Teaching Philosophy Statement

“When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the lettuce. You look into the
reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame
the lettuce.”
Thich Nhat Hanh

When I think back to the teachers who had the most effect on their students’ learning I believe it
is teacher attitude that nurtures a successful educational environment. I believe the key to a
successful learning environment is creating a supportive classroom for students to feel
comfortable to express emotions and ideas, to make mistakes, become engaged, and feel cared
for by their teacher as well as their peers. A teacher who is willing to take the time to establish
this type of atmosphere is going to be successful in the education of young people in today’s
world. This is the type of teacher I will strive to be.

I will take the time to learn about my students, not just in the classroom but outside the
classroom as well. I believe this will have a positive influence on my students’ education.
Understanding student personalities, learning styles, religion and socioeconomic status helps to
create positive behaviors, learn what type of resources are available outside the classroom, and
what type of resources are needed in the classroom. By getting to know my students I will be
able to see how to engage them in a positive learning environment. Questions like: how can I
build upon or create background knowledge of my students in my classroom; how can I engage
my students; and, how will my students make sense of what is being learned, will be a focus for

me. By asking myself these types of questions, it will be easier to learn my students’ history and
help them be successful in a learning environment.

As an educator, I have an important responsibility to my students and my students’ parents to
aide in my students’ total education using my fullest ability and skills as a teacher. How am I
going to educate children in a way that improves and creates good self-esteem, encourages
critical thinking, and supports an emotionally safe and ridicule free environment? The answer to
that question is easy for me. I will be incorporating a democratic society within my classroom
walls. A democratic classroom is one where responsibilities are shared. I will be involving my
students in appropriate ways on a regular basis to help make my students feel like they have
ownership in their education. For example, I will allow my students to assist me with setting
classroom rules that will be expected to be followed. I will also allow my students to assist in
setting up consequences of breaking them. This shared decision making will increase my
students’ responsibility in helping to make the classroom a good and exciting place to be.
Students will be encouraged to share their thoughts, feelings, and ideas on topics of discussion,
and students will be encouraged to work together for creative solutions to problems.

In my classroom I will promote an interactive learning environment, holding classroom
discussions, encouraging student input, and group work. This type of teaching will encourage
problem solving skills as well as reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. I will also have
an exploratory learning style implemented into the curriculum. I feel it’s important for students
to go through a process of trial and error. Mistakes to me are not considered bad but are viewed
as teachable moments and ways to improve on the topic being discussed. As an example of this,

I had a Math teacher who encouraged students to show wrong answers to the class. We, as a
class, had very good educational discussions that helped more than one person in class. She
addressed the problem, found out where the answer was wrong, and continued with discussions
on how it could be fixed. She made a point to thank the person for helping everyone work
through the problem. My teacher did not look at a mistake in a bad way. Students were not
embarrassed about showing their mistakes to the class and did not hesitate to participate in
discussions. As a teacher, it is my responsibility to have the support structure in place to
facilitate understanding through the trial and error type of teaching.

I will also be encouraging parent involvement within my classroom. I feel it is very important
for students to have continued support and encouragement at home and at school. I am a firm
believer children tend to achieve more, have better self-esteem, are more self-disciplined and are
more excited about school in general when they have the support from family members. Parents
and community members will be encouraged to actively participate in reading activities, math
activities, classroom plays, and different culminating events that will be planned throughout the
year.

To make sure students are meeting the goals that are set forth throughout the year I will have a
series of different assessments. On a daily basis, I will be having many different forms of
formative tests such as classroom discussions, games, journal entries, classroom assignments,
and observations. These assessments will be used to guide my instruction throughout the year. I
will be asking myself if my students are on the right track by answering questions like: Do I

need to make adjustments to the lessons or the curriculum? Are students meeting the short term
requirements needed to fulfil the long term goals?

I will be using some summative testing for the long term goals such as end of unit test. With
these tests I will be basing my instruction according to the state and district standards. This will
assist my students to be successful with the MEAP test. It is important to me that students know
and understand the standards for the testing and what is expected of them throughout the year.
This helps me to assist my students in establishing their goals. Formative goals will make sure
we are on the right track; however, conferencing with students on a regular basis will give me a
good understanding of each student’s individual progression. I will allow me to be able to
differentiate if need be or change the instruction for a whole class. I am also very fond of
culminating events to wrap up a unit within the curriculum. These work very well with Social
Studies and Science units. Holding a “Night at the Museum” or a science fair for parents and the
community would be excellent ways to assess students.

Another thing I look forward to in my classroom is diversity. For some students this is the only
way most students will experience a diversified setting. Having a democratic classroom
environment is an easy way to teach different religions, cultures, and beliefs with an open and
encouraging atmosphere. I would encourage students to talk about their cultures, bring things in
to decorate the classroom, and have guest speakers visit us to explore the different diversities
within our classroom. One of my favorite things is when the student actually becomes the
teacher and I become the student. I will model how to politely and respectfully ask questions

and be inquisitive about other cultures. Diversity is and will continue to be a major part of our
society and needs to be a major part of the classroom environment.

I am very excited to put into action my ideas and plans for an emotionally safe, ridicule free,
democratic classroom environment. The experiences I have had throughout my own education
have shaped me as an educator and influence me to be the best teacher I can be.

Sources
1. Alan S. Canestrati & Bruce A. Marlowe (2013). In Educational Foundations An
Anthology of Critical Readings. Sage Publications, Inc. Los Angeles
- Henry Giroux, Teachers as Transformative Intellectuals
2. Gail E Tompkins (2011). Literacy In The Early Grades,
Pearson Education, Inc Boston, MA
3. Michael W. Apple and James A. Beane. (2007). Democratic Schools Lessons in Powerful
Education. Heinemann, Portsmouth, NH
4. G. Olsen and M.L. Fuller (2010) The Benefits of Parent Involvement: What Research has
to say. Pearson Allyn Bacon Prentice Hall
5. Susan K. Greene and Roberts L. Johnson. (2010). Assessment is Essentail,
McGraw-Hill