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My Teaching Philosophy By Daniel Giangrande The University of Akron

I have recently uncovered why I want to become a teacher. I have always loved history but being a teacher was never in the back of my mind. I didn’t know that I wanted to be a teacher until my senior year of high school, do to some unseen circumstances. Since graduating high school, I have strengthened my feelings to become a teacher while at the same time learning about what type of teacher I want to become. Instructional Strategies I believe that understanding my students will be my most important job as being a professional instructor. My senior year in high school was the first time I recognized the importance of understanding students in a class room. I was lucky enough senior year to get the position of being the assistant band director. Being the assistant band director meant that I had to teach the band class when the director had a more pressing matter to attend to. Whenever my director was sick or told me to teach the class, I would. I would normally teach the begging band class once a weak for about an hour and a half. My position was important for two main reasons. First I had to teach kids who never played an instrument before and then I had to be a professional instructor. Being an instructor was a big step for me at the time. The only experience I had working with kids before this was when I worked at Sunday school. The most important fact I learned while teaching was that each student functioned individually. Each student in the beginning band happened to be at a different playing level and they learned at a variety of passes. Understanding that students are individuals is a part of the K2 core component of the Conceptual Framework Proficiencies (ODE, 2011)

After my previous experiences in the class room, I believe that I will teach my class in a student centered way. Students have to be looked at as individuals in the class room. I feel I can do this best by using student centered teaching. Students need to learn from each other and I can make this happen. I personally believe in lots of group work. Group work allows students to learn from each other. I will make sure that when I am teaching that my students get involved in the class and get involved with other students. Technology Understanding how to use technology in the class room is an important asset to teaching. Being able to integrate appropriate technology to facilitate learning is part of the core component T1 of the Conceptual Framework Proficiencies (ODE, 2011). I remember having a history teacher that used technology in different ways to keep the students involved in the class. He would use projectors, maps, power points, handouts, and movies to keep the students interested in the class. To be honest most the history teachers I have had had a tendency to lecture and show films, and this is fine but this teacher I had made the class so much more enjoyable. We would play jeopardy as a review game using the computer program he had. He would also have us get into groups every other week to present information to the class. He would let us use the computer, projector, and chalk board to present our material. This teacher kept changing the class and it really kept the students interested. After taking his class I have a better understanding of what technology can do in the class room. When I become a professional teacher I will use a variety of technologies in the class to help keep my students interested. I think that I will teach geography this way. I’m able to

integrate maps, projections, and the computer to keep the students interest. This would also allow me to create a better learning environment for everyone. Diversity Something I learned about this semester that I really never paid attention to was diversity of learners. After reading difference matters I have a better understanding of diversity of learners. The one chapter in difference matters that I really liked was the chapter on ability matters. Knowing my student’s abilities and their needs as individuals is part of the core component D1 of the Conceptual Framework Proficiencies (ODE, 2011). Being an observer rather than a student allowed me to see differences in students and how these differences affected each student. One of the classes that I sat in was a 6th grade social studies. This class was made up of half IEP’s. After watching this class I got to observe the 6th grade advanced history class. After observing both classes I noticed a huge difference in the students and a huge difference in the class room environment. The class with the IEP’s moved at a much slower pace then the advanced class. Allot of the students with IEP’s were students with ADHD which altered the class room environment. Since the class had many students with a hyperactivity disorder the class it’s self was hyper. The students would get off topic and disrupt the class. The advance class on the other hand would run fairly smoothly and the students had more time to go further in-depth with the material. Both these classes had the same teacher and it was interesting to see how she taught both classes. She had a set of sounds she would make to get the attention of the students in the IEP

class. The instructor didn’t have to do this in the advance class. She really saw the diversity and the differences between the two classes. She was able to adapt her teaching to teach to these differences. Out of all the teachers that I observed she was by far the best. It didn’t matter what happened she was on top of everything that was going on. She knew how handle each student as an individual and then proceeded from there. I hope I can be as good at teaching each student rather than teaching the class as a whole. Democratic Society Part of being a good teacher also means having an understanding of how the classroom should function. I believe that having a give take relationship with the students is a very important goal for me. I feel like having a classroom where each student has their voice herd will be better off, so making my classroom into a democratic society is high on my agenda list. A democratic society to me means that everyone has a part to play and each person has the right to better themselves as much as possible. My beliefs match best with E1 of the ethics portion of the Conceptual Framework Proficiencies (ODE, 2011). I believe that students should have the chance to learn and teach each other. Every student has the capacity to teach another student and I have to foster this. Having an environment where every student teaches and learns at the same time is the ideal classroom for me. I feel that as a teacher I must allow the students to be active in the class so they can teach each other. Collaborative learning is in my heart and my life. I feel that the students and I will both benefit from having a collaborative learning environment.

I feel like I may have to make some small sacrifices to make the class into a democratic learning environment. I will have to give the students power over what happens in the classroom. This means teaching with a student centered approach. I feel like this is a small price to pay for a better class environment. A class has some give and take situations and giving up power to make the class more democratic is worth it in my book. Teaching Standards After going over the teaching standards I have come to understand myself a bit better. Some standards seem like common sense, like knowledge in one’s subject matter (ODE, 2011). Every teacher has to know there subject! Some of the other standards seem to have an impact on me as an individual. I have never paid much attention to the learning environment of a classroom. After discussing the importance of one’s learning environment in class, I have come to realize that the environment impacts every single student. After knowing this I will have to make sure that I can create and foster an environment suitable for my students. If I want to make it as a future teacher my students must learn to the best of their abilities and the first step to teaching is making a suitable learning environment. Teaching standards are essential to the everyday life of a teacher. The standard that I believe in the most would be standard 5 which is about creating a better learning environment (ODE, 2011). I mentioned before the importance of the classroom environment. As a new teacher this will be the first standard that I will confront. Weeks before teaching I will be able to set up the classroom. Setting the room up is the first

step of making a suitable learning environment.

After setting up the walls I will set the

desks and the rest of the room up in a way that doesn’t seem cluttered. If I look like I am cluttered students may think I am disorganized. I have to show the students that I’m professional teacher. As a new teacher I will be expected to collaborate with my students and my students parents, this is standard 6 (ODE, 2011). This will be something I will have to grow in as an individual. I have never had difficulties working with students but I have never had to work with parents. Understanding how to work with the parents of my students will be a new experience for me. I will have to learn fast to make sure I am meeting all the needs of the parents. I want to seem like I know what I am doing and a good first step will be working with the parent’s needs. Hopefully I will be able to work with the parents of my students without difficulty. Conclusion I believe that my students have needs that I have to be aware of. I believe that I can meet all these needs if I view my students as individuals. I will also have to take into consideration the student’s abilities as learners. Finally I will have to make a suitable environment that fosters the best of learning.