Teaching Platform

Although my goal for the future is to work in a library setting, I firmly believe that the librarian, whether in a school or in a public setting,  is still vital part of the educational process and a teacher in his or her own right.  During my time as a classroom teacher, I created a teaching platform, both in writing and as a series of posters which hung in my classroom and kept me accountable to my students and to myself.

My Teaching Philosophy

          I believe that the learner is an active thinker, a questioner and a doer.  The learner comes to school with an entire lifetime of experience through which he or she processes the work I give and the words I say.  The learner is a skeptic, and will and should challenge the knowledge I present.  The learner is an example to those around him or her.  The learner is someone who, no matter how young, is able to make an impact.  The learner wants to learn and succeed, although he or she may not always be ready or able to do so at any given moment.  The learner is also a teacher.  The learner is a unique individual with talents, skills and knowledge to contribute.  The learner is a person.


             I believe that the teacher is a learner.  I believe that the teacher is a leader with students, colleagues and in her community.  The teacher is a facilitator and a guide to the construction of knowledge.  The teacher is a mentor and a role model.  The teacher is passionate about both her students and her subject.  The teacher is caring, encouraging, just, patient, and compassionate.  She never asks more of her students than she is willing to give.  She has a sense of humor.  She builds relationships.  She believes in her students.  She has heart.  She loves.

I believe that the purpose of schooling is to create educated, well-rounded, and informed young men and women.  A good school gives all students the best possible community in which to live, learn, and mature.  It teaches young people to appreciate diversity, think critically, and develop good character.  It encourages students learn to love to learn.


            I believe that the nature of student work should be relevant to students’ lives.  It should have weight and substance to it – it should “matter.”  Student work should be challenging and engaging.  Students should be interactively engaged with work that demonstrates their own construction of knowledge based on a solid academic foundation.  Student work should foster both academic and interpersonal skills, and cultivate creativity and critical thinking.


            I believe that the curriculum should be connected to life.  It should be engaging and diverse.  It should be challenging, even intensive, but shaped to student needs and abilities.  Curriculum should be interactive and flexible.  It should contain a strong core of academics, but allow exploration into a multitude of different realms, including examination of how they interconnect.  It should permit expression of all different types of student strengths and stretch student weaknesses.  It should promote creativity.  It should extend to the world outside the school walls.


            I believe that the pedagogy should be inquiry-oriented and interactive.  It should focus on critical thinking, analysis and the construction of knowledge.  I believe students should have opportunities to work in groups, to learn to brainstorm, delegate and task share.  I believe they should also have the opportunity to work independently and pursue their own areas of interest.  I believe students should be encouraged to teach their peers and learn from each other.


            I believe that the school climate should be student-focused first and supportive of the faculty second.  I believe teachers should have the autonomy in their classroom to teach in their own style and as they deem appropriate and beneficial.  I believe teachers are in school to support students and administration is in school to support teachers.  I believe the school should be an active, close-knit community where everyone is accepted and their unique abilities are appreciated.  I believe it should be a place where everyone is respected and where diversity is celebrated.  I believe teachers should function as a team, working together to support and challenge each other and to provide the best learning experience for each student.  I believe the school should be a place where both faculty and students truly enjoy coming, and where learning is exciting.  I believe school is a place everyone should be proud to call theirs because each person has a personal investment in it, and each person’s contribution is meaningful.

            I believe that the lessons learned in school will help to shape the student into a responsible, upright citizen ready to take his or her place in our larger society.  I believe school should produce people who are not satisfied merely to fulfill the status quo, but who are willing and able to make a difference.  I believe students should emerge as educated, intelligent young people with strong character and the ability to think for themselves.  I believe students should learn to give back to their communities and take an active role in the world around them.

©2004 Ryn Lewis