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Running head: A STATEMENT OF MY PERSONAL TEACHING PHILOSOPHY

Eljamal !1

A Statement of My Personal Teaching Philosophy

My teaching philosophy is rooted in my desire to ensure that my students are best
prepared not for the world that exists today, but for the world that will exist in their future. As a
teacher, I choose to do this in two ways. First, by nurturing individual talents and passions, and
using them as a springboard for learning. I believe that “children’s education should develop
each child’s personality, talents and abilities to the fullest,” (United Nations, 1989, p.2), and as
such I tend to focus less on basing my instruction on teaching my students as many skills as
possible, and more on discovering what my students are already good at and encouraging them to
grow from there. I find that this heightens intrinsic motivation and increases student productivity
in the classroom. I also try to prepare my students for their future, by encouraging the use of
technology in a way that adds new meaning to the content being taught, as opposed to simply
supporting it or introducing it as the sole focus of a lesson. Digital literacy is an important
component of what makes a 21st century learner successful, and I believe that the best way to
integrate this into the curriculum would be to show students not how to work technology, but
how technology can work for them. This is why I have chosen to specialize in Drama and
Communication Technology, and am continually finding new ways to incorporate elements from
each discipline into all of the subjects I find myself teaching.
As a prospective Drama teacher, I have always viewed the field as one where students are
asked to be more visceral rather than cerebral. As a discipline, it allows people to further
discover and develop their own personal character, and acts as a platform for them to enhance
communication with the multitude of characters who exist in the world today. In order to 


A STATEMENT OF MY PERSONAL TEACHING PHILOSOPHY

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experience the benefits of Drama, however, a student must be willing to be their true selves and
explore vulnerably in the classroom. Because of this, I feel that my approach to instructing the
discipline would be different from the approaches used in most traditional classrooms. I believe
that “the every day rules of the classroom must be suspended [in drama], not in order to allow
anarchy, but to replace them with rules generated through … new activity” (Warren, 1995, p.24).
Establishing this helps ensure that my students are able to explore in an open, safe, and active
environment. The teacher alone cannot be responsible for maintaining order in the classroom. I
believe instead that my students need to feel “full ownership in what has been decided around
class norms, expectations, and consequences” (Edutopia, 2011, p.5). I believe that this is most
effectively accomplished by turning to creativity and placing a focus on the positive when
dealing with behavioural issues in the classroom, rather than resorting to punishment.
In order to prepare my students for their future, I also place a high focus on highlighting
the importance of being a life-long learner. I believe that measuring student growth from initial
skill, as opposed to assessing content-recall helps me accomplish this. Instead of asking my
students to focus on attaining a perfect end-product, I choose to encourage them by asking them
to continually reflect on their developing skills in the moment. I find that doing so is more
essential for my students in the long run, and better shapes them for what lies ahead. As much as
possible, I try to factor my students’ growth into my assessments, as I think doing so more
accurately measures what they are capable of producing practically.
In addition to this, while I do believe that competition in the classroom may be beneficial
for motivating learning, I strive to eliminate it in my assessments. “If a child can’t enjoy
achievement on its own merit, winning may not be a goal worth reaching” (Johnson, 1993, p.2)..

A STATEMENT OF MY PERSONAL TEACHING PHILOSOPHY

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By ensuring that none of my students feel devalued in comparison to their peers in the
classroom, and that they understand the value of learning on their own paths alongside the paths
of their peers, I believe my students will be one step closer to securing themselves a healthier
and more secure future.
While I know my personal teaching philosophy to be a subject that is ever-growing,
particularly as I gain more hands-on experience in the field, I am confident in the fact that I
understand why it is I have chosen to teach my future students through the fields of Drama and
Communication Technology. I know that my passion comes through finding ways to successfully
measure growth, as opposed to basing my assessment on final products alone. I also believe that,
as a teacher, I should be preparing my students not for what exists in the world today, but for the
future that will exist for them. I find that my passion for marrying technology and theatre in
meaningful ways is the medium through which I’ve decided to explore this concept so far, and
I’m looking forward to widening my understanding of what this will look like for the generations
to follow. Whenever I find myself in doubt, I tend to approach any given situation by trusting
that whatever I “do out of generosity and mutual love will be mostly the right thing to
do” (Ayers, 2006, p.277).
References
Ayers, W. (2006). The hope and practice of teaching. Journal of Teacher Education, 57(3), 269-277. http://login.ezproxy.library.ualberta.ca/login?
url=http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0022487105285891

Johnson, C. (1993). Children & Competition. Retrieved January 31, 2015, from http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/fcs/pdfs/fcs404.pdf

Ten Tips for Classroom Management. (2011). Edutopia. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/classroom-management-resource-guide
United Nations. (1989). Convention on the rights of the child. Retrieved, 2015, from http://www.unicef.org/crc/files/Rights_overview.pdf

Warren, B. (1995). Creating a Theatre in Your Classroom. Ontario: Captus University Publications