategies
including direct instruction, cooperative learning, and small group based learning. Through
group-work students learn valuable skills such as teamwork and communication along with new
insights on material due to the varying perspectives in the group. Examples of cooperative
learning include think-pair-share, jigsaw activities, and role play. I believe it is important for
instructional strategies to activate student discovery and allow students to inquire, explain,
analyze, and apply concepts. Therefore my goal is to engage students in the learning process via
different forms so students grasp the material in meaningful methods.
A key 21st century term in education is differentiated instruction. Differentiation allows
teachers to create student-centered classrooms by addressing the needs of diverse students and
varying instruction. I intend to vary my lesson plans and teaching strategies to accommodate the
key learning styles of kinesthetic, auditory, and visual. My goal is to implement various forms of
differentiation in order for students to grasp concepts and express "ah-ha" moments. However, in
order to effectively integrate differentiation, this will require guidance and patience from God
and His wisdom to establish strong teacher-student connections with my students.
Reflection on Evolution of Beliefs
With regards to the role of teachers, my beliefs have greatly altered since my original
thoughts of becoming a teacher. Before entering the Regent program, I initially supported the

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perspective of a teacher-centered classroom in which the teacher dominated the classroom by


dispensing knowledge to the students and emphasizing classic works. However through my
studies at Regent I have discovered that learning requires a more balanced approach with
student-focused learning; and the teacher's role is to facilitate and encourage. Although the
teacher guides learning, there should be more emphasis on the students and cooperative learning
than teacher lectures and teacher-centered learning.
During the past few months my view on education and various methods have changed
due to my experiences in student teaching. I have learned the importance of applying these
beliefs in the classroom and the diligence required to form good habits of effective teaching.
Through this experience I have realized I must "practice what I preach", and thus I discovered
several "ah-ha" moments along the way. For example, I rediscovered the importance of various
classroom management techniques along with the importance of continually walking around the
classroom to engage students during lessons.
Through my student teaching experience I also learned the significance of getting to
know students and learning their personalities, strengths, and weakness. Many teacher's describe
this as "reading your student". Although I am still learning this skill, I know God uniquely
creates each individual; thus every learner is distinctively different. All students possess intrinsic
and extrinsic motivation, and this determination can foster positive learning in the classroom.
Yet as a teacher I must approach conversations with each student differently; what motivates one
student may appear as tough-love to another. Thus I must continue to refine the skill of "reading
my students" and talking in terms that speak to their needs, yet with God's help and strength I
pray that I will become very influential with this skill.

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Influence of Christian Teachers

Scripture reminds believers that they must not only profess belief in Christ but support
their words with actions. Thus as a Christian educator in a secular environment, it is critical for
me to show Christ via my actions. This is depicted through acts of kindness that demonstrate
Christ's love and encouragement towards students. Also, Christ has called us to demonstrate
compassion, and I can apply this by taking a personal interest in the lives of my students and
incorporating their diverse needs and interests into instructional strategies. Colossians 3:17
(NIV) states " And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord
Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Thus I my goal, on a daily basis throughout
student teaching and my teaching career, is to demonstrate a positive and cheerful attitude
towards my students and colleges. Also I desire to serve my students and school with my best
efforts and demonstrate a good work ethic.
I feel called to be a teacher, not only because of my love of learning and children, but
because God has placed a passion in my heart to serve others. Therefore I desire to use my love
of teaching to glorify Him. Although many individuals state teaching is one of the most
challenging careers, I faithfully believe God will give me the hope, perseverance, and strength to
succeed. In addition, I pray that I will be able to make a positive difference in the lives of my
students and follow God's plan for me to be His hands and feet as a teacher.

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References

Barnathan, M., Columbus, C., & Green, B. (Producers), & Taylor, T. (Director). (2011). The
Help [Motion picture]. United States: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.
Powell, S. D. (2012). Your introduction to education: Exploration in teaching. (2nd ed.) Boston:
Pearson Education Inc.