As an educator, I believe the most important thing I can do is foster a love of learning in the children that I teach. Each child has the ability and the desire to learn; it is up to the teacher to draw out that desire and develop a love of learning that lasts a lifetime. I believe the role of the teacher is that of a facilitator, someone who helps students learn but does not tell them how. The teacher should not be the expert; rather they should be the one to ease the child into the subject at hand and guide them through the learning process. Fostering a love of learning involves highlighting active participation, teaching children to learn for themselves, keeping up to date with the latest in education and creating a warm positive learning environment. The concepts of knowledge, learning and thinking are inherent in fostering a love of learning in children.
Knowledge is something that is constantly changing and evolving. Each year there is something new to explore or discover. As a teacher, I believe I need to keep up with the constant changes happening in our world. It is my duty as an educator to teach the children the most up to date information, so that they can live with a clear view of the world around them. Teachers themselves are life long learners; a good teacher is one that stays current in her field, engages in related research and attends workshops and conferences. I feel it is important to be open to new techniques and methods of teaching, and incorporate the newfound knowledge into established teaching practices.
Learning involves active participation, in which each child becomes a part of the learning process. I believe that students will have a better understanding of learning if they are given the opportunity to think for themselves. In the classroom this can be achieved through activities such as think pair share, where children are asked a question, told to think about it for a brief period of time and then asked to share with a classmate. My philosophy centres on the constructivism approach to learning, where the child is continually updating their sense of the world from new experiences. The child, as a learner, is persistently interpreting and reinterpreting their world to explain what is occurring. As a result, they are thinking for themselves, taking what they already know about the world and reconstructing it with the new information they have gained. Active participation in the classroom can be as simple as group discussions, think-pair-share and hands on activities. I feel that the student should be engaged in the learning process, so that they feel more in charge of their own learning.
Teaching children to guide their own learning allows them to have a voice within the classroom. I believe this creates a classroom based on trust and respect. Having classroom discussions where students play a role in deciding classroom rules and procedures, allows them to have a voice in their own learning. I believe children should be allowed to speak up if they think a component of the classroom environment isn’t working. It is when the student feels engaged in their learning process that a true love of learning grows.