Personal Philosophy of Education Essay

Pages: 4 (1493 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Teaching

Personal Philosophy of Education

Teaching today has become a challenging profession. Not only are teachers required to maintain a good relationship with their students and the learning material they are to master, they are also required to function within a certain educational and political context. These divergent needs and requirements can be quite exhausting, and it can become difficult for teachers to maintain a sense of personal commitment and integrity during the teaching process. This is why a teaching philosophy is important. Personally, I see teaching as a fulfilling vocation that helps me to retain integrity in my classroom, ensuring that I retain a fair and equal teaching situation in class, by using culture to further the learning process for my students, and by continually investigating ways to make the learning process easier.

Hansen (1994) defines vocation in a profession as a sense of fulfilling some public obligation and obtaining personal fulfilment from this function. As such, teaching is for me a profession that provides me with the opportunity to be as helpful as I can possibly be to others. It fulfils my duty to help my students obtain and education, which in turn will help them to function as contributing members of society in their own future. This function provides me with a sense of satisfaction, as I feel that I am sharing my knowledge and experience with my students. The idea of helping others has always provided me with a sense of profound joy. There is nothing better than to see a student who has been struggling at the beginning of a year blossom as the weeks and months progress. This gives me a sense of success and fulfilment.

This sense is at the center of my teaching philosophy. Teaching is much more than just a job or a way to put food on my table. It is something that I feel called to by an inner need to help others succeed in their lives. My success is the success of my students, and vice versa.

Teaching, for me, is also much more than providing my students with academic success. It also concerns helping my students to recognize and understand their own worth, not only in my classroom, but also in their lives outside of the classroom. One way to do this is to ensure that they experience a sense of equality and value in my classroom. According to Kozol (2005), there is still a staggering amount of segregation in American schools. In addition to the statistics, Kozol notes that, at the heart of the ongoing segregation lies the fact that too many black, Hispanic, and Native American students are experiencing social isolation not only in their sector of society, but also in their schools. This isolation, in turn, is caused by a fundamental lack of value. In my classroom, I will therefore work to not only value each student, but also to make them feel that their particular culture and sector of society, regardless of where it is in the city, has beauty that can be used as a driver for success in school.

One good way to do this is by means of the content I teach. According to Sleeter (2004), there is still a significant tendency in American schools to teach imperialism. The American drive towards pioneerism stems from the early days of the country, where the quest to colonize as much of the country as possible was seen as a type of God-given quest. This attitude has marginalized millions in our schools as a result of the subject matter we tend to teach. There is no room left for the historical experiences of other cultures.

In my personal education philosophy, my focus will be upon including as much cultural material as possible in my lessons. All the cultures represented in my classroom must be included to promote a sense of equality and importance to all of them. This is, after all, what the United States is said to be about: equality, freedom, and opportunities for all. I can only ensure that my students understand this when I honor each representative culture in my class. I will make all my students aware of the necessity of recognizing each culture for its beauty and rich historical content.

Ladson-Billings (1995, p. 160) also has some interesting ideas on this, noting that many black students generally perform poorly in schools as a result of teachers' inability to culturally interact with them in an effective… [END OF PREVIEW]

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