My Personal Philosophy of Teaching Young Children
I believe the profession of teaching is the most important job in the world. Teachers come in contact with so many children so they have the power to influence their lives positively or negatively. The teacher’s role is not only to teach but to be a researcher, learner, investigator, and authorative figure and nurse to name a few. To be a researcher teachers have to find facts about the subject through different sources like non-fiction books, the internet, libraries, museums and professionals in the field. Joseph Joubert a French essayist and moralist said that, “To teach is to learn twice over”. When teachers are actively involved with the children they learn as well.
What I teach the children are skills that will last a lifetime. When children learn with pleasure they never forget and it will stick with them throughout their lives. I instill in them the desire to learn and to love books by reading to them every day and having books that are interesting to them. Teach them determination because practice makes perfect. By creating self-help opportunities for them it helps to build their self-esteem. Little by little they believe in themselves and their confidence grows. Each new acquired skill builds on another.
There is an old Chinese Proverb that says, “I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand," I think this is true for everyone. Most people need to have a hands-on experience to learn something new so this is very true for young children. I teach purposefully with a goal in mind and I have the children work on simple problem solving task together. Through play they learn social and problem solving skills and overtime their play develops as well. I promote diversity in all areas of the classroom like having multicultural books, costumes and food in dramatic area, music and respecting everyone’s own abilities. Once children learn to respect and accept each other then they can focus on learning. Children learn with hands-on experiences in a group effort alongside with their peers and the teacher.
Learning takes time and teachers need to take in perspective that all children learn differently. This is where individualization comes into play. As teachers observe children they see what the child is good at and what areas they need developed. Through a balanced play curriculum with free play, guided play and teacher-directed activities teachers have the opportunity to work in small groups to help all children. Having a balanced creative curriculum where children can express themselves through art, music, dance and drama they will learn about themselves and grow as individuals.
I build relationships with the parents so that they feel comfortable participating in the classroom. I try to get the child’s parents involved in class activities or family projects. I encourage all parents to participate in our cooking activities, field trips, or simply to volunteer. I encourage parents to attend our workshops for literacy, behavior management, potty training, health, dental, domestic violence and any other family issues that directly or indirectly affect the children. I try to talk about current issues with the parents. I make any challenges into opportunities to partner up with parents for the benefit of their child. Having teacher parent meetings helps determine where everyone’s expectations for the child are.
I know I’ve succeeded when the children have met all the learning outcomes from each developmental domain. I also know I’ve succeeded when children want to read on their own or want a teacher or parent to read to them. They are interested in learning about a subject and want to explore and observe it more closely. I know I’ve succeeded when children know how to express themselves, are confident and independent. When they know how to share, take turns and can cooperate in a group setting. When children understand and know the rules of a game or can follow instructions for an activity. I have done my job as a teacher when parents ask to participate in the classroom and want to be involved and contribute to their child’s future.
I believe as long as there are people who are caring and willing to share their knowledge and wisdom there will always be teachers.