My thoughts and views on education have changed significantly since I first walked into Southwest Junior High for my first day of school. I am sure I will continue to change my thoughts and views over the course of my educational career. The methods and instructional practices or the tools and resources available to me may change, but there are a few core values that have stayed a part of my philosophy of education.
Students have and always will come first in education. When a student walks into a school they should feel welcomed, safe, and accepted for whom they are. Multiculturalism should not only be accepted, but it should be praised and incorporated into the school as well. Within a school, each classroom must create an environment that promotes risk taking, creativity, cooperative grouping, and learning through mistakes. Students should have an active role in their education and have responsibilities to care for the school as a whole and for one another.
Children learn at their own pace, and teachers should be able to assess and differentiate according to that pace. This means that within a classroom, children should be taught within their zone of proximal development and that zone can vary greatly. This level of differentiation demands teachers to be flexible and yet well prepared. Leaders in education should set the example for meeting the needs of all students in all situations.
Students do not only have a right to an education, they have the right to a great education. An education that provides multiple opportunities to students to find their passions in life. Students also have the right to come to school and participate, this right is something that seems to be optional– but in reality, it is required. I believe that educators should have a culture of learning that makes all students want to come to school and be involved.
A teacher or administrator has a responsibility to their students and school to be knowledgeable of their content area and the standards to which they are accountable. Standards are what shape the curriculum that is taught, so teachers should not only be able to recite the standards but understand what they mean in student friendly terms. Administrators are responsible for guiding teachers and providing opportunities to grow. Administrators must understand the needs of their staff to find research based practices to present to their staff.
Educators in all careers paths are lifelong learners and should participate in professional development, personal learning communities, and training that will enable them to use research based instruction in their school. The world is every changing, which means that education is also ever changing and educators have to stay current. Core values that make up a person’s philosophy on education molds the way a person will teach the next generation. Education is the future for all children and will shape the minds of every child. An educator must review and reflect on their current philosophy and ways they can reshape and re-envision education to reach all students.