Teaching and Philosophy

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I have been an early childhood teacher for many years. My style of teaching and my philosophy have grown with me. I no longer frown at the bunch time reading interruptions as I once did. I now see them as the children being interested and intrigued by the story. I no longer control how much glue can come out of a bottle, yes it will take a week to dry -- a natural consequence with a lesson learned. And I no longer ask children to sit and do ABC worksheets that are anything but developmentally appropriate. I allow for instinct to prevail with writing pads and accessories available all around the classroom.

In my opinion, the best education a child can receive is one based on the holistic approach where the teaching consists of the physical, emotional and psychological well-being of a child. In holistic education, the teacher is seen as a mentor or a friend instead of the person who knows all the answers. The curriculum is based on the children's interest, and the families are invited to share their in-depth knowledge of the individual family culture. The classroom is inviting, honest communication is expected, and the differences between people are respected and appreciated, cooperation is the focus rather than competition.

The classroom should support multiple ways of learning: auditory, visual, kinesthetic and logical/analytical. The auditory learner remembers information by talking aloud and needs to have things explained orally, and often enjoys talking in groups over working alone. I would support this learner with regular conversation. The visual learner assimilates through watching. They remember visual details and prefer to see what they are learning. I would physically show them how to do something. Kinesthetic learners like to be eagerly involved in the learning process. They learn best through hands-on activities and want to touch things to learn about them. For them, I would make sure the classroom had many hands-on experiences. For the analytical learner, they learn through exploring patterns and understanding how things relate to each other. Classroom ideas to support them would include knowing how things work and allowing for lots of questions so they can understand how things are interconnected. Every child learns through a variety of these learning styles. For the children to be successful, there needs to be a balance of all these approaches.

I believe that children learn best if the curriculum is based on their interests. Daily I observed the children's interests and expanded on them, making sure the classroom environment is engaging and inviting with a hands-on approach. Using developmentally appropriate practices (DAP) in my curriculum, I would maintain age-appropriate expectations, provide each child with a right amount of challenge, support, sensitivity, and stimulation that promotes development and learning. The NAEYC position statement on DAP states All teaching practices should be appropriate to children's age and developmental status, attuned to them as unique individuals, and responsive to the social and cultural contexts in which they live. Following that account, the classroom structure should support itself.

For a classroom to run smoothly, the families need to be involved. I would work toward building strong and trusting relationships with both the children and their families. When the parents know I genuinely care about them, they begin to open up and share more about their joys and struggles in life. As the relationships grow, a strong sense of community is built. They come to trust me, and I come to trust them. When the children see this connection, it allows them to become more comfortable in the classroom, and before long we see each other as an extended family which supports a wonderful nurturing teacher-child-family relationship.

As an experienced teacher in this field, I deeply value the importance of other professionals. Having the ability to work as a team and knowing how to accept expert advice not only helps the child, it improves the care I provide in the classroom. From the speech, physical and occupational therapists to the behavioral specialist I would not be able to do my job in supporting children without working with them and relying on their knowledge. The help they provide and the information they share is an invaluable asset to me as a teacher. What I learn from them teaches me how to offer support to all the children in my care, not just those with special needs. Often the best support comes from my colleagues. With many years of experience in various roles, with multitudes of children, my fellow teachers and often directors have not only their experience to rely upon but the answers I am often seeking. They are such an excellent resource that often gets overlooked. It should be encouraged that teachers get reflective guidance at every staff meeting. Collectively it could solve a lot of concerns with children when staff can toss around ideas to best help a situation.

I believe children are capable of learning, exploring, problem-solving, loving and communicating. They are truly amazing beings. If there are few limitations put on them, their abilities are endless. As a teacher, I learn something new every day as I work with children, something about myself and always something about them. Children deserve a learning environment that offers a safe, integrated space where play, freedom of movement, developmentally appropriate materials and practices, positive reinforcement, and educated, caring teachers are readily available. I want the values in the classroom to reflect a positive outlook on life, appreciating even the smallest of creatures to the biggest of imaginations.

I will continue to teach from a place of deep love and respect for the littlest in our society as it is what brings me to this calling. At the end of our time together I would hope to leave each child with a love of learning, a sense of wonder, a sense of community and joy in their heart. Only when successful would feel as if I deserved the title of Teacher.

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Teaching and Philosophy. (2019, Jun 14). Retrieved July 20, 2024 , from

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