Educational Philosophy

My educational philosophy can be described in one word – Teamwork.

This pertains to all of the relationships that impact the student. I believe that when all of the parties involved in the student's learning environment are working together toward the common goal of student success, the chance that the student will succeed not only in college but in life after they receive their degree is drastically increased.

In the case of the teacher to student relationship, I believe that teacher should cultivate a teamwork based relationship with the student. This doesn’t mean that the teacher should do the learning for the student or that the student should not be expected to work. It simply means that I think the teacher should work to engage the student in the learning process.

Encouraging students to talk their way through difficult problems, sharing current real world examples of how and when a student can use an explicit skill, discussing current real world situations, keeping up to date with the current market trends in their chosen field, as well as offering assignments that have practical applications to potential careers in the field, are several ways that a teacher can contribute to a learning centered environment.

By encouraging the students to answer aloud and asking them to elaborate on their answer and the process the used to get the answer, a teacher can help students exercise their critical thinking as well as the specific skills that are relevant to the course material. Fostering an open and accepting environment for questions, the teacher build credibility with the student so that they are comfortable asking for help when they need it and never feel diminished in the process increases the odds that students will engage in the class.

It is equally important that students to be proactive learners and reach out to help one another both in class and outside of the classroom. Teamwork based peer relationships that encourage collaboration and cooperation not only improve that students learning experience but allow students to build on one another’s experience.

One way to do this is to cultivate an atmosphere of information sharing and reduce the sense of competition. Every teacher was once a student and by reminding students of this and sharing learning experiences from their personal education journeys, the teacher can create a safe atmosphere in which student will be more willing to discuss their learning strategies with one another and in doing so discover that there are many paths to success.

When the teacher emphasizes that the key is for each student to use the method that works best for them, student will feel more comfortable and thus will be more willing to engage one another during class discussions.

Institutions contribute to teamwork both through providing teachers vested in each student's success and by offering support services that assist students in finding their best learning method. Few people learn well in a 500 person lecture hall or from a professor who has no time to help them. Smaller class sizes, a variety of virtual, and physical classrooms, practical support services such as computer labs, and quiet study environments are but a few of the services that Institutions can use to build a learning centered environment.

Providing teachers with sufficient office hours and creating a buffer time between classes to help students are additional ways to reach out to assist students working to succeed.

Each of the aforementioned strategies discusses ways that the institution, the teacher, and the student can contribute to a teamwork based relationship that provides students the best environment for learning. Student participation is, of course, a key piece of this relationship. When all of the factors above are in place and the student is active in classes and working diligently to draw all they can from the material chances are high that the average student will become more motivated and even a struggling student will see that they have people working with them so that they can achieve their goals.