My teaching philosophy focuses on developing the whole student and ensuring students gain life skills through school. More specifically:
Teachers should build strong relationships with students, create a safe classroom community, encourage respect and acceptance, and pass along life lessons that can be used beyond academia.
Teaching students how to persevere, try, care, be curious, and be engaged will go a long way towards molding successful humans.
Using psychologist Carol Dweck’s “growth mindset” as a guidepost, teaching adolescents that putting forth maximum effort will lead to expanding their talents and skills.
Technology should be embraced and students should receive choice as often as possible. Examples of alternate assessments include infographics, sociograms, graphic novels, videos, podcasts, or mini newspapers/magazines.
Teaching vocabulary is crucial, starting with common roots and affixes from Greek and Latin. Learning these through practice (both written and verbal), as well as through other methods (such as the Frayer model and word trees) is an essential way for students to expand their vocabulary. Vocabulary also should be acquired in context and frequently referenced in class.
Interviewing should be taught throughout middle and high school. It is an extremely important skill to learn to gather information and present themselves well for jobs and college/university applications.
Reading and writing skills are extremely important, especially comprehending written and digital texts. Novels, short stories, websites, wikis, blogs, social media outlets, podcasts, and videos all are valuable sources of information. A student must be able to write for all of these media—and be able to express themselves in a variety of settings and communication types.
Differentiation is essential for all students. Adolescents may not be participating in an English Language Learner or special education program, but teachers need to accommodate all students through varied assessments, teaching styles, and constant communication.