My Philosophy of Education
“Teaching and learning should bring joy. How powerful would our
world be if we had kids who were not afraid to take risks?
Who were not afraid to think?" -Rita Pierson
All students MUST receive an education in a positive, diverse, learning environment that offers a welcoming and safe community, instills discipline and structure by involving appropriate consequences, shares responsibility and teaches accountability, provides grounds for cooperation and opportunity for conflict resolution, and is managed by an effective communicator who cares for the whole child. Most importantly, a teacher is a leader who empowers students to pursue their passions through life-long learning.
My mission as an educator is to create problem solvers who will be the next generation of innovators, which extends much farther than learning a skillset or showing rote mastery on a standardized test. The parts of student exploration, experiences, and writing about their hands-on learning PLUS student mastery of number sense fluency EQUAL my bias in having a holistic Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) program. Due to my predisposition to learning math conceptually, my own teaching style incorporates daily, hands-on constructivist and inquiry-based lessons. I strongly believe that it is vital for students to “uncover” the Standards inductively [versus a teacher-directed approach], while they experience math application as they encounter it daily and authentically. My students are engaged in the curriculum content because of real life problems and real life situations, as they construct practical solutions to their challenges in collaboration with others. Additionally, I am a firm believer that students who are able to discuss and write about their learning truly show mastery of the material. My goal is to enable youth to think outside-the-box and use their STEM skills to explore and solve novel problems. I believe that answers to these problems are only complete when a strong literacy foundation is habitually practiced through reading, writing and speaking mathematically and scientifically about their solutions. Albert Einstein once said, "We can't solve problems using the same kind of thinking we used to create them," and I am convinced that today’s students are the ones who can and are finding these unique solutions.
When students walk through my classroom doors, they encounter more than a gatekeeper of academic education. My students receive an education in LIFE. They are exposed to curricula through their investigations, questions, and problem solving skills. Students are entering an arena with a teacher who shows consistent dedication and a stick-to-it-ness attitude. For me, it is about digging in and getting messy with them within the deconstruction and rebuilding phases of problem-solving LIFE issues. The teacher provides a climate that displays respect amongst everyone, despite gender, race, ethnicity or socio-economic status. “No child is left behind” in my class despite what numbers report, because ALL students are valued and respected, cared for and validated. Education is about empowering students with the passion to learn independently and interdependently. And, I am lucky enough to facilitate this process.
Additionally, Rita Pierson's & Sir Ken Robinson's TED talks continue to further why I teach.
“Every child deserves a champion. An adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.”