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Teaching Philosophy

William Allan Kritsonis, PhD


Professor
PhD Program in Educational Leadership
Hall of Honor (2008)
William H. Parker Leadership Academy
The Whitlowe R. Green College of Education
Prairie View A&M University
Member of the Texas A&M University System
Prairie View, Texas
Visiting Lecturer (2005)
Oxford Round Table
University of Oxford, Oxford, England
Distinguished Alumnus (2004)
College of Education and Professional Studies
Central Washington University

Introduction

“Do something wonderful, people may imitate it.”


-Albert Schweitzer (1875 – 1965)

My teaching philosophy emphasizes the importance of integrity, collaborating,


communicating, empowering others, and the importance of passion in leading people. I strive to
help learners accept ownership and responsibility for their learning. Learners must see a teacher
of integrity, who exhibits self-awareness and appreciates the importance of collaboration and
communication. I have developed belief statements that reflect my philosophy of teaching.

Number One: I believe in teaching with integrity.

I believe that all stakeholders should trust and believe that their teachers will make
decisions in the best interest of learners. People should know that the teacher stands by what they
say and can be counted on to deliver. I believe integrity builds trust, a must for a successful
teacher. The teacher displays integrity, develops credibility, and by doing so builds a solid
reputation.

Number Two: I believe in collaborating.

Vince Lombardi once said, “Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what
makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” I believe a teacher is
guided by a vision that drives the mission, goals, and objectives of an organization. I believe that
by working together, the vision for all aspects of schooling will be accomplished. I believe a
teacher’s primary responsibility is to collaboratively work with individuals, listen to them and
learn from them. I believe a collaborative teacher exhibits high self esteem and is continuously
seeking new ideas from others and enjoys giving credit where credit is due.

Number Three: I believe in developing individuals.

I believe a teacher helps to cultivate those within the school systems by building trust and
improving teamwork through collaboration and personal involvement. I believe the teacher
makes decisions by developing a sense of community and maintaining a commitment to the
growth of individuals. Caring for people, encouraging them, and valuing their opinions
contribute to teaching and organizational goals being realized. According to John Maxwell,
“People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Number Four: I believe in communicating.

I believe a teacher must have strong communication skills. Communication can be


defined as transforming an idea from one brain to another. Effective communication requires
articulation of ideas and active listening. Mac Anderson, founder of Successories, says “The
great leader truly understands that effective communication is the key that unlocks the door to
trust.” I believe that teachers can exhibit leadership by developing trust in working with students
and building upon relationships within the organization.

Number Five: I believe in empowering others.

Theodore Roosevelt best described the concept of empowerment as follows: “The best
executive is one who has sense enough to pick good people to do what he wants done, and self-
restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” I believe that a teacher
develops individuals through empowerment which in turn makes the schooling enterprise
stronger. A teacher must trust the students with the creativity and intellect to carry out the
assigned learning tasks. Through empowerment, students grow both professionally and
personally, which is critical for life long learning.

Number Six: I believe in passion.

A teacher must be passionate about teaching. Passion, like a smile, is contagious. I


believe teachers must articulate visions, goals, and strategies. I believe teachers influence the
enthusiasm of students under their charge. I believe a teacher must exhibit passion for the
pursuit of excellence. Zig Ziglar says, “Go as far as you can go. When you get there, you can
always see farther.”

“You get the best efforts from others not be lighting a fire beneath them,
but by building a fire within”.
-Ben Nelson
.
Number Seven: The Keys to a Life Well Lived

Finally, I believe a teacher takes care of those they love and letting them know they are
loved. This involves determination, self-discipline, and active attention to developing and
refining a conscience to whose promptings you can respond. I believe the teacher honors the
profession. I believe the teacher is dedicated to his calling by trying to do honorable work. I
believe the teacher is willing to master the ethics of the profession. I believe the teacher must
show enthusiasm and enjoy life. “Enjoy life, it’s ungrateful not to,” said Ronald Reagan.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, Saturday/Sunday, June 21 – 22, 2008, A9. Peggy Noonan – A
Life’s Lesson.

References

Anderson, M. (2005). The essence of leadership. Naperville, IL: Simple Truths.

Anderson, M. (2007). You can't send a duck to eagle school: And other simple truths of
leadership. Naperville, IL: Simple Truths.

Anderson, M., & Feltenstein, T. (2007). Change is good...you go first: 21 ways to inspire
change. Naperville, IL: Simple Truths.

Anderson, P. (2007). Great quotes from great leaders. Naperville, IL: Simple Truths.

The Wall Street Journal, Saturday/Sunday, June 21 – 22, 2008, A9. Peggy Noonan – A Life’s
Lesson.