Friday, May 9, 2008

Teaching Philosophy

Here is my teaching philosophy from last semester. It hasn't changed much except I have a little about grading that I didn't put in there. I don't think I will ever actually put the grading philosophy in.

I attempt to create a classroom in which my students feel free to try new things and even fail at those new things without consequence. In creating such a classroom I tend to move away from traditional teacher-student lectures and focus more on collaborative class time. I attempt to create student-student and student-teacher paradigms in which the roles are not discernible or often reversed.

I provide my students with many different learning techniques and rely heavily on the use of all Gardner’s multiple intelligences in order to encourage learning. Even my first day introductory lesson, in which students create a duct tape wardrobe and attempt to market the pieces in a fashion show, is a testament to my classroom environment. In this lesson, students must work together to solve a problem, students must use several of the multiple intelligences, and the traditional teacher-student roles are broken as I participate in each group as a peer. Students often comment on this exercise as the most memorable of the semester.

Furthermore, student evaluations and comments are often focused on teacher-student relationships and the class structure. One recent evaluation said, “She cares about her students and is very approachable. She does not embarrass us or degrade us for not knowing an answer. She takes the time to explain it again.” Another evaluation stated, “I like that [you] made us think about punctuation in a different way. Normally its memorize, regurgitate, forget. Not in this class.”

I truly believe that teaching is learning and learning is teaching and I take every opportunity to do both in my class room.

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