There are many different reasons why I want to teach. My aunt is a teacher, and I believe that she has had a huge impact on my desire to teach others. Teaching fascinates me; I believe it allows you to get inside the minds of young people. I have a strong passion to help other people, to make some sort of an impact. I believe that teachers, no matter what age they’re teaching, get the chance to make that impact on their students. Being a teacher is such an important job, education is a key to life, it opens so many doors. I want to teach because I want to be a resource for students, I want to reach out to them and help them in every way possible. Watching someone learn something that you’ve taught them is such a rewarding thing.
Marguerite Izzo the 2007 teacher of the year from New York stated, “I knew from a young age that teaching was the most important and powerful job in the world”. She’s absolutely right and I’ve felt the same way as her since I was young as well. No matter what age you teach, it is the most important job hands down. Without teachers there wouldn’t be authors, scientists, philosophers, CEO’s, or anything like that. Education is fundamental no matter what field you pursue, and students rely on their teachers to teach them the information that they need to know to make the best out of their futures. Jean Lamar the 2009 teacher of the year in Florida said, “I teach because I too am passionate about learning and I want to share that passion with my students”. I think that passion is a huge part of teaching, if you as a teacher show that you are passionate about what you are teaching then your students are more likely to be passionate about learning the information. Teachers inspire and open doors.
As far as a teaching philosophy I don’t think that just one suits me, and I feel that just one shouldn’t suit any teacher. Teachers should incorporate different methods and different philosophies into their “teaching style”. They should do this because different students learn different way and are interested in different things. A good teacher will go out of their way for their students. Sarah Baird the 2009 teacher of the year in Arizona spoke about her coworkers and how they “spend their weekends, spend their own money, spend every waking moment thinking about what they can do to impact the kids in their classroom”. I found certain aspects of constructivism, empiricism, extentialism and idealism to be interesting and I found that they incorporate feelings that I have about teaching and learning.
Constructivism for example, is built on the idea that people build their understanding of the world. I believe that everyone has a different perception of reality which may change the way that they think or how and what they want to learn. According to our book, constructivists “gauge student’s prior knowledge, and then carefully orchestrate cues, classroom activities and penetrating questions to push students to higher levels of understanding”. Which I think is a wonderful idea, to know what the student already knows before trying to expand their knowledge.
Empiricism is a belief that sensory experiences are the ultimate sources of knowledge. Being that I went to a Montessori school for the majority of my life, I am a big believe in this. Being able to see, feel and hear things is a good way to help you remember them. I love the idea of hands on lessons, like the lessons on the shelves of Montessori classrooms.
Existentialism stood out to me because according to our book it “emphasizes the ability of the individual to determine the course and nature of his or her life and the importance of personal decision making”. I absolutely believe that it is up the individual to choose the course of their life. The decisions that a student makes affects their future and I think that schools and teachers should emphasize that.
I don’t think that I can chose just one “philosophy” or “style” that fits me the best when it comes to education or how I would teach. I think that it is important that teachers incorporate different things into their lesson plans to guarantee that all of their students have the maximum capability to learn and truly understand the information that is being presented.
Jean Lamar also said, “I can’t deny that teaching is challenging”. I really loved her honesty in that statement. It is important to know that teaching is challenging, to weed out people who aren’t really passionate about teaching. Teachers who sit at their desk and give their students busy work are a waste of space in the school system, if you want my personal opinion. The teachers that I watched that have won teacher of the year awards were truly inspiring. They are all teaching for the right reasons and have the same views on the importance of teaching.
Resources- Teachers, Schools and Society by David Miller Sadker and Karen R. Zittleman