My Philosophy of Education

My Philosophy of Education

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Philosophy of Education

As I have grown up in rural West Virginia, I have seen good education but I think I could possibly make it better. I also believe that rural areas have some of the best teachers. To some people, education is one of those easy careers that men and women choose to pursue because of the long vacations, the daytime hours, and the opportunity to sit behind a desk. To me, education keeps the teachers young by having the opportunity to be a mentor, a nurse, a friend, a coach, and many other things. My philosophical views are very eclectic. I know I will not have one style of teaching because I do not agree with exactly one. Many examples from each describe my future teaching methods. I am partial to the euphoric feeling I get when the teachers know you by name and you anticipate having those well-known teachers. I hope that in the years to come, I will be one of those teachers.

I have not always wanted to be a teacher. Like so many people, I have changed my mind numerous times before I realized that teaching was the profession for me. I wanted to be a nurse for the excitement, and then I wanted to be a doctor for the money, then a veterinarian because I love animals, but I soon realized that I could incorporate the studies of each of these professions in my teaching. I also realized the science classes that I enjoyed in high school could make a great subject to teach as a career.

Science is one of those classes I have found through my observations that the older children get, the less interesting it could be. It is a required subject in West Virginia for high school students to graduate and at least one class is needed to graduate in college. Even though it is required, the seniors and juniors are beginning to take lower level classes instead of higher level or advanced placement classes because they are easier. In younger grades, students get to experiment with things like bottle rockets, making crystals, and dropping eggs out of two-story windows to see if they will break. Upper grades technically in-depth and involve more note taking than experiments. When I teach science there will be days for lab, but notes will still be taken.

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I believe there are three types of students. The first type is the student that wants to learn. These are the students that, I feel, are the easiest to teach. Their knowledge for the curriculum will improve, they know that the authority resides in the teacher and their grades are a reflection of their behavior and attitudes toward the time spent on studying. The second type is the student that wants to learn, but does not put forth any effort. These students may put time into their studying but really does not care if they receive a good grade or any recognition. They are often jealous of the student that makes the better grade. The last type of student is the one that does not care whether they even come to school. These students, I feel, are the hardest to deal with or teach. Most think they do not need an authority figure or the need for them to be in school. Most quit school when the time comes that they can. I have seen many of these in my high school and I would like to be the teacher that changes a child’s life. If I can do that one thing, I will have achieved a life-long goal.

William Bagley’s “back to basics” approach of Essentialism will be a major philosophy I will have instilled in my classroom. Natural sciences are one of the traditional disciplines in the essentialist curriculum. I believe that your academics need to be quite vigorous. I want to prepare my students for their future life and I want them to start to enjoy science. The classroom will have to be teacher-centered, the students will have chances to choose a lab or chapter to discuss, but they will not be in total control of the classroom.

John Dewey made progressivism successful. It relies heavily on the science, math, and foreign language divisions of schooling and began after the 1957 launching of Sputnik. I will plan my lessons around the books provided by the school system but also by the themes that arouses the curiosity of the students. I hope to have field trips or nature activities that will make them enjoy learning. Science is a fun subject to form games from such as cell parts “BINGO” or “JEOPARDY” featuring key items from the finished chapter.

Behaviorism will be in my younger classrooms, and I might incorporate it in my older classrooms as well. With behavior modification, it says to consistently give the student a reward each time he or she performs a desired behavior. I feel that rewards are good to a certain extent, but should not be given all of the time. Students start to rely on the rewards to do well and if that is, the reason they are trying to learn it is the wrong one. Rewards will be a surprise based on my happiness with the student’s behavior or academic achievement.

Perennialism in my classroom will help students discover the ideas that are most insightful and timeless in understanding the human condition. I will have constructive discussions, which will help build the topic of choice. Students will memorize information on the subject that will allow them to recall. They can use constructive questioning and interpretation of the answer they get. Existentialism will be letting the students have one on one conversation time about their grades and subject matter.

The purpose of education in today’s public school system is to make citizens out of our students. We, as future educators, with help from their parents, will shape our students into the people that can change the world. It is important for students to get a full high school education and go on to some other type of schooling such as a college, university, or other type of higher education. It is so hard to get a good job without a college degree and many adults do not have them. Students who learn will have a better understanding of life and will keep their learning with them throughout life that can be passed down to their children and grandchildren.

As a teacher, I want to make sure children realize their dreams and be what they want to be. Children need love and support, and even though my specialization is higher-grade levels, the young adults need more support than they think. Young adults sometimes need an influence from someone other than their parents. Parents can push their children in the direction they feel is the best for them, but in most cases it is not. I can show my students that they can persevere in any career they choose. I want to stay young by interacting with my students. Teaching students will hopefully give me the chance to give them inspiration to do anything. I had teachers that gave me advice and many still do. Teaching will let me make someone feel special after something bad has been said to them, or give them support when times are tough. I want to be energetic and not let my students fall behind. I want to be one of their mentors and let them see that anyone can go to college. I want to be a coach to the students who play sports. I want to achieve the recognition that comes from being a teacher and the satisfying feeling it will give me in the long run.

Being a teacher will give me the chance to show children they way I was taught. I will be one of those rural teachers that everyone knows and likes. As I graduate from Concord College with a double major in biology and science education, I will have achieved something that only one other person in my family has done: gone to college. I and along with others as a teacher will have something special each to give to their future classroom full of students. We are the next generation of teachers and with a great education to lead us perhaps we will encourage high school students to want to be teachers. As Mark Twain once said, "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
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