As a high school biology teacher, I believe it is important not only to educate students on the fundamental content of life sciences but also to teach every student the science of life itself. It is my goal to be able to expand the limits that these students have set for themselves by teaching them the endless bounds of nature and of their own abilities.
My teaching philosophies will be centered around the importance of connection. It is my personal goal to (1) Achieve a genuine connection with each student (2) to have them not only memorize the material but to form a true connection with the information that is being taught to them (3) and lastly to be able to connect to the world outside of the classroom by developing a professional attitude and outlook towards life.
There is more to teaching than dispensing curriculum. It is my belief that a person, regardless of age will almost never feel comfortable being held in a position of vulnerability while being exposed to a subject they do not yet know. In the same way, I cannot expect my students to be able to approach me with questions if they do not feel comfortable around me. In order to build a respectful relationship with my students it is a priority of mine to treat them as young responsible adults with great potential.
Holding an open-door policy is important because it does not restrict the student to a time frame of studying, it encourages open communication, feedback, and discussion on any subject matter which the student is having a hard time grasping. As a result, it gives insight on where the classroom stands on retention and understanding of material. When you know your students and their needs, you are able to communicate and teach them more efficiently.
My teaching philosophy has both traditional and eccentric roots but is centered around a hands on enthusiastic approach to the wonders of science. My components to fostering student learning include teaching students the fundamentals of environmental and biological sciences by participating in hands on projects, dissections and labs that allow the students to stay engaged in the material being taught to them; giving them the opportunity to witness the phenomena of chemistry, anatomy and physics first hand.
Providing students with projects such as simple chemical mixtures fosters critical thinking skills and helps students develop evidence-based clinical problem-solving strategies. When students participate in these activities they take great strides in their understanding of the lectures provided to them. They no longer depend on memorization of formulas and charts but have a direct visual and connection to the information, making the transition to the next lecture or chapter much easier.
Allowing students to take learning into their own hands gives a great sense of accomplishment and responsibility. My teaching philosophies not only strive to educate every student but to give a sense of empowerment and control over their future. Teaching students how to read scientific literature and present their discoveries to an audience whether it be their classroom or a science fair helps them learn to speak publicly and present their research and findings in a professional manner.
Making small habits such as shaking every students hand on the way into the classroom and thanking them for showing up on time teaches students to not only give respect but shows them that they are deserving and worthy of respect as well. My goal is to equip each student with a realistic view of the expectations set for them by society while still motivating them to dream and work hard to achieve their greatest aspirations.