My teaching philosophy is what I truly believe to be my personal statement. In order for you to get to know me personally, I feel that it is best you get to know me first as a teacher.
Teaching is not something you just do in order to provide students with an education. Teaching is the result you get when the spark in a student is lit, when the lights in their dark places are finally bright and when their eyes are truly open. That doesn’t happen from taking notes in a book, getting all 4’s on a paper or getting that ten percent for participation. Teaching happens from sharing passion, life and power with those who you care deeply about; your students, your classroom, the youth of this world.
When I was in the third grade a classmate, Andy Bishop, was brutally murdered by his father. He also happened to be my best friend; a young boy who showed me what it meant to be innocent and to grasp onto every moment of warmth life wraps you in. After he passed, my teacher Mrs. Bullard started every single day of class with us in a circle. She had us go around and share how we were feeling about life, school and home; she made sure we knew that it was a safe place to be open and honest, raw and real. ”Morning Circle Time” quickly became a haven for my soft spirit during such tragic times. It was during those last four months of 3rd grade that it became apparent to me that life crumbles below us and we have to strive to make sure we don’t slip through the cracks. However, we need someone there with us holding our hands, shining the flashlights in front of us, carrying us, or even someone calling out our names in the dark in order to direct us around those cracks. For me, that someone has always been a teacher and it was in college that I realized I can be that for someone like me, for 28 kids who are lost in their feelings, emotions and thoughts.
Before I plunged into the Education Program at Colorado State, I wanted to make sure I wasn’t hopping onto the bandwagon of “be the change you want to see in the world”. I wanted my life as a teacher to be honest and just like in 3rd grade, raw and real. I wanted to make sure I always stayed true to the core of why I wanted to teach in the beginning. I want my students to always know that I will never let them slip through the cracks of social life and academics, or be smothered by the pillow of “family issues”. I want my students to always feel that they have a voice in my classroom, that their voice can linger in the ears of those whom they one day lead in hopes of changing the world, that their voice can mirror their souls and spirits in anything they write, even timed essays. I want to teach them to spread knowledge, diversity, acceptance and patience, never adversity, hate, grief, factions, or indifference.
My students will learn from experiences, from student led discussions and student led lessons. They will see the power they posses and they will see the strength they have because we will be unified as a class, a family that lets no one slip through the cracks of life. We will be a body where trust and honesty is the skeleton of the classroom, where hope is the mind and knowledge is the heart. I will not teach to the test, I will teach to the differentiating minds, not to the names on the rosters but to the beings at the desks. I will make sure my students feel heard, that they feel they have a say in what goes on in their education. I will communicate effectively with my class everyday and ask for their feedback often. I will never command a student to come to where I am or dumb down to meet the bar; I will meet each and every single one of them right where they are and together as a class we will encourage one another to keep going, share ideas, teach one another and spread life lessons so we know where to go and where to steer clear of.
My classroom will be a whole and never a pie chart of percentages. My classroom will be a home, a place to rest and a place to thrive. My classroom will move mountains in education because it will be a place that changes not only the minds of youth but also the path in which their voices ring and their spirits soar.
Colorado State University-Fort Collins - Bachelors, English with a minor in Education