I believe that my responsibility as a teacher is to identify the way each student learns, to shape the curriculum so that it is accessible to all and to appropriately measure progress. Throughout my experience in the classroom, I have found that for students, particularly those who have special needs, that it is critical to find inventive ways to engage and teach. It is also important to develop curriculum that feels relevant to students and that in some way connects to their lives. My background both in education and in the arts has provided me with insight into new ways to integrate creativity to teach different subjects. Additionally, my experience with a wide variety of people has given me the opportunity to develop these skills.
I look at each child as an individual with their own set of social, emotional and academic goals. I work with children to define and also achieve these goals. I think that it is critical to have individual goals for children but to also look at their progress in the larger context of the classroom. While each child may have their own set of strengths and challenges, it is my job as a teacher to find appropriate ways to tailor the curriculum so that each child can succeed. This often includes differentiating the curriculum and also providing individual or small group instruction.
In a typical day in the classroom I like to include time for at least one small group. These groups range from mixed to similar ability groups. This is a time to not only provide instruction, but also get to know the students on a different level. I also love to engage children in the subject through the workshop model. I find that this is a good way to address and assess children as a group and then individually. It is also a great opportunity to have children work as a group to help support one another’s learning. I work to incorporate this model into subjects daily.
I believe that it is critical to assess children frequently. This assessment may take form in an end of unit test or a cumulative learning project. However, this assessment may happen in other ways too, such as daily homework or class work checks to ensure that children understand the material. I think that it is important to provide varied forms of assessment to make sure that children are all able to share how well they are grasping the material. There are so many different learning styles and assessments need to effectively reflect this fact.
I have discovered through my time in the classroom that one way to support children and facilitate their love for learning in through the use of creativity. I try to create opportunities where children can support their comprehension through drawing or other forms of art. I have found that this approach is particularly successful when applied to social studies, math, and language arts. I have also found that it is an effective approach when supporting the learning of special needs students and English language learners. Having a visual connection can be an incredible way to facilitate learning and to also assist memory. Further, children often love working creatively in the class. Using art as a way to support learning can also help to build children's love of learning.
I am a young teacher and am still developing my own philosophy. The feedback from my students and colleagues helps to shape the way that I teach. I have many strengths as a teacher. I am patient, love working with children and find effective ways to ask questions and differentiate material so that each student is considered. I am passionate about my work and look forward to many years in this profession.