My Educational Philosophy
My philosophy of education does not center on just one philosophy but instead is the result of many influences, such as personal experience, intuition, and a combination of philosophies used by educators of the past. I strive to develop and provide the most positive and inclusive learning experience possible right from the onset of the educational process. Learning is always continuous and requires a broad vision of education to maximize a student's ability to gain knowledge and confidence and ensure their success.
My beliefs regarding education encompass the person as a whole and a unique individual, therefore, this shapes my teaching behaviors accordingly.
I believe the aim of education is to instill a desire for learning and teach people how to think for themselves rather than what to think. Within every person is a need to be loved, respected, and shown acts of kindness in order to unlock and cultivate their true potential. Education should be a means to equip learners with the tools to develop their minds so they can become productive citizens in an ever-growing and changing society. I want to leave students with a desire to persistently ask questions and continually seek more knowledge, thus, using their unique experiences and view of the world to shape themselves and those around them for the greater good.
Involving and motivating students presents its challenges, but my goal of individualizing learning creates an open and comfortable classroom environment where students can feel free to ask questions, make mistakes, and challenge themselves. Being able to ask questions, and actually attempt to answer those questions, can be very motivating.
I urge my students to think about very basic questions they have and to begin questioning all those 'facts' in the textbook. My goal is to have students leave the classroom with an attitude of inquiry; something I think is necessary to be a good student and a good citizen. Encouraging students to question what they know results in fruitful and revealing classroom discussions and has allowed me to identify common misconceptions and areas I need to put more focus on.
In order to keep students motivated, I have found that it becomes imperative to be a creative teacher, by utilizing various active learning methods like group discussions, peer teaching or presentations, and question cards, the latter of which allows students to write down what they don't clearly understand. Students rarely admit that they don't know anything, so using methods that allow them to bring their misunderstandings to light provides an opportunity for me to determine whether my teaching is effective. These are all various ways of attempting to individualize the learning process as well, and I vary my instruction methods to hopefully engage everyone's learning style.
I believe that the learning process is best when it is collaborative between students and the instructor. It is my expectation that students not only learn from me and from each other, but that I learn from them as well. The connection and energy established between my students and myself is a powerful teaching technique that I utilize in creating an optimal learning experience. By sharing with them my teaching objectives, students know that I am invested in them. My role as the instructor is not only a source of knowledge but also a source of support and an avenue to guide them to other resources. When appropriate, I use my personal experiences to help students grasp the information, make the connection between the text and real life, and also challenge my students to reflect on their thoughts and behaviors. Students can expect that I am approachable, available to answer questions, and genuinely invested in their academic success. I strive to be student-focused, competent, flexible, and aware of uniqueness amongst my students.
I always arrive at class early to chat with my students and spend the first few minutes of class checking in on how they are doing. I get to know my students as people. I learn their names, the sports teams they play on, their hobbies and interests, and the list goes on.
It is essential that students be given the opportunity to maximize their potential and they should be inspired to do so. Every student has the potential to attain greatness! My job as an educator is to harness a student's abilities and then set them free with the confidence and the necessary tools to succeed.
Undergraduate Degree: University of Guelph - Bachelor of Science, Marine Biology
Graduate Degree: Memorial University of Newfoundland - Master of Science, Physiology
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