1. Education
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Why did you become a teacher? What do you believe about students learning? How do you see the role of teachers in a community?

All of these questions, and more, are clarified in your statement of educational philosophy, a document you likely wrote in your credential program and haven't examined in awhile.

I recommend you dust off your philosophy and refresh your ideals by refocusing on what you believed about teaching in the first place.

And if you never defined your philosophy in the first place, here's how to do it and an example of how it's done.


April 16, 2008 at 3:44 am
(1) Patrick Groff says:

I believe that teachers must be pragmatic about the quality of their work, rather than trying to make sure that it reflects their philosophy of it. That is to say, teaching should be based on what the relevant empirical evidence indicates is the most cost- and time-effective way to develop students’ academic skills and knowledge.

April 16, 2008 at 7:20 am
(2) kay says:

So, there’s your philosophy of education – loud and clear.

April 16, 2008 at 10:04 am
(3) HR says:

What I am about to write about will not sit well with some but that’s okay. While many become teachers only a few are teachers. I have had the privilege of working with many needy students and alongside a few exceptional teachers. The exceptional teachers do not complain about the extra help a child needs nor the lack of parent participation but prides herself/himself when that student achieves. Lately, I have noticed a huge change in this profession and unfortunately for many students it means failure. As a sub TA, I have been witnessing many so called teachers who complain about everything. They complain about the standards and how it’s impacting the way they teach. They complain about not having enough time in the day nor getting paid enough. Yet, I have seen these same teachers taking prep after prep, not following any lesson plans, playing solitaire on the computer, and rudely answering a cell phone in the middle of what should be a lesson. Perhaps it’s burnout or just plain tenure, whatever the excuse these teachers should be held accountable for the failure of their students especially when it’s more than half in the class. Children are no longer writing because copies are handed out, or they type it into the computer and hit print. Penmanship complaints? Mathematical problems? Calculators anyone. Technology has come along ways since the 80′s and while we pride ourselves in being technology savvy fact is our brain needs stimulation. When the systems are down how can we hold our children accountable when they cannot hand out the right change nor write up our order. We are failing the philosophy of education when we turn the other cheek and just go along with the flow. Just needed to say my peace, thanks for the ear.

April 19, 2008 at 1:09 am
(4) Libby says:

I totally agree with HR. I’d like to know if I could use a quotation from her comment. I am an EFL teacher, and I would like to share it with my students, future EFL teachers by the way. You know, many people want to become a teacher because they think this is a very well paid job, what they do not know is that it requires a lot of effort, trust and hope for someone listen to your words, but most of the time your payment is low.
Thank you very much.

October 26, 2008 at 3:59 pm
(5) Laken says:

I am one of those failing students that HR mentioned. I was in one of my business classes one day and for extra credit points we had a math problem that had to be solved correctly. The math problem was a simple word problem. Less than one-fourth of the class received the credit because we simply didn’t know how to do it. I can sit here and recite the formula for distance for you because it has been pounded into my head since God knows how long, but I cant do the simple math such as counting change back when using pennies or adding tax onto something or taking a percentage off. Also, I was never taught how to read an analog clock. Statistics show that for one “bad” teacher (bad meaning the type of “teacher” that HR discribed)it takes a student three years to catch up to where they need to be. What if a child gets one of those their freshman year in high school? That means they wont be able to catch up until their senior year. What if you are in my situation and have them every year? What does that say for me? I feel like a failure.

January 25, 2009 at 6:55 pm
(6) John says:

The teaching profession seems to have grown further and further away from school as a developmental experience. Instead we have placed standardized testing and quantitative results as the reason educational funding. It is my contention that most teachers do not enter into the field of education to see how many high scores they could generate on someone elseís final exam. Conversely, the hundreds of teachers that I have had the pleasure of working side-by-side with have entered the field seeking the intrinsic satisfaction that is achieved when a student overcomes a personal obstacle in the classroom. Therefore I do not believe teachers are theory X workers. I do not believe that they need to be closely supervised. I believe that teachers need to have their opportunity to develop protected. A teacherís biggest enemy is time. The school day has largely been micromanaged to resemble a military drill for the battle on test day. Teacher time has become so constrained that kindergarten teachers who once taught half a day with a thirty minute naptime are having difficulty squeezing in fifteen minutes of free-time. We need to be giving teachers less instead of more to do. When you become a carpenter you donít start by building stairs, you start by framing walls. Similarly, when you become a teacher, you donít need to have web pages, professional development portfolios, or individual development plans added to your workload. Supervisors must protect the developmental process by doing whatever they can to alleviate unnecessary work and create time. One of the authors of our text, utilized an analogy of maintaining a car to promote the need for professional development plans. A more accurate analogy would be of buying a Honda and running it non-stop for 10 months and wondering why it had overheats, breaks down at times, and needs repairs.

HR this is why you are a TA and NOT an teacher.

