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Kimberly Pecoraro

Philosophy of Education
Teaching young minds is a task that cannot be taken lightly. It is full
of challenges, frustrations, and responsibilities. However, it is a task
that is also full of excitement, wonder, and joy. I strongly believe that
all children are capable of learning, if they have the proper motivation
and direction from their teachers. Through the classes I have taken
thus far at Grand Valley State University, my personal educational
experiences, and my experiences in the classroom as an observer and
as a teacher, I have begun to develop a personal teaching philosophy
that I will implement into my future classrooms. My anticipated areas
of expertise are elementary education and mathematics. An inclusive
classroom with a teacher aware of learning styles, motivation, and
progressive ideas makes for a wholesome education.
The true purpose of education is to aid students in thinking for
themselves and developing their own opinions and ideas on various
topics. Education should challenge students to reach their full
potential. Students should have the opportunity to prosper in areas of
self-expression and creativity. There should be a strong emphasis on
problem solving and critical thinking. The aim of education should be
to teach us rather how to think, than what to think rather to improve
our minds, so as to enable us to think for ourselves, than to load the
memory with thoughts of other men. ~Bill Beattie (My Philosophy of
Education).
The teacher has an extremely important role in each students
learning process. The teacher must induct students into full
participation in the dominant culture while also respecting the diverse
origins, languages, and values of students from a wide variety of
cultures and language groups who populate schools today. To do this,
the teacher should be well rounded and have educational experiences
from multiple settings. The teacher, solely, holds responsibility for
classroom organization and management. The classroom itself should
be interactive, engaging, and inviting. To achieve such setting, it
should be set up in a way that allows students to be able to interact
with each other, one-on-one, and in groups. The classroom safety
component is also a large responsibility of the teacher. Creating an
environment that is safe for all and has a community feel is key. If
students do not feel safe, whether it is emotionally, physically, or
socially, their defense systems go up and their openness and
willingness to learn decreases and/or shuts down all together. It is
important that students, as well as their parents/guardians,
administrators, and people in the community, see their educators as
someone they can approach, who will be fair and nondiscriminatory.

All students learn at different paces and in different ways. Being


able to accommodate all learning styles in the classroom is very
important. This can be achieved by incorporating a variety of methods
in which information is delivered to students. It is crucial not to be
biased and favor teaching methods one is personally strong in.
Encouragement and motivation also make a significant difference in
how students learn. The classroom should be a positive environment
where all student ideas are accepted and challenged. The gradual
release method, or the I do, we do, you do approach, is a great way
to provide a positive learning experience for students. It offers them
the opportunity to ease into the content and be exposed to it multiple
times in multiple ways before attempting on their own. If a student is
struggling or not being challenged enough, the instructor must offer
additional support through modifications and extensions for the
student. It is important that students have a lot of group work and
hands on projects. Group works helps to develop camaraderie and
collaboration, both of which are lifelong skills that should be learned
and practiced in the classroom.
Teachers should be warm demanders. They should have clear
routines and expectations for their students. These routines should be
consistent and practiced daily to maintain order in the classroom. The
students in the classroom, as well as their guardians, should be well
aware of what their jobs are as a student in the classroom and at
home. Teachers should respect both students and their guardians. They
should do their best to get to know the children in their classrooms and
develop personal connections with each of them. This will help the
students to open up and feel as if they are important and give them a
sense of belonging. In turn, students will feel more willing to
participate, feel welcomed, and learn more effectively. If a student is
misbehaving, the teacher should do their best to approach the student
individually versus in front of the whole class. This will prevent
shaming and embarrassment of the student. The teacher should work
with students on an as needed basis to develop behavior plans to help
the student stay engaged in their learning throughout the day.
Ultimately the learning of the children in the classroom is most
important.
As a teacher, it is crucial to remember to enjoy students and
everything they have to offer. Sometimes educating can be a struggle,
but no matter what, there is always the power to make a change. As a
future educator, I believe my philosophy and teaching styles will adapt
throughout my teaching career. I will remain open to suggestions and
always search for ways to improve myself, to improve the learning of
my students. By acknowledging different learning styles, offering
motivation, and using progressive ideas in my teaching, my students
will have the opportunity to flourish academically and independently.

Sources
A Brief Overview of Progressive Education. A Brief Overview of
Progressive Education. 30 Jan. 2001. Web.
Many Kids Dont Feel Safe at School. Red Orbit: Your Universe Online.
2003. Web.
My Philosophy of Education (Explained Through Quotes). Five Js
Homeschooling Resources to Help Parents Raise Lifelong Learners. 17
Dec. 2008. Web.
Philosophy of Education: Educational Philosophy/Teaching Philosophy.
On Truth & Reality. 1997. Web.
Scaffolding in Education: Definition, Theory, & Examples. Education
Portal. 2003. Web.