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Professional Philosophy

Cicely F. Robinson

During my first few years of teaching, my professional philosophy was simple.

All children are capable of learning. Since developing my philosophy, I have come to
find that my new mission is to expand on how my students can gain the knowledge
needed to become successful citizens.
Six years ago, I was blessed to be accepted into the Master of Education program
at Union University. During the first summer term, I was enrolled in a class that
discussed the benefits of brain-based learning. I was knowledgeable about brain-based
learning, but now had the opportunity to match theory with practice. I figured that this
class would be another ordinary graduate course with lectures, a project, and tests. Little
did I know, Dr. Ann Singleton would change my perception of how to reach and teach
todays youth. Upon reading Eric Jensens book, Teaching with the Brain in Mind, I
learned that different parts of the brain play a vital role in how students learn. Dr.
Singleton showed me this by presenting her lectures in various ways, such as discovery
learning, cooperative groups, and interactive journaling. She equipped me with the tools
that would have a lasting impact on how I could use my newfound knowledge in creating
novelty in my teaching.
In retrospect, my approach to teaching has been greatly influenced by Dr.
Singleton. She has challenged me to constantly think about my educational theories and

practices. Dr. Singletons emphasis on using brain-based learning as an effective

approach to teaching became a reality in my classroom. Students in my classroom learn
through discovery, exploration, and problem-based scenarios. I approach teaching with
strategies that spark brain-based learning, such as multiple intelligences. It is important to
give students experiences, novelty and meaning in their learning so that every child has a
more fulfilling learning experience. Since students are forever learning and applying new
information, it is imperative that I give them opportunities for a high-quality education by
teaching with the brain in mind.
For 10 years, I have been preparing students to become purposeful citizens by
exposing them to meaningful experiences. At this stage in my career, I am ready to help
prepare the next generation of teachers. School leaders must provide strong leadership
that sets the tone for the daily functions of the school. In this day and age, school leaders
are managers, organizers and instructional leaders. Gone are the days of school leaders
walking the halls and telling students to tuck in their shirts. School leaders must have a
vision and create a common culture of positive expectations. At one point in time, school
leaders were teachers themselves, so they understand teaching and must help to develop a
focus on improving instruction and student learning. In my eyes, this is what constitutes
effective school leadership.
I have personally learned that when a school lacks leadership, minimal
learning takes place and teachers become content and the one size fits all approach
takes over. With increased accountability in the education field, strong leaders are
desperately needed. I believe that strong leaders allow individuals to improve their
teaching skills. My teaching was enhanced under the leadership of Cherry Davidson at

Dexter Elementary. Mrs. Davidson fostered policies that promoted high academic
standards and she provided her staff with the necessary training to meet those goals. I
served in various leadership capacities and this allowed me to become a better teacher
and a better colleague. She was respected and I learned a lot under her tutelage. Like Mrs.
Davidson, I would like to be the type of leader that makes a difference by supporting
teachers and using the knowledge I have learned to offer educational solutions.
A school is only as effective as its leader. If you have poor leadership, this
will lead to poor academic dynamics and negative teacher morale. Ineffective leadership
may be one of the reasons why school systems are failing in todays society. My
philosophy is to be committed to becoming part of the solution by learning what it takes
to become a strong school leader. It is no longer feasible to sit and complain about
educational trends and changes. I believe the best thing to do is find out how one can
make the difference in todays society.