April 22, 2009 at 9:52 am
(7) K says:

I completely agree with John. People who aren’t teachers are always the first ones to blame teachers. It takes more than just teachers to educate our students. Where are the parents? Do they make their kids do anything at home, or is the TV their babysitter? I do believe some teachers are bad at what they do. But I believe even more there are a lot of good teachers getting pushed down, or not getting the chance to excel. We neeed to be realistic about what is possible for one person to achieve when an entire class of thirty can’t read properly at the senior level.

June 17, 2009 at 12:06 am
(8) Kim says:

I agree with John. Teaching is a career based on government funding, so there is only so much money available for teachers to work with. Also the reason that calculators and equations are more prevalent than word problems is because that is the majority of what is being tested on. If we want to keep our jobs we teach the students what they need to know to do well on a test which as it happens is not necessarily how to write a beautifully penned thank you card.

August 7, 2009 at 1:59 am
(9) Ksmith says:

According to Phi Delta Kappa 85% of people with a child in the school system rate their child’s school as an A or B. Those without a child in the school system rate schools at a C or D. Basically, those furthest from the schools don’t see the magic that happens there.
PS. The highschool student struggling with a word problem needs to take some initiative and personal responsibility. Instead of whining on a blog, he or she needed to spend the same amount of time looking up free tutoring on line to help them with the word problem.

August 11, 2009 at 2:35 pm
(10) Karen says:

I am a teacher, but have worked as sub for family reasons. I am in a highly rated school district, and I just want to say that there are some teachers who are gems and others who are just barely hanging in. It is so obvious to go into a classrom and tell, almost immediately, who the good teachers are. I often teach special ed and go into other classrooms with the students. What a difference an energetic, interesting teacher makes! Sure, it takes a village…but sometimes one great teacher can change a life forever. Don’t rely on the parents, be the best YOU can be and show interest and caring and enthusiasm in and for the student.

November 18, 2009 at 10:25 pm
(11) emily says:

honestly, to those bitching, you need to sometimes take education into your own hands.
learn something on your own. you don’t need someone holding your hand to learn basic math.

February 11, 2010 at 9:45 am
(12) Megan says:

UM Emily did you learn how to use the bathroom on your own, or how to talk without anyone talking to you. I’m pretty sure the answer to these questions are NO so teachers are needed. There are bad teachers, mediocre teachers, lazy teachers, teachers who chose this profession because all of the holidays and vacation time. But there are also good teacher who care about their students not only there education but there emotions and personal growth.

October 11, 2010 at 5:42 pm
(13) bob carlson says:

Why did we kill Sara?

Sara was about 5 years old. She was killed when she tried to cross the highway in front of her fatherís store. The woman who killed her was following the truck in front of her too closely, and could not avoid killing Sara. Her father was working, and he did not have time to help Sara cross the street. Her parents were divorced because they did not understand each other.
They learned things in school, but their classes were too big, so they did not learn very much about each other. Also, if they were caught talking to another student, they were disciplined. As a result of these large classes, our children, for the rest of their lives, .will only be able to deal with each other, as strangers.
We could change this. (Mothers have at most, 13 live born children) ( Our classes should have less than 12 students, and children should be allowed to talk to each other in class. (Group discipline is more effective than teacher discipline.) To do this, the cost in our education, starting with the 1st grade would be about 10 percent more a year, up to the 4th year of high school, or for about 12 years..
Sara is only 1 of millions of children who die each year, because of their parents, and their educational system’s neglect, but maybe they are the lucky ones. Most neglected children will simply become unhappy people who will raise more neglected children. After the invention of printing, it was discovered that many children could be taught to read at the same time if they had enough discipline. Also, they could also mass produce things, if they had enough discipline. So discipline evolved in the classroom and the work place. Military services were delighted with the discipline. People who had been disciplined in school made much better soldiers. Also, governments discovered that citizens who had been schooled in discipline, were easer to control. During the 1st and 2nd world wars, close to a billion people were destroyed because they had enough discipline.
Now, that we have subliminal information, and we have the Tea Party, we can destroy half of the worldsí population.

December 7, 2010 at 12:22 pm
(14) Richard says:

You’re so right HR. I am teacher myself and I’ve seen the situation time and time again. Being a teacher isn’t something you do, it is who you are.

February 22, 2011 at 9:35 am
(15) eoa says:

I think you may find this useful or intersting: http://www.orhanseyfiari.com/ariphilosophyeducation.html

March 14, 2011 at 1:30 pm
(16) Pinkgaga80 says:

In any company, there will always be “hardworking, working-for-the-sake-of-money, committed, etc”

Same applies to the teaching world. However, we should realize that some teachers do not have finances to provide enough materials for children to better their discussions and all.

SOlution: Government, people, teachers, parents and community should all work hand in hand to improve the education system in any country. Nothing can be solved with one body moving.
God bless everyone

July 22, 2011 at 12:54 am
(17) NickyGA says:

I am sad that Laken has never learned to read a clock or count change but a lot of things that students don’t learn used to be taught by parents. The curriculum is so over crowded as we make up the short fall of what parents no longer teach.
I am dismayed that teachers are always to blame for student short comings but in my opinion students may be well taught in the classroom but they fail to follow up with homework and do the learning or their parents never teach or reinforce the basics.
I am a teacher of 30 years experience and a mum of 4 children.

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