As an educator:
First and foremost, I see myself as a mentor and a guide to my students. My job is not to always give my students all the answers, but instead to advise them on the tools they need to find the answers for themselves. While sometimes convenience or a lack of understanding may prompt the need for direct answers, my ultimate goal is to develop my students’ overall independent learning and studying skills, so that they can become lifelong learners. I also like to think of my job as a “professional role model,” which means I am responsible for modeling a positive learning attitude open to embracing challenges and thinking critically. I must also model a respectful mode of dress and attitude required of a professional environment.
As my students:
Even though my students will be young, I expect them to behave like young adults who are able to listen, follow directions, and complete their work on time. In addition, students will need to keep an open mind towards all of the content we learn throughout the year and have respectful attitudes towards the cultures that we embrace. Students will also be expected to respect myself as their teacher, other adults in the school building, and each other. By achieving all of these behavioral goals, students will have the capability to develop the discipline and focus necessary to improve their independent learning skills.
21st century skills:
Just as trends in technology and culture change over time, so too should educational strategies to reflect the evolution of learners. Therefore, the development of digital literacy, global citizenship, and self awareness will become the main motives behind my pedagogical decisions when planning lessons. I expect all students to respect and attempt to embrace these skills while completing course work and will largely combine elements of each to reach a common goal. Students should be provided with all of the digital tools needed to succeed in a digitally literate curriculum and show intellectual drive and responsibility with their resources. Likewise, classrooms should be places that reduce rather than increase stress around course work. Therefore, I will institute a number of practices in order to help students master visualization and focusing techniques that will help them develop into more self aware, mindful individuals.
I see education as empowerment; it provides students with the tools they need to become self-sufficient learners and adults. Therefore, it should always be the goal of the learning atmosphere to give students confidence rather than make them insecure. The opportunity to learn is the chance to better oneself and discover new opportunities, and should be treated with a justified sense of curiosity and urgency. Learning would not be what it is if everyone always did everything perfectly; therefore mistakes are a necessary part of the process of achieving success, and should not be unfairly reflected in a student’s grades.