“…there are some principles, some decisions we should make about how we are going to go about our work that should be set in the bedrock of our hearts…”
A famous preacher once defined a quality decision as “one about which there is no more discussion, and from which there is no retreat.” That’s how I believe every classroom teacher should feel about her/his basic philosophy of teaching.
Many of us are asked to write a personal philosophy of teaching as part of our teacher preparation program work. Often they are idealistic, hopeful, and sometimes impractical.
But there are some principles, some decisions we should make about how we are going to go about our work that should be set in the bedrock of our hearts before we meet our students, before we know who our administrators are going to be, before our first parent/teacher conference. These are anchors that will steady us during those rough days, when we’re teaching through tears and clenched teeth.
I wrote my philosophy of teaching when I switched careers from journalism, as a 30-ish mother of four, near the end of my traditional teacher prep program. As I do every summer, I look back at it as I reflect on the past school year and prepare for the next. I still stand by it and on it; it hangs on my wall and lives in my work. This is my quality decision about teaching.
My Teaching Philosophy
Every child can learn; every child deserves my respect and my best professional efforts.
I will strive to maintain my sense of humor and allow my students the freedom to smile, to laugh, and to respectfully disagree with me.
I am my students’ friend, not their peer.
I can learn new things from my students.
My primary teaching goal is to enable and to encourage students to communicate effectively.
My lessons and methods shall be student-centered.
I will grade fairly and firmly.
Classroom time is to be used for students to learn, not for me to catch up on other things.
I will be well-prepared for each class.
I wholeheartedly encourage and seek parental involvement. Parents are always welcome in my classroom, and they may see their child’s work or ask about their child’s progress at any time.
I will strive to cooperate as much as possible with my colleagues on the faculty, the administration, and other school personnel.
I will continually seek to grow spiritually, intellectually, and professionally.
I will “build a fence around the playground.”
Mrs. Renee Moore
July 1, 1990
Do you have a philosophy of teaching? (Formally written or not) Would you share it with us?