Purpose of the Portfolio
This portfolio has been developed to track my professional experience, evaluate my teaching, reflect on my achievements, collate artifacts and determine future directions for my pedagogical practice.
I discovered what I would call my teaching philosophy when I was on a
teaching practicum and had to introduce myself to the class. I told
them that I became a teacher so that I could work with young people and
try to inspire them to use their imagination to inquire about the
nature of the world around them. I told them that the exciting part
about teaching is not just in learning the content, but it is in the
learning journey. This journey is
lifelong and one filled with twists and turns and the key is to keep your mind open to all possibilities and to keep questioning.
What makes a good teacher?
(Cripps Clark & Walsh, 2002)
The results from teacher education research consistently brings out these elements as being of prime importance when considering the characteristics of an effective teacher. They encompass both the importance of subject knowledge and the ability to be flexible and innovative in teaching and learning. This selection of characteristics also points to the need for teachers to understand the specific environment they are working in and emphasizes the need for teachers to engage with their students both as unique individuals and learners. Finally, with the inclusion of the term 'moral code', this excerpt implies the role of the teacher as mentor and guide in the process of formal and informal learning.
“Improved learning comes from both improving the curriculum and improving pedagogy. One without the other is insufficient.” (Ramsey, 2001, p.37)
I have included this quote because it accurately reflects my opinion that as a teacher we need to constantly reflect upon our own teaching practice so as to grow and learn. We should be able to do this in a supportive environment.
“Research also suggests that analyses and discussions of teaching practice among peers may be effective in bringing about lasting changes in practice” (Masters, 2002 p.28)
Teaching is a collaborative activity and so one important means to improve pedagogical practice is to communicate with other teachers, conduct personal and work related research and engage in relevant professional development, so as to be active learners within the professional sphere and beyond.