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How to Maintain Passion for Teaching via Ed. Philosophy

How do you maintain your passion about teaching?

What is your educational philosophy?

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I have been a teacher for over 20 years. I have taught at many grade levels, and now I am teaching in another state. The frustrations in education are many due to the fact that the system of education was set up based on a farming model; work during the winter and off in the summer. It is also a model that says all children can learn in the same way, but then has special education for those who don't. There is no room for the active child. There is certainly no room for those who question how things are done, even though we call this critical thinking and state that it is the highest level of thinking according to Bloom's Taxonomy, you are still not supposed to criticize a person who is directly in authority to you. The system often treats us like sheep, and we are not allowed to think outside of the box.
So, with all of this how does an educator maintain their passion. The answer to this is very simple. I focus on my relationships with my students and how I can help them learn, grow, and think for themselves. To me, Education is more than curriculum, it is problem solving. I have a constructivist philosophy. I believe that teachers should provide opportunities for students to develop their own understanding about what they are learning. I feel strongly that group work, cooperative learning, problem solving, Reading and Writing Across the curriculum, teaching for multiple intelligences, authentic assessment, and positive discipline are all ways to provide opportunities for authentic learning. As often as possible, I also allow students to come to the podium and teach a lesson. This work is based on the Japanese Proverb "To Teach is to Learn." Students authentically learn material in order to feel confident enough to teach it to others. We also do this same process in small cooperative groups first, so students feel comfortable enough to teach in front of the entire class. Students are allowed to think about the material and voice their opinion, whether or not it is a mainstream or accepted view or not. There are no right or wrong answers, just thinking!
The passion in my teaching is provided by the creativity. I must be creative in finding ways to provide opportunities for my students to construct their own understanding of whatever material I am teaching, the world around them. I want students to discover understanding, and not just have information forced upon them as knowledge. When they discover their own understanding of material, they embrace the construct they create and therefore build a foundation for higher level thinking and learning that will last them a lifetime. Learning is based on constant change in thought, fluidity of thinking. This is what I try to provide. I see my classroom as a thinking lab with learning experiments daily.

Here is a great video that explains how I feel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U
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Here are some the strategies that I use.

Constructivism Strategies

http://www.saskschools.ca/curr_content/constructivism/how/strategies.html

Anecdotal Records - Anecdotal records are a form of ongoing assessment of observations of student(s) in the classroom. These jot-notes provide the teacher with information as to how the student is processing information, collaborating with students as well as general observations on learning styles, attitudes and behaviour. These records are a valuable form on ongoing assessment - Anecdotal Record Form.

Analogies - Students compare a topic or unit of study to an inanimate object such as comparing something known to the unknown or some inanimate object to the topic.

Blogs - Blogs, short for weblogs, are online journals or diaries that have become popular since the mid 1990's. Bloggers post personal opinions, random thoughts, connections and real life stories in order to interact with others via the Web! Weblinks and photos can also be added to the blog. A learner may choose to have their own blog to record their learning on a specific topic. A group of learners could choose to share a blog and read, write, challenge, debate, validate and build ...

Solution Summary

So, I develop a strong bond with my students, I create learning opportunities for them, and I encourage them to think in new and creative ways in our critical thinking lab, where we think about thinking. Metacognition is one of our goals. These are all of the things that I am passionate about as an educator, and these are all of the things that keep all of those frustrations from destroying the passion I have for the students and the creativity of teaching. I believe that what you think about or focus on you bring into reality, so I focus on the students and on the c So, with all of this how does an educator maintain their passion. The answer to this is very simple. I focus on my relationships with my students and how I can help them learn, grow, and think for themselves. To me, Education is more than curriculum, it is problem solving. I have a constructivist philosophy. I believe that teachers should provide opportunities for students to develop their own understanding about what they are learning. I feel strongly that group work, cooperative learning, problem solving, Reading and Writing Across the curriculum, teaching for multiple intelligences, authentic assessment, and positive discipline are all ways to provide opportunities for authentic learning. As often as possible, I also allow students to come to the podium and teach a lesson. This work is based on the Japanese Proverb "To Teach is to Learn." Students authentically learn material in order to feel confident enough to teach it to others. We also do this same process in small cooperative groups first, so students feel comfortable enough to teach in front of the entire class. Students are allowed to think about the material and voice their opinion, whether or not it is a mainstream or accepted view or not. There are no right or wrong answers, just thinking!onstructivist and critical thinking process. I believe in being a facilitator of learning experiences in the classroom. The creative energy needed to do this keeps my focus on the positives and the goal and off of the negatives or the obstacles in getting there.

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