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Philosophy of Teaching and Learning

Tignor1

I believe that teaching and learning are processes shared by both students and
teachers alike. In addition to being a middle-school science teacher, I want to be a lifelong learner who continually learns from my students, colleagues, and professional
development opportunities. In my classroom, I seek to create a co-teaching and colearning environment where students feel comfortable asking questions and sharing
information with their peers. I learn from them, they learn from each other, and they
learn from me. All of us have important information and perspectives to share based on
our individual life experiences.
All my students are individuals with their own unique life experiences, learning
styles, and interests. Thus, my lesson plans involve a variety of modes of instruction
and teaching strategies. I like to have variety in my lesson plans so that students aren’t
doing the same thing for the entire class time or do not feel like they repeat the same
activities all the time. Along with some necessary lecture, I incorporate a variety of
hands-on activities, experiments, class discussions, research opportunities,
presentations, and small group work into my classes. Some of the instructional
strategies that I incorporate into my instruction are cues, questions, organizers, and
nonlinguistic representations. More information about those instructional strategies may
be found in Classroom Instruction that Works by Dean, Hubbell, Pitler, and Stone.
As a science teacher, I think that it is vitally important to help students connect
their academic learning to their lives and the world around them, especially since it is
that world that they are learning about in class. I help students make these connections
through activating prior knowledge, class discussions, and showing students news
articles, videos, and other resources with real-world examples of what we are learning

Philosophy of Teaching and Learning

Tignor2

in class. This provides students with an opportunity to see why their academic learning
is relevant and matters. However, students are unique and have a variety of interests
and prior experiences. Thus, I work to develop relationships with all my students so that
I can help to facilitate those connections between their interests and what we are talking
about in class. I also seek to know as much as I can about my students’ learning styles
and academic abilities so that I will know what they like as well as what they may
struggle. This allows me to differentiate my instruction so that all students can be
successful.
As a part of the variety of my class, I vary not only what the students are
learning, but how they are learning and who they are learning from. My classroom
instruction varies from whole group, to cooperative learning groups, and one-on-one
instruction. My students typically participate in a think-pair-share activity or other group
activity at least 3 days per week. This means that students are engaged in explicit
instruction, guided practice, group discussions, and asking questions on a regular basis.
I think that this variety helps keep students interested and gives students an opportunity
to be both the teachers and learners in the classroom.