Philosophy of Teaching & Learning

I am determined to create and contribute to the development of learning spaces that are characterized by joy where children and adults engage in positive, memorable, and effective learning experiences.

My philosophy was written years ago and with children in mind. However, it effectively articulates what I believe are my responsibilities for supporting and guiding the professional growth of educators, too.

Learning Environment

  • It should be obvious to all of my students that my thoughts, actions, and decisions are based on what is best for them.

  • It is my responsibility to design and deliver learning experiences that demonstrate my awareness of and respect for the diverse learning preferences and range of prior achievement that students bring with them as they enter my classroom.

  • Learning experiences should provide opportunities for students to voice their opinions and gain exposure to varying points of view.

  • Protocols provide structure during collaborative activities that require speaking and listening. The use of protocols increases the likelihood that the voice of each member of our learning community will be heard.

  • It is my responsibility to assist each student on their quest for knowledge and self-discovery. Goal-setting and self-reflection are powerful tools to assist students on their journey toward reaching their goals.

Instructional Planning and Instructional Delivery

    • The best teaching and learning occurs when students are active members of their learning communities.

    • Carefully crafted questions that promote thinking along with the learning tasks that require children to collaborate, create and communicate are two important components of instruction that allow learners to discover and uncover new ideas and concepts.

    • My role is to orchestrate my classroom in a way that inspires creativity and nurtures confidence along a journey that requires learners to move beyond simply acquiring knowledge to applying it.

    • Communication in a classroom should include opportunities for learners to listen, talk, and provide specific and helpful feedback to each other.

    • Effective instruction is made better when both qualitative and quantitative data are used to refine instruction.

    • A variety of instructional strategies should be used to engage students and expose them to a variety of ways to learn.

    • A list of content standards or prescribed curriculum does not limit my ability to design and facilitate engaging and effective instruction.

Professionalism and Professional Knowledge

  • Knowledge of students’ intellectual, social, and personal development is as important as knowledge of the content I teach.

  • It is my responsibility to continue to learn on my own and with others to find ways to improve my practice.

  • Requesting feedback from other educators and from my students has the power to help me grow and improve.

  • In light of the reality that technology is an integral part of business and life, it is important that I take intentional steps to learn how to use technology to deliver more effective instruction.

  • Students should be taught to use technology to learn how to learn, to learn how they learn best, and to shape and improve how they learn.

Assessment and Evaluation of Learning

  • Assessment is an ongoing process used to help students increase the depth and breadth of what they learn.

  • Students’ questions should be welcomed throughout the teaching and learning process.

  • Clearly communicating learning goals and success criteria is an important way to help students achieve success and meet their academic goals.

  • Students’ ability to self-reflect and to observe and describe their own work and the work of their fellow learners must be coached and developed over time.

  • Providing feedback for students as they work on assignments, tasks, and products is equally as important as the grades the students will receive once those learning activities are complete.

  • Feedback should be precise and actionable.

  • Assessment and evaluation practices and procedures should be clear, understandable, and void of mystery and surprise.