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Teaching Philosophy

Erica Kelley

University of St. Thomas

Erica Kelley

EDUC 6330 Administrative Internship 11

Spring 2017

Teaching Philosophy

My philosophy regarding education is it takes a community to ensure the academic

success of all students. I teach at a Title 1 school where 92% of the students are economically

disadvantaged. The students do not have much experience in the real world beyond their

neighborhood. If I teach a lesson on animal adaptations, weather, or finances my students would

be clueless. Some students have not been to the zoo, traveled anywhere outside of the city of

Houston or their neighborhoods, or have heard of having a savings account at the bank.

Therefore, I bring these experiences to them by involving the community. I want my

students to have exposure to different experiences, because this will enhance their learning. I

reach out to banks, and a ask if a banker can come and speak to my students about the role a

bank plays in their community, and why it is important to save money. I asked a zoologist to

come speak to them about the various animals at the zoo. I also have reached out and asked

Travis Herzog, a meteorologist from Channel 13, to come speak to my students about the

different types of weather and weather safety.

Parent participation is imperative in my students’ success. Communication is strongly

encouraged. I inform my parents of my open door policy. They are able to observe my

classroom at any time. I use Class Dojo to update parents on upcoming events, and I post

pictures of student work and lessons. This keeps the parents informed of what their child is

learning. I often hear parents say “I can’t help my child with their homework, because I don’t

have an education myself”. In cases like these I invite parents to my tutoring sessions. If they

cannot attend, I will schedule a conference with them, and teach them what the students are


Involving the whole community, including parents, in students’ learning will increase the

chances of academic success. The students will be more engaged in the lessons, and will have

more understanding. My student growth rate has increased from 51% to 62% since I have made

an effort to involve the whole community in student learning.