About Me

I am a Sophomore at the University of South Alabama pursuing my degree in Elementary Education. I am hoping to become a 4th grade teacher. After teaching for a few years, I want to get my Media Specialist master's degree and become a librarian. I love children and I hope to be a great teacher someday, using technology throughout my career. I believe that teachers should not only be teaching, but they should be learning everyday through their classroom and other resources. You can only better yourself through learning and a life-long learning experience is what I wish for everyone.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

My Teaching Philosophy

If you have read any of the blogs below, you have seen parts of my teaching philosophy. I have written a full teaching philosophy that I will share with you here. This philosophy covers many of the aspects of learning I strive to share in my classroom.

The classroom learning experience is so important to me as a teacher. I want my students to have the best schooling experience I can possibly give them. Not only do I want to prepare my students for the future; I also want them to have a fun time learning. My classroom must be unique and be a memorable place for the students to learn. There are 5 main aspects that I want to focus on in my teaching philosophy. These aspects are creativity, leadership, fairness/equal opportunity, respect for others, and continued personal learning.

I believe that creativity is a very important aspect of my teaching philosophy. I believe being a great teacher means bringing creativity into the classroom. My students should be able to remember information that is presented to them in a creative form. Different activities, hands-on experiences, and even classroom decorations are great ways to keep students interested in what they are learning and keep the information fresh on their minds! I like to encourage creativity because I know that creativity is what makes boring things so much fun!

I believe that every student can be a leader. I have a leadership plan where each student has a role in the classroom at least every other week. Leadership roles include things like line leaders, paper passers, and people who help me with certain tasks. I encourage leadership qualities in the children and let them all know how they can be leaders in their own communities!

Every student should have a fair chance in the classroom. I do not believe in answering questions by raising hands all of the time. I love equality sticks being the way children are called on in class. I don’t want any student to feel left out or feel like they can hide in the class. I want my students to know that everyone is created equal and that everyone gets a chance to do something great.

All of my students have to show respect for their classmates and me. Respect is very important. If you show a student respect, they will respect you. Also if a student shows another student respect, that other student will respect them! I want my students to show all adults respect and learn that respect can get them a long way.

Lastly, I would love for my students to develop a love for learning. I want them to have a continued learning experience and learn outside of the classroom. Sharing days are very important to me because I want my students to share what they have learned outside of the classroom with each other. I love to learn all of the time and I know it is because all of my teachers encouraged a continued learning experience.

All of these values are so important to me. I hope that I am portraying those qualities and showing them to my students in a positive way. I know that I will have to tweak this philosophy as I continue teaching, but I hope that this philosophy is effective at the moment.

Creating New Ways to Learn vs. Burp Back Education

Simply reading and cramming knowledge into the head for an exam does not qualify as learning. As a future teacher, I am completely against "Burp Back" education. This form of education can be described as memorizing information and simply burping it back on the test. After the test, the student will not even remember what he or she has just relayed. It is a sad way to teach and learn and definitely qualifies the teacher as lazy.

Instead of being a lazy teacher, I want to create new ways of learning. Learning through Wikis, Blogs, videos, Skype...there are already so many new ways of learning. Teachers just have to take grasp of these ways. Through my PLN, I have already discovered new resources and information to use in the classroom. If I can find this information, any teacher can. There are so many ways to grow as a teacher if we just take the time to access these ways.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Developing a Love of Learning

Not everyone begins their education with a love for books and learning, but when you have a great, inspiring teacher, that love for learning begins to appear. I love to learn and figure out new things every day. I would love for my students to love learning as much as I do. My goal is to be a very positive and encouraging teacher. I want to introduce education in a fun and exciting way. Great lesson plans will be created with technology and activities integrated into each lesson. I will try to Skype other classrooms so that my students can interact with other students from different cities and countries. Sharing a love for learning is a great trait for a teacher to hold.

Creativity in the Classroom

I want my students to feel like they have creative freedom in the classroom. I do not want my students to feel limited in their projects. I feel like blogs, podcasts, videos, and other forms of technology will help creativity be easier to reach. Each student has a personality of their own and I want each student to reach his or her full potential and discover how smart and unique each student can be. Creativity is important to carry throughout life and I would love to be the leader to help students discover creativity.

Classroom Blog

My classroom will have a blog so that parents can access what their student is doing in the class and what is going on in the classroom. Each student will have his or her own section with podcasts, videos, and written entries that he or she has created. I will make sure each parent is okay with having his or her student's work posted online and if there are any problems, I will put password locks on the certain child's section. The blog will be updated daily with homework, classroom information, and any announcements parents need to know.

iTunes U and Video Podcasts

A great tool that I will implement in my classroom is iTunes U. I think the videos and audio that is available to access on that website is a great resource. Since it is free, anyone can access the information and enjoy the educational information. Since I do want to teach 4th grade, iTunes U podcasts would make the students feel a little more grown up and also give them more of a chance to become a little more independent. The video podcasts through iTunes U will be a great supplement to some lesson plans and the videos can be used daily or weekly. I think that students would be able to concentrate on information much better if they had video and audio aids and iTunes U provides great resources!