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Connie Stevenson

Philosophy of Teaching
Listen and Grow Together

I have observed that in order to teach a child you must understand that child's individual

needs and mindset. This covers an array of differences in each student including learning

disabilities, ethnicities, cultures, disorders, and economic diversity. So how do we get there?

How do we perceive how a child's mind works or how they learn? I have found the best way to

do this is by listening.

As teachers, we are looking for results. If a student hasn't learned, then we haven't taught

anything I was once told and it's a fact. Results come from students that are interested in what

you are throwing at them. If a child is not interested, they won't listen as well and they will not

absorb the lesson as well. If you can make or keep a child interested that is a huge

accomplishment and part of what makes a good teacher a good teacher. By listening to each

student, we can approach each area of learning by keeping what gets them interested in mind.

Capturing their attention is the first step. You can get the attention of the whole classroom or if

working with an individual as you do in special education if they feel like you are interested in

getting to know them and what they care about.

However, that does not mean that it is on their terms or student based teaching. You are

teaching them content they need to learn, you are just putting a creative spin on it to make it

interesting. The whole process is teacher based and student based. I don't believe it has to be

either or. You are growing together as a student and a teacher. Don't give up. Never give up on

them. This is something we have to do with haste. We have a time stamp on everyday and are

required to get them to a level they will be tested on. Teachers have to be really fast at making
decisions to get the results they need. So we must listen to everything from their eye rolls, to

their sighs, what makes them excited, what they dread doing, to carrots. Carrots are rewards that

particular child looks to. I know Sally loves unicorns and has been struggling to get to the next

level on her AR testing. She doesn't understand why I am making her read so much but once I

put a book in front of her about unicorns at the 1.8 AR level she was needing she learned those

hard words. That is just an example. Also, after giving students the time and attention it's a lot

easier to say "ok class, I listened to all of you, now it's my turn." I firmly believe that reading

and writing are the most essential and then technology. If a child can read he/she can teach

themselves to do anything. I also want to add to set the example for the student. Let them see

you learn something new all the time and smile and be excited to learn, that will set the tone for

them. Learning is fun, it's what we want to do, and it's necessary. Your heart must be in it! Little

minds are a fragile thing.

I want to teach because I love seeing a child's face light up when they've learned

something new. If you can impart wisdom and do it with grace, you are making the word a better

place. Also, I remember every single teacher that I ever had and how each one made me feel. I

still look up and get encouragement from several of them. I think I can use that to my advantage

in helping others learn.