My Teaching Philosophy

The teacher should inspire kids. They should naturally exude qualities that gain them respect. Someone who has self-respect. Someone with a sense of humour, passionate but with a healthy sprinkle of cynicism. Respected by other teachers. Someone still exploring and learning. Appreciating their occupation and current life situation for all that is has to offer rather than complaining and wanting what they haven’t got. Patient and kind.

Not just friendly with students but friends with them. Every pair of people have a unique relationship. There shouldn’t be artificial barriers. Professionalism is a way of thinking and behaving, not a set of rules. Let a friendship go where it goes. Chances are you won’t be that close with students. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be open and honest and have a profound effect on your students (and them on you). Make no assumptions.
The teachers with the best classroom behaviour are the ones who are themselves the healthiest, most at ease, confident in their craft. Fears can often be self-fulfilling. Understand students, they’re simple. Find their interest and encourage it. Respect their passion and see if you can expand their interest to your subject area. Did you attend every lecture at university? Then why do you expect your students to pay attention all the time?

I am personally far more stressed and confused about the curriculum, school rules, other teachers, the current obsessive fear of potential pedophiles and inappropriate relationships, etc than I am worried about teaching or dealing with teenage students. Kids are the ones most interested in living and learning while the rest seem primarily concerned with bureaucracy.

I’ll finish soon. More important than reading up on research about education and learning is following your personal dreams. Being the great person you always wanted to be but were never quite there yet. Generous and imaginative. All those qualities you admire in others. You already have them, just believe in yourself! Facing your own flaws. Confronting your weaknesses. Forgiving people who let you down. Realising the mistakes you made and making up for them.

Anyway, I’m teaching my first lesson tomorrow! =D

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About karnok

A legendary ninja.
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2 Responses to My Teaching Philosophy

  1. geoffcarroll says:

    Nice piece Chris. I like your ideas that respect is more earned than learned and that a good teacher is respected by both the students and fellow teachers alike. I also am more worried about exogenous issues (am I teaching the curriculum, staffroom politics etc) than about my intrinsic ability to connect with the kids and teach them something interesting. I’m not sure a good teacher is about being the student’s friend though – I can imagine myself saying with faux sterness one day “I’m not your friend, I’m your teacher!”

    • karnok says:

      Thanks dude!
      Yeah I just see friendship as something that comes in all shapes and sizes and you don’t hear people saying they won’t be friends with their colleagues/coworkers, wouldn’t that be odd to decide beforehand that you won’t make friends? I thought it was meant to be natural, spontaneous! I think it’s an age thing, people forget how to associate with much older or much younger people. And you can always say no to a friend. But yeah, you don’t “aim” to be their friend. You just be yourself and see what happens, what develops!

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