I have taken the challenge of Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks coach, to write my teaching philosophy in 25 words or less for preservice teachers. The emboldened words count towards my 25 words.
Relationships – Success in teaching comes from knowing my students, having them feel valued, and supporting them in a belief that they can succeed in the challenging world of teaching. One way I build relationships at the university level is by having my students respond in writing to our in-class experiences, readings, and their field work. I then respond individually to each student. By building relationships, I can inspire them and give them hope that they can succeed.
Team Building – Classroom teaching of any age students can be lonely. To recharge, rejuvenate, feel the life affirming energy from another simpatico adult, teachers need to develop colleagues. I use group teaching projects so my students learn the give and take of team building.
Experiential Learning – The number one problem with classroom learning is that it is for the most part so boring it would make you want to cry. To that end, I make the lessons I teach based in active experiences. Rather than talk about the value of the Responsive Classroom’s Morning Meeting, I model one and then have each student lead a Morning Meeting with a partner to live and feel the experience.
Field Study – There is so much to learn beyond campus. My students go out into public school classrooms, participate, and teach with some of our public school’s best teachers.
Demonstrations of Learning – No written tests for Dan. Written tests can be too much study, test, and forget. I want my students to show me what they have learned. They teach a lesson rather than take a test on the elements of a successful lesson.
There it is ten words. It’s a first shot, but I could take my philosophy to an interview and articulate my vision for successful classroom teaching.
Give it a shot in 25 words or less. It may be what you are missing. I’d love to see what you come up with.