December 11, 2010

Houghton College has prepared me to be a teacher that is competent, reflective, and caring in all aspects of teaching. These qualities have shaped me into a teacher that believes that every student should be given the best possible education that I can provide. Furthermore, I do this in a way that respects and nurtures their growth as individuals, and equips them with the tools to be life-long learners. My teaching style combines my knowledge of science, teaching skills, and my passion for adolescents to make me into a transformative and engaging teacher.

In the classroom I exhibit competence by having an authority on the material that elicits respect from my students. However, I am also open to new information and change. I am well-versed in my content area and in teaching methods, but I am also continually seeking out new information to grow as a teacher and become more proficient in the classroom. To stay current with the newest ideas in the field of education and science, I perform independent research, learn from other teachers, and attend professional development sessions in order to provide the most conducive education for my students. I am skilled at using Promethean, ELMO, overhead projectors, whiteboards, chalkboards, and PowerPoint, and utilize these sources of technology in my regular teaching in order to prepare my students for their lives in the modern world. Furthermore, I determine and target the unique learning styles of my students, and plan diversified lessons that address and challenge all of my students.

I believe that every student should be cared for and respected, and that they will then display these same characteristics in the classroom and in their lives. In my teaching, I value collaboration and communication with parents, students, and other teachers that allows me to better understand and care for my individual students. I encourage this same appreciation and value of collaboration in my students through group projects, class sharing, and brainstorming. I also understand the value of personal, school, and community culture, and the role that these play in education. I find ways to incorporate these into the classroom culture, and use them to reinforce my students’ learning. I do this by making my teaching relevant to them through examples and cultural references, and making myself familiar with and a part of their community and school culture. As a teacher, I do not only nurture their growth and appreciation of science, but also their holistic development. I understand that the stage of development that a child is in psychologically, socially, morally, and cognitively will influence the way that they learn and their behavior in class. I take this into consideration when I tailor lesson and unit plans so that my teaching will foster their growth in all of these areas, and use them to the advantage of their learning.

I am also a teacher that invests thought and time into improving my teaching in order to create a more enriching, engaging educational experience for my students. I have a philosophy of education that supports what I believe are the most important aspects of teaching. My key ideas of engagement, diverse teaching methods, and holistic teaching are aimed at helping students uncover their strengths and weaknesses, and providing them with the tools to be learners long after they have left my classroom. I also think about ways to pattern my teaching after the way that Jesus Christ teaches and responds to us, His learners. I believe that just as Christ cares for us and works to gain our attention, so must I care for my students and work to gain their attention.

The most important element to whom I presently am as a teacher, and who I will be as a teacher in the future, is the fact that I believe very strongly that the student is the most important part of education. Their well-being, their growth as learners, and their development as responsible citizens are at the fore-front of all of my intentions and actions. My personal growth as a teacher is centered on this main idea, and will continue to develop me into a teacher that will always be working to benefit her students.