My personal philosophy is one based on a constructivist point of view. I want the students to explore and discover learning instead of being led and directed by the teacher. Ownership is a term that is central to my personal value and belief system. I want the students to take ownership in everything they do in the classroom. I believe that the best way to achieve this is to develop curriculum based on student interests. Students will play an active role in developing unit themes and concepts in my class. If students are interested in the material then they will be engaged in learning. It is my firm belief that students who are engaged, take ownership, and have pride in their work succeed in the classroom. It should be every teacher’s goal to get the maximum out of his/her students. I believe that having the students take ownership in their learning is the best way for students to reach their potential in learning.
In the same way, I believe that the entire class, students and teacher, should develop the rules and responsibilities of the class. In my opinion, an efficient and orderly classroom will occur when all who are involved understand the rules and realize why the rules are in place. Having the children help create the rules is the most effective method for students to truly understand the appropriate behaviors. The rules will not be listed as rules but as appropriate behaviors. There will never be a “NO” in the list. This list will focus on what should be done or how one should behave rather than how one should not. I want to establish a classroom that fosters the principles of politeness, respect, and responsibility. Student input will be highly valued and a major part of all class decisions. Students, even at a tender young age, should have control over aspects of their school life.
As a beginning teacher, I will have much to learn about classroom management and students will never cease to present new and challenging situations for me to deal with. As each class will be different, I, as a teacher, must be able to adapt and not get stuck into old routines by having the same rules each year. Experience will be the best teacher for me. However, I do feel confident that I have established a very strong foundation for my own personal philosophy on this subject. As Garrahy, Cothran, & Kulinna (2005) wrote “Effective management is the foundation from which learning can occur” (p. 57). Developing a philosophy early on as a teacher will help to ensure that my main objective, quality instruction and learning, take place. If I am successful at managing a classroom, the academic goals of all my students will then be facilitated. For effective classroom management, I will stick to my plan to allow student input while establishing politeness, respect, and responsibility in the classroom.
As I believe the key to learning and classroom management is student input, I await the challenge of being assigned to a class to develop curriculum, rules, and responsibilities with the students. I believe there is no greater joy for a teacher then to watch a student discover something on his/her own for the first time. I look forward to having this experience and letting my students blow me away with their passion, energy, and inquiry.
Garrahy, D.A., Cothran, D. J., & Kullina, P. H. (2005). Voices from the trenches: an exploration of teachers’ management knowledge [Electronic Version]. Journal of Educational Research, 99, 56-63.