Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My teaching philosophy

I believe the role of the teacher is to be a facilitator. He/She prepares its students for life and guides them in the process of learning how to learn. The teacher promotes the development of the human being as a whole, preparing them for life and not only for school.We need to focus more on developing internal motivations instead of creating a system in which external motivations are the main driver to evaluate success.

I believe the family and our communities play a mayor role in our lives. Our parents are the first teachers. They have a powerful influence in our process of learning and developing as human beings.

It is important that each teacher and parent evaluate how he/she was raised and who does he/she wants to be; as a teacher, a parent and as a human being. We teach by example and we greatly influence the children around us.

Each individual is unique and learns and communicates through different methods at a different pace. This is supported by the interpersonal communication model called Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences.

The process of thinking should take precedence over the accumulation of facts. Learning how to think, how to identify and how to solve problems should be valued more than creating a finished product. In order to understand this process, we need to be watchful observers and interact with the children openly to learn with them. Through observations, we can evaluate our teaching methods and make sure our programs deepen and strengthen a child’s sense of identity.

Play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, physical, cognitive, and emotional strength. Even further, it allows children to learn in a fun engaging way. Every minute of a child’s life is an exploration. Play is only a word we (as adults) assign to an action in a period of time in which children have fun learning. Play gives us a chance to interact with the world around us and, more important, to discover and explore different aspects of our life. Aren't we all playing?

I believe in the importance of the social, emotional and creative development of children. I love the idea of including children with disabilities and gifted kids in the classroom. It teaches tolerance to all the children and creates role models for others. The teacher’s role is harder than ever and it requires teachers to be life coaches instead of teachers.

There needs to be a balance between independence and interdependence. Even though many cultures value interdependence and collectiveness, individuality needs to be valued in each child in order to create an active and valued participant in the group. Otherwise, there is the danger of creating frustrated followers of social inertia instead of valuable contributors for the creation of a better world.

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