Philosophy of Schooling, Learning and Teaching

My personal educational philosophy of teaching is Essentialism.  I came to this conclusion after reading chapter eight Pursuing an Educational Philosophy in the Grant and Gillette textbook.  I did a Google search to find out exactly what Essentialism means and it said that from a teacher’s prospective it is teaching just the essentials. The essentials are subjects like Reading, Writing, Literature, Foreign Languages, History, Math, Science, Art, and Music. The way an essentialist teacher teaches is progressively from less complex skills to more complex (  After reading that I thought yes.  How else could a teacher teach but for easy to hard? I do not think you could teach children the most complex math problems first and then teach them the easier ones later.  I think that I am attracted the most to this philosophical stance because it is the most logical way of teaching.  I like order and organization and this teaching style seems to demonstrate that the most.  I think that I have experienced this teaching style in my college education more than when I was younger.  That is probably why I want to teach in a college or university.  I hope to get my masters degree and become a teacher at a community college in my teaching future.  I might some day get my teaching credential but as of right now I want to see where the college teaching takes me. 

            The purpose of schooling in democracy became clear to me after reading chapter one in the Grant and Gillette textbook.  I saw that elementary schools face so much diversity in the classroom with different economic levels, learning styles, and demographics. Miranda was the teacher from chapter one who had the child in her class with autism. Sean was the child who had autism. Sean’s parents wanted him to be in the classroom and treated like every other student. Sean’s parents wanted him to have the same education that they got with the “3 R’s” (GG pg 3). Because of no child left behind the school had to accommodate the parents’ wishes in some way or form.  My current event talked about the reconstructing steps that a school will have to go through if they do not accommodate the children’s needs, which are not pretty.  Sean’s needs could be completely forgotten about if we did not have democracy in schooling.  It is important to include all children’s needs in the schooling system whether it is a child with autism or a child who overachieves.  As a teacher I hope to achieve democracy in my classroom by giving different educational lessons that accommodate everyone.  I want to make sure that all my students’ needs are met to the best of my ability. 

            I think that all children learn differently and it is the teacher’s responsibility to accommodate to these needs.  Every teacher probably wishes that all their students have the same learning styles and needs to make their job easier but this is not typically the case.  The students that I would like to teach would be in college so I think that they would be experience with lots of different learning techniques that teachers use.  I hope that I can arrange lots of different ways of teaching and not just lectures to accommodate individual learning needs.  I think that will also make the classroom more fun.  I think that students of all learning styles are hungry for knowledge and it is the teacher’s responsibility to give that knowledge to the student.  According to chapter one in the Grant and Gillette textbook students go to school for three reasons.  They go to preserve and transmit the cultural heritage, to prepare for their occupational future and to build a better society (GG pg 7-8).  I believe it is the teachers’ responsibility that those three needs are met in some shape or form.  I believe the students that I will teach will be in community college to prepare for their occupational future.  That will be the main need I will have to fulfill in my teaching future.  I plan to do this by giving them as much information about the subject as I can to help them achieve their occupational goals.

            I think that the teaching/learning process is something that is done consciously as well as unconsciously.  I believe that students learn from their teachers by their lesson plans and by their actions.    I believe any information that a student finds valuable to them is considered knowledge.  This knowledge can come from both the teachers’ actions and lessons.  Many young students look up to their teachers as their role models.  I know that I always did when I was younger.  I believe it is a more influential way to teach when a teacher has students who look up to them as role models.  I hope to teach something that I am passionate about.  My activities in my classroom will be more meaningful when the children see my passion for the material.  For example James came into our class with a positive attitude and showed an extreme love for teaching. I think his students will get more out of his activities and lessons because he shows genuine interest in the children’s learning. 

            I hope to exhibit a positive attitude and genuine interest in the children’s learning in my teaching future.  I hope I will set a good example for my students with my positive attitude.  The classrooms that I observed over the past few weeks made me set high standards for myself as a teacher.  Some teachers were really inspiring and seemed to love what they do.  In return the children seemed to love learning.  Other teachers were distracted and not mentally there in the classroom with the students.  This behavior reflected on the students’ attitude toward the teacher.  These students were typically easily distracted and disruptive.  I hope that I can be an inspiring teacher to my students by showing them genuine interest in their learning.   My personal educational philosophy is Essentialism which is a teacher who teachers her class the essentials.  I hope that I can go above and beyond teaching the essentials in my classroom to create an influential learning experience.  I hope to come up with exciting activities that teach the essentials along with meeting their individual needs.

            My philosophy of teaching consists of teaching the essentials with a positive attitude by having genuine interest in the children’s learning while accommodating my student’s different learning styles.  Hopefully I can achieve this in my teaching future even though I am aware that it is not an easy task.  I think the thing I am most scared about is becoming an ineffective teacher.  I do not know the best ways to teach every child.  I can only test out my own philosophy and see if it succeeds or not.  I am afraid I will not be able to accommodate every learners needs even after I have tried my best.  Then what happens?  Am I considered an ineffective teacher?  I believe anyone can stand up in front of the class and read from a lecture with the intention their students will memorize what they are saying.  I believe the effective teachers find creative ways to present material that makes it interesting to their students and more importantly makes the students want to learn the material.  I hope that I never turn into the teacher who stands in front of the class and lectures.  I find that to be the most boring type of classes.  I want to become the teachers that I have admired in my past.  All of those teachers showed a genuine love for teaching.  What I find amazing about the teachers I admire is not only do they show a genuine interest in their students learning but they are passionate for the material they are teaching as well.  I think that takes a lot of hard work and dedication to achieve both of those.  I hope that one day I can be as inspiring as those teachers and fulfill my own educational philosophy.