My educational philosophy is to encourage students to become kind, compassionate, independent, critical-thinking citizens who play a positive role in whatever environment they encounter. I feel these are all qualities which can be achieved no matter the student’s age, IQ, socio-economic status, or any other variable. Creating a strong bond, through showing you truly care about a child’s growth, and developing a safe and dynamic classroom are essentials in achieving these goals.
Students come into the classroom with the innate desire to grow. Many have spent years repressing that desire, whether it is to go along with their friends’ ideas, or if it just a matter of avoiding the pressure they associate with school in general. One of the benefits of Pre-K is they have not learned they are not supposed to want to go to school. Coming in with bright eyes, meeting all kinds of new friends, and being exposed to many different things they have never seen before is such an admirable position to be in as a growing learner.
I try to have a balance within the classroom, from our daily routine, to the logistics of rotating centers, to whole group activities, and beyond. It is important we focus on creating well rounded individuals who are growing in all aspects of life as they progress in a classroom. Cognitive growth is understood; physical, emotional, social, and moral growths are secondary outcomes of being in the active-learning classroom. Constantly helping children relate and coordinate what is in a curriculum to knowledge and information they themselves want to gain is the challenge of the modern day teacher. Encouraging questions and discussion, and integrating aspects which are relatable to the student are key in keeping our class engaged. Utilizing new tools, especially technology, is one of the best ways to help students stay engaged. Being able to compete with the Xbox, tablet, and Netflix a student uses at home is almost an impossible task. However, those educators who are ever seeking new ways to grow themselves, their methods, and their relationships with their students will certainly have success within their classroom.
One additional philosophy I have, being a Pre-K educator, is remembering that learning comes through play; developing soft skills, coping strategies, and an understanding for expectations is paramount to any academic learning that might take place.