Philosophy of Teaching and Learning

I believe that all children are unique individuals who learn in different ways and come to school with
varying backgrounds, languages, ethnic diversities, interests, and needs. My challenge is to provide
them with a rich, engaging, age-appropriate environment where they can learn the concepts,
vocabulary, and skills that they are expected to learn in order to meet the expectations of the school
district, and later, to become important members of society.

This means that in my classroom, I involve my students in learning the facts and skills that all
educated people know, but I also teach them to think critically and creatively through problem
solving, and to practice good leadership and social skills in order for them to see their own place as
responsible citizens of the community. In order to accomplish this, my classroom includes units of
study that are designed to include the 4 different learning styles as identified by McCarthy (e.g.:
innovative, analytic, common sense, and dynamic learners). I also differentiate the instruction in order
to allow all students opportunities to be successful. My classroom also includes class meetings and
time for students to discuss issues of importance to them.

Because I believe that children learn best when they are encouraged to make their own meaning, I
also believe that they should be involved in their own assessment as much as possible. At the start of
each unit of study I involve them in setting goals for themselves that match the district standards, and
then to measure their success at achieving them through portfolios, self-editing, peer feedback, and
other student centered assessments. I also keep running records, anecdotal records, and individual
portfolios so that I am able to see the growth and learning of each individual student that I can also
share with parents.

Our children are our future. The commitment of adults to be models of good character and spend
time with young people can make a difference not only in their lives, but in the future of our country. I
think it is the most important and meaningful job a person can do.