Teaching as a Reflective Professional Essay

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Teaching as a Reflective Practitioner

Personal growth in the field of professional education has entailed experiencing several challenges and options on the kind of teacher I would like to become. I have experienced these numerous choices because of the existence of different goals and priorities as well as variations in strategies for instruction and classroom management in professional education. My challenges have reflected recent literature in the field of education that has clearly shown that teachers differ significantly based on their goals, priorities, instructional style, and classroom management strategies (Grant & Zeichner, p.103). In order to confront these challenges, I have determined that I need to create my own philosophy of education, which will promote my development as a teacher. This philosophy demonstrates the kind of teacher I would like to become, my viewpoint on educational issues, and the relevant knowledge and skills for translating beliefs into actions.

My Teaching Philosophy

As a college student in the field of education, I have come to understand the importance of a safe and conducive learning environment in promoting the development and growth of every individual student. A safe and conducive learning environment acts as the foundation through which students can develop their knowledge and skills in their different careers and areas of specialty. In essence, students develop their knowledge and skills when a safe learning environment in which they feel secure to learn and explore is created. Moreover, the learning environment promotes students' learning by giving them a safe platform through which they can express their thoughts and feelings regarding the learning process and content. This implies that it's relatively difficult for students to learn if a safe learning environment is that not established to promote their personal development and growth.

Therefore, my teaching philosophy will emphasize on creating a suitable learning environment through which student feel safe to learn, explore, and articulate their thoughts and/or feelings. In this case, I will largely focus on identifying the needs and preferences of my students and create a learning environment that helps address/meet these needs and preferences without compromising the learning content. During this process, I will focus on respecting all my students, gaining their respect, and ensuring they respect each other. I will also emphasize on things that help the students to develop academically, emotionally, and socially.

Vision of Learning and Teaching

The learning environment is usually controlled or influenced by the teacher's personal vision of learning and teaching. The vision of learning and teaching determines the kind of learning environment that is established through influencing what to teach, how teaching will be conducted, when teaching will take place, why learning occurs, and the available learning resources. My vision of learning and teaching is that a safe learning environment should be established to promote the growth and development of the individual learner through meeting his/her developmental needs. This vision is influenced by the belief that the quality of learning is proportional to the type of learning environment created by the teacher/instructor. Moreover, my vision of learning and teaching is influenced by the belief that teaching is an impartation of knowledge and skills that creates a platform for life-long learning, which entails personal growth and development.

Personal Style of Teaching

A teacher's quality and skill is one of the most significant factors that have considerable impacts on the success of the learning environment. While the creation of a suitable learning environment is important towards promoting the development and growth of every student, the success of such an environment is largely influenced by the quality and skill of the teacher. Therefore, determining the kind of teacher one is becoming, important factors in teaching, and application of these factors in the teaching process is crucial towards enhancing the quality and style of the teacher, which improves the likelihood of success in the learning environment. It's usually very easy for a teacher to stand in front of a classroom and teach, but this does not necessarily imply that learning is actually taking place. Given these considerations and my teaching philosophy, I have examined the kind of teacher I am becoming and assessed how important aspects from my philosophy can be translated to practice.

I am becoming a reflective teacher because I believe that the learning environment is primarily established to promote the growth and development of an individual student. Based on this belief, I am becoming more interested in actively and persistently examining my philosophy and practice in light of whether it promotes the personal growth and development of students. According to John Dewey, reflective teaching entails careful consideration and evaluation of the teaching process based on the underlying educational, social, and political contexts (Grant & Zeichner, p.105). My development as a reflective teacher is also evident in the fact that I critically examine my daily realities in the classroom based on factors underlying my teaching context. I usually make this evaluation in consideration of the purposes and outcomes that guide my teaching practice.

Important Factors in My Teaching

As a reflective teacher, I have identified several factors that I consider important in my teaching practice. One of the most important factors in my teaching is the nature of the learning environment in terms of whether it enables students to learn, explore, and express their feelings and/or thoughts. This is an important aspect in my teaching because the success of learning environment in promoting students' growth and development is influenced by the type of learning environment. The second important consideration in my teaching is openmindedness, which is an active desire to listen to different opinions and probable alternatives. This is important because it helps improve the teaching practice towards achievement of desired goals and purposes. The third consideration is responsibility, which entails careful consideration of the outcomes of an action since it also helps enhance teaching practice. The other consideration is wholeheartedness, which entails taking control over education as a teacher. It's important because it will help ensure that the learning process is directed towards a particular goal.

These considerations are visible in my practice as a teacher through the creation of a learning environment that is based on respect of all stakeholders in the learning process. Moreover, the considerations are visible through engagement with students about relevant learning opportunities, provision of a series of learning experiences, and taking responsibility for actions and practices in the learning environment.

Important Themes in My Development as a Teacher

Apart from the considerations, my development as a teacher is influenced by some important themes. In this case, a theme is a subject that has been significant in my development as a teacher. The two most important themes in my development as a teacher include:

Interactions with Students from Different Backgrounds

In the course of my development as a teacher, I have realized that the learning environment or classroom setting is increasingly characterized by students from different backgrounds. I have always believed that students come from different backgrounds and have different learning abilities. Therefore, the success of the learning process would require the creation of an environment that promotes effective interactions with students from different backgrounds. This assumption has been strengthened by the fact that today's learning environment is characterized by students from different races and ethnic backgrounds, nationality, religious beliefs, and sexual orientation. John Dewey supports this theme by arguing that teachers must be adaptive by taking into consideration the unique differences between each student. As a result, the teacher must link the subject matter to the student's needs, developmental stages, interests, and desires in order for teaching to be successful.

Purposes of Education

The second most important theme in my development as a teacher is purposes of education because the success of teaching is determined by achievement of the desired goals. John Dewey argues that while education should be… [END OF PREVIEW]

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