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My Teaching Philosophy

Caliandra Burchett
I have always believed that in order to grow and develop as a person, one must
open their minds to different opportunities and perspectives in life. Having this awareness
and willingness to learn about other cultures in my entire life led me to become Spanish
instructor. My passion and excitement for the Spanish culture and language is something
I want to bring into the classroom, so that my students may be just as excited,
enthusiastic, and open to learn.
Build instruction based on prior knowledge
The students that will be in my classroom have either developed knowledge in other
languages or continued to learn about their native language throughout their schooling.
Using what the students already know based on English in order to learn Spanish helps
create those important connections between the two languages. I believe that if there is
comprehensible input being understood in my students learning process, they are able to
learn the language fully.
Students are humans first
I plan on taking a more humanistic approach in the classroom so that my students can
become more independent and self-sufficient language learners. I want to be the guide
and model in their language learning experience, and by opening up opportunities for
them to learn on their own, it allows for more critical thinking and curiosity in the
language. As a Spanish educator, it is essential that I get to positively know my students
so that I can learn about their interests in order to incorporate and connect those things to
the Spanish culture. It is important to be open and understanding to all different types of
students including all aspects of their religion, race, gender, and cultural background. I
personally support, recognize, and accept the diversity of students and create learning
environments where the students are respected, treated fairly and feel safe. I am able to
do this by setting a clear example of what I expect from my students from day one and
create a no-tolerance policy.
Encourage curiosity
It is crucial that the instructor knows the students in order to develop and build upon their
interests in teaching the language. Adapting the lessons so that they are geared towards
what the students want to know helps in their motivation to learn. Integrating the Spanish
culture and authentic language into the classroom will also help stem curiosity in other
students, and allow for them to make comparisons to the English language. Recognizing
the different learner needs leads to differentiation, which allows the students to succeed
in the best way. It is important that I create various activities in the classroom for them to
choose from and model or scaffold the lessons when needed.
Be an advocate for Foreign Language Education
While learning Spanish, I believe it is important that the students use the English
language in the learning process. It is important that I myself continue in my professional
development so that I can be an advocate and voice for Spanish education and culture. I
am able to do this by being aware of organizations, standards, laws and policies on
foreign language education in America, and continue research on the topic.
I strive to help my students develop the connections between English and the Spanish
language so that they are able to personally develop in the two languages. As a guide in

the learning process, I hope to inspire curiosity for other cultures and languages in my
students and broaden their perspective of the world.