My teaching philosophy is to provide meaningful, relevant, and relatable learning experiences; to use an inquiry-based approach that values and rewards curiosity; and to help students learn how to learn—to help them develop the skills that support and encourage lifelong learning.
I focus my classroom management plan on two things: 1) creating a classroom environment that maximizes my student's ability to learn and my ability to teach; and 2) creating a student-centered classroom environment that is a community at heart. I want to create the kind of classroom community in which students respect each other, feel safe to be who they are, gain the confidence to develop and express their ideas, and feel supported and encouraged enough that they are willing to accept academic challenges that take them outside their comfort zone.
My primary objectives when teaching history are: 1) to teach my students to look for and make connections. I want them to learn to develop and articulate a clear and coherent historical narrative: to make connections between events, people, and institutions, and to understand the forces of cause-and-effect, perspective and change-over-time; and 2) to help students develop a sense of historical empathy: to connect with their subjects, to understand that history is not just the study of what happened but also the study of how and why it happened and of how people understood, explained, and lived with what happened.
As a teacher
I want to build a strong rapport and sense of mutual respect and trust with my students.
I want to take a subject area that many—if not most—students view as a requirement, and turn it into an area of genuine interest.
I want to help students develop a contextual, holistic understanding of history/social science, rather than just memorizing and regurgitating isolated facts. I feel that it's important for students to understand how each aspect of history fits into the bigger picture; how events and people connect to and impact the world around them.
I want to plan my curriculum in such a way that I spend less time on one-sided lectures and more time guiding students in open-ended, collaborative discussions and facilitating their learning through student-led, project-based learning.
I believe that empowering students to take ownership of their education increases student motivation, develops academic tenacity, and improves learning outcomes.
I believe that teaching history/social science in a manner that fosters inquiry and critical thinking is essential to the development of informed, active, and engaged citizens.
I believe in the power of technology to increase student engagement and enhance the overall learning experience and the importance of teaching students to be good digital citizens. By organically integrating technology into my lessons and assessments, I hope to help students develop the 21st Century skills that will enable them to use technology to augment their problem-solving skills, support their critical thinking, and communicate their ideas with clarity and creativity.
And I believe that it's essential that students have fun learning—and that they see that I'm having fun teaching them.