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Nicole Burrell

My Philosophy of Education
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”- Nelson
Mandela
All students deserve to have a proper and equal education so that they can make a
difference in the world. As a future teacher, I will help all students receive a proper and equal
education by individualizing the lessons to meet each student’s needs. My classroom will be a
safe, welcoming, and comfortable environment for diverse learners. The students’ best interests
will be my main priority and I want them to understand that I will always be there to listen to
their needs. In addition, I want my classroom to be an enjoyable 21st century learning
environment with multiple activities and assessments suitable for diverse learners.
Today, 21st century learners master concepts and skills through multiple activities,
including hands-on activities, inquiry activities, and technology-based activities. Learners in the
21st century tend to learn life skills, such as counting and sorting items, better through hands-on
activities. Therefore, I have created lessons that allow students to work with their hands. By
completing hands-on activities during a money unit, my students were more likely to remember
the denomination of the coins and how to correctly count coins. Also, in science class, I have had
students observe minerals and rocks in groups of four. They collaborated with the peers in their
groups to write down their observations and determine how to explain their observations to the
entire class. By completing these activities, 21st century learners will develop their problem
solving skills, critical thinking skills, communication skills, innovation skills, and collaboration
skills.
In addition to all of the skills 21st century learners need to develop, 21st century learners
love to utilize technology in almost all activities, which will ultimately prepare them to use
technology in their future careers. In an addition lesson, I have allowed students to use the smart
board and an addition app on the iPad to practice their addition skills. The students enjoyed
playing the games on the addition app and receiving feedback on their answers from the app.
Also, during a spelling lesson while I was student teaching, we utilized the website, Spelling
City, to practice the spelling words for the week. The students enjoyed playing the interactive
spelling games and asked to play them every week. In addition, technology helps ELL students
and students with disabilities because of the visual and auditory components.
Although multiple hands-on activities and the use of technology are important in my
classroom, I know that I need to teach information in multiple formats to help all students.
Students all learn differently and have unique individual abilities and developmental needs.
Therefore, I have presented lessons multiple ways and given different assignments that
correspond to the lessons to meet students’ needs. For students who had difficulty writing
answers to assignments, I had them verbally state their answers to me or use a speech-to-text
program on the computer. By providing these accommodations, the students could focus more on
the details of their answers than worrying about how they would write down their entire answers.
Also, I have created lessons and activities to help visual learners, auditory learners, and
kinesthetic learners. While student teaching, I taught a lesson on subjects and predicates and I
verbally explained the definitions of subjects and predicates to the students while also writing the
definitions on the smart board. After discussing the information, the students participated in a

subject and predicate task sort game where they were up and moving while identifying subjects
and predicates. In addition, I will help students with disabilities receive an equal and appropriate
education by following their IEPs to modify the lessons and provide accommodations to fit their
needs. I will dedicate myself to meet every student’s unique needs in my classroom.
Another important aspect to meeting and respecting all students’ needs is to create a
positive and caring learning environment. In my classroom, all students will receive
encouragement and reinforcement. While student teaching in third grade, I provided students
with praise and encouragement when they answered questions correctly and explained their
thinking behind their answers. I believe that praise and encouragement are important aspects to
keep students interested and engaged in learning. When students in my third grade class during
student teaching answered a question incorrectly, I asked the students to explain their answers to
help them determine where they made a mistake. After we figured out their mistakes, I redirected
them to find the correct answer. The students who answered incorrectly at first still received
praise and encouragement for thinking about the problem again and finding the correct answer.
In addition, I believe that a positive and caring learning environment relies on open
communication and trust between the teacher and the students. All students in my classroom will
be expected to communicate any concerns they have about the information that has been taught
or about the classroom or school with me. In my third grade classroom during student teaching, I
created open communication and trust with the students by explaining that I expected them to
talk to me about any concerns they had at all and to trust me that I would help them with their
concerns.
To create a positive learning environment and establish trust, students will be required to
follow a reinforcement behavior system. Recently, in third grade, the behavior system I utilized
had students’ names on clothespins and the clothespins were placed on the ready to learn card for
the day. If the students broke a rule or procedure, their clothespins were clipped down to the
warning card. If the students broke another rule or procedure, their clothespins were clipped
down to the lose 10 minutes of recess card. If the students broke a third rule or procedure, they
were clipped down to the parent contact card. Students’ clothespins could even be clipped up to
the outstanding card if they did something extraordinary for the day. At the end of the day, the
students’ clothespins that were on the ready to learn card or outstanding card were paid a dollar
or two dollars, respectively. The third grade students worked really hard to earn money at the end
of the day so that they could buy prizes at the end of the week with their money. In addition to
the behavior system, I redirected students who were off task and had a clapping signal for
students while they were working in groups. I politely asked students to turn to the correct page
or to look at the smart board to answer my questions. Also, when students worked in groups, I
utilized the clapping signal. For the clapping signal, I would clap twice to get the students’
attention and the students would have to clap twice so I knew that they were ready to listen for
the next set of directions.
To establish trust with my students and help them obtain skills and reach their full
potential, I need to communicate with the students’ parents. Parents know their children the best.
Therefore, parents are a vital resource to determine the best way to help their children or
understand why their children may have certain behaviors. I want to create personal relationships
with each student’s parents by having the parents feel comfortable to call or email me with any
questions they have about their children. Parent-teacher conferences are important and will occur
at least once a month to discuss each child’s progress in my classroom. Parents should know
what their children are learning in class. Hence, a weekly e-mail with the information being

taught in class will be sent to parents every Sunday night. If parents are unable to receive emails,
a paper copy of the information being taught in class each week will be sent home with their
child. Also, I will have teacher-parent network nights throughout the year. At these network
nights, parents will have the opportunity to discuss the lessons in the classroom and any concerns
they have about their children. By having multiple methods of communication, I can effectively
communicate with parents and discuss how we can work together and help their child succeed in
school.
Overall, for me, teaching means caring about the students and wanting each student to
receive an equal and appropriate education. As long as I teach, I will dedicate myself to help all
students master the concepts they need for the rest of their lives. Also, I want students to know
that they can talk to me about anything and trust me. I want my classroom to be a warm, positive,
and caring learning environment where all students are treated with respect. In conclusion,
teaching means the world to me and I can’t wait to make a difference in my future students’
lives.