‘If there is no struggle, there is no progress.’-Frederick Douglass
This is my favorite quote, and I have truly lived this quote especially on my journey of discovering my true purpose in my life. During my last year of college, I took two summer classes that were geared toward middle grades language arts. At this time in my life, I had my 6 month old baby girl, and I was trying to maintain my GPA. It was definitely hard juggling being a mom, a job, and my college courses.
On top of that I was going to be graduating soon with an English degree and clueless of my next steps in life. That summer, I was able to tutor high school and middle school students, and I really was enjoying my two summer courses. While in the midst of minor struggles, I found my purpose and what I was passionate about. I fell in love with teaching and seeing the students make strides that would greatly benefit their future.
I saw then that it would be an honor and a privilege to impact the lives of students.
Initially, I started teaching as a substitute, but it was only when I became a full time teacher where I developed my own teaching philosophy. My teaching philosophy was simply this, ‘Teachers must be fit for teaching, and students have to be in an environment where learning can take place.’
What makes a teacher fit for teaching? Teachers must uphold their professional bearing, character, timeliness, passion, classroom management, and most of all love for the students.
When teachers have these traits failure is not an option. When students see these traits displayed they have respect for the teacher because they know that the teacher has structure. When teachers have structure, and the students see that the teachers really care the learning atmosphere is set for success.
Classroom management is a very important factor that a teacher must have. When a teacher has good classroom management the environment will be set for learning. Students must have boundaries, and an environment where they are free to share their ideas without being ridiculed or criticized. Classroom management can make a year of school really good or really dreadful. For example, I did not begin the year with my students, but I set my expectations and procedures when I first came in. Because of the structure and the well planned lesson plans, the students knew what to do when they stepped into my classroom. My classroom flowed well. Additionally, students recognized all the traits listed above in me, and when the students seen that my actions were consistent, I saw improvement in their actions and their quality of work.
With this teaching philosophy, I have grown a lot professionally. I finally have my classroom management down. I was able to learn how to dissect the standards, and form lesson plans that really engaged the students. I also learned how to begin with the end in my. I have learned how to use academic language, differentiation, and so much more. All of what I have learned has contributed to my growth and zeal for teaching my students. I even found a new passion and that is instruction and curriculum. Although, I have had many successes and professional learning opportunities, there were days that were hard. I can use some improvement in the areas of differentiation, balance, and goal setting. Specifically, in the area of differentiation I know it is going to take time to perfect it. I need to do better with balancing work and life; this will help me to be less stressed. Overall, the passion I have for teaching is so contagious and electric that it drives me toward consistent improvement so that I can impact the future of our future leaders. I believe the philosophy above will help me reach and impact thousands.