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EveryStudentHasHisorHerOwnStory:APhilosophyofEducation

ChynaR.Metz­Bannister

WesternNevadaCollege

CarsonCity,Nevada

May2016

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EveryStudentHasHisorHerOwnStory:APhilosophyofEducation

AsForrestW.Parkay(2001)writes,“Thewordphilosophymaybeliterallytranslatedfrom

theoriginalGreekas“loveofwisdom,”whichisaqualitymanyeducatorspossess(p.115).The

decisiontobeaneducatorisnotonetotakelightly,althoughitisboundtobeseenassuch.

Teachersareanintegralpartofthefoundationoftheworld’ssocieties,shapingthemindsof

tomorrow’sleaders,andarerolemodelsatthesametime.Educatorsareoftenonlyconsideredas

thosewhoadministerinformation,butteachingissomuchmorethanthat,aseducationismore

thanasetoffactstoregurgitate.Inordertoprovidestudentswiththemostvaluableeducation,it

musthelpthestudentslearnaboutthemselves,bedeliveredinawaythatensuresstudents’

success,andberelatabletothestudents’livesoutsideoftheclassroom.

Onefacetofeducationthatisoftenforgottenisthatitisnotonlyaboutmeetingstandards

andaboutteachingstudentsabouttheirworld,butalsoabouthelpingstudentslearnabout

themselves.School­agecoincideswithmajordevelopmentalstagesinhumangrowth,and,with

twenty­fivepercentofstudents’timebeingspentinclassroom,itisuptoteacherstohelpthem

ontheirjourneyfrommilestonetomilestone.Parkay(2001)explainsonetypeofintelligence

thatoftengetsoverlooked:emotionalintelligence,whichisrelatedtobeingawareofone’sown

feelingsandknowinghowtomanagethem(p.305).Itisimportanttobeawareofstudent’s

feelingsjustasmuchastheirintelligence.LookingbackonfavoriteteachersinmyK­12career,

allarethosewhomademefeellikeaperson,ratherthananumber.Teachersarenottheretobe

friends,butdohavearesponsibilitytobethereforstudentsemotionally.Somestudentsconsider

schooltobetheironlysafehavenawayfromhome.Assadarealizationasthisis,itshould

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alwaysbeapriorityforeducatorstorememberthateachstudenthasastory,afamily,andalife

outsideoftheclassroomenvironment.Thisiswhyestablishingacaringclassroom,Parkay

(2001)pointsout,isimperative.Acaringclassroomisoneinwhich“allstudentslearntotheir

fullestpotential(p.334).Wemustalsounderstandthatlifecanbetoughsometimes,nomatter

whatage,andwhenpossible,educatorsshouldmakeanefforttohelpthestudentsfeelwelcome,

andthattheyalwayshaveanadulttoconfideinorseekadvicefromifnecessary.Educatorsmust

alwayskeepinmindthattheyarerolemodels.Thepointistostrivetoencourageandsupportall

students,beingsensitivetotheirspecificneedsandstylesoflearning.

Educatorsmustdelivereducationinseveraldifferentwaystoaccommodatethemand

ensuretheirsuccessintheirscholasticcareers.Sincestudentsareunique,itisnosurprisethatthe

wayeachofthemlearnsisunique.Studentswhoexcelinonesubjectareamaystrugglein

anotherduetolearningstyles,whichParkay(2001)definesas“approachestolearningthatwork

bestfor[eachstudent],”(p.305).Thestudentwholearnsbestbysimplylisteningtoalectureand

takingnotesmayhavetroublewithhands­onlearning,astylewhichmayspelloutsuccessfor

anotherstudent.AsIhavewitnessedthisfirsthandduringmypracticum,itisalessonIwillcarry

withmeforlife.Educatorsmusttakenoteofthisandvarytheirstylesofteachingtoreachoutto

eachstudentandincreasetheirchancesofconnectingtothematerial,therebypreparingthemfor

lifeoutsideoftheclassroom.

Knowledgegainedintheclassroomisversatile,andsinceeachnewpieceequipsstudents

withnewinformationtouseoutintheworld,teachersshouldconnectsubjectmattertolife

outsideoftheclassroom Thepointofeducationcannotbepinneddowntojustonedefinition;

however,itismostusefulasanopendoortoalloftheopportunitiesthisworldhastooffer.Too

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often,teachersgetdistractedbythepoliticsofbeinganeducatorthattheyforgetthisfacetofthe

definition,andthatyearsdowntheline,theirstudentswillbemakingdecisionsthatwillhave

globaleffects,suchasvoting.Acommoncomplaintofstudentsisthatthesubjectmatterwill

neverbeusedinreallife,specificallyinthesciences.Tocombatthisandengagestudents,

therebyincreasingtheirparticipation,retentionofinformation,andabilitiestoutilizeitin

creativeandfunctionalsettings.Itisimportantforstudentstoknowthatalloftheirtimespentin

theclassroomismeaningful.Fromalgebratolearningstatecapitals,evenasearlyaslearningthe

alphabet,eachstepofthewayisimportantinsomeway.Thismayevenresultinstudents

wantingtolearnmore,eitheroutofsheerinterestoroutofasenseoffuturenecessity.Itisinthis

timethatstudentswillbegintothinkaboutwheretheywanttogoinlife.Byshowingthemhow

totakethefirststepsinwhicheverdirectiontheychoosebygivingthemtheknowledge

necessarytonavigatethemodernworld,itwillhelpthemtofollowtheiruniquepassionsand

develophobbiesandintereststhattheycancultivate.Inturn,anenvironmentforconfidenceand

anoverallincreaseinself­esteemispromoted.Theseinterestshavetheprospectofeventually

turningintoprofessionsastheybecomeadultsshouldtheyfollowthem.

Inadditiontohelpingstudentslearnfactsandskills,itisalsoaneducator’sjobtohelp

studentslearnaboutthemselvesandhowtomaneuverthroughthisworld,delivereducationin

waysthatcanreachallstudentsregardlessoftheirneeds,andshowthemthattheirtimespentin

theclassroomisvaluabletimespentpreparingthemtogooutintotheworldwithconfidenceand

sense.Althougheachteacherhasadifferentphilosophyofeducation,asParkay(2001)notes,

“theyhavethesameultimategoal­learningforeveryone,”(p.113).

References

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Parkay,F.W.(2001).BecomingaTeacher.NewJersey:Pearson.