As the parent of a gifted learner and a developing learner, I know all children can learn. It is not a belief; it is a certainty that, at its root, is who I am as a teacher and a learner.
When I began my career as an English teacher, my goal was to teach the writers whom I loved and admired: Shakespeare, Dickens, Kesey. I wanted my students to love them, too. Teaching, at that time, for me, wasn’t really about the students; it was about conveying my love of the classics onto them.
However, I quickly grew to love that first group of freshmen and realized the immense amount of power and control I had – to inspire a love of learning or to dissuade a desire to learn at all. It was during that year that I realized that relationships were everything; the content would only be learned if students felt expectations were fair, lessons were engaging and their souls were embraced.
Anything less than that was unacceptable.
This is my 24th year in education. I am now an Instructional Coach/Reading Specialist at a large urban high school. My philosophy of education has not changed. While students will always remain front and center of what we do and who we are; my audience is now the teachers with whom I work. Relationships remain everything; and teachers, like our students, will only learn and grow if expectations are fair, if their work is held to high rigor and in high esteem, and if their souls are embraced.
Anything less than that is unacceptable.
Hopefully, my Philosophy of Education resonates with you and your colleagues.
What can I do to support you and your important work?