I believe that I can make a difference in the teaching field because I have a deep desire to help students. I want to make sure my students are ready for the next step in their lives. I have different ideas than other teachers that will get my students to be engaged. I think that a lot of teachers care about the same core values that I believe in such as citizenship and hard work. I believe that I have democratic values in the classroom that will ensure that my students will be able to interact and adapt to situation which is essential for the democratic society that they will be entering into.
I think that one of the first values that any teacher talks about is citizenship. Before high school, I never knew what citizenship was other than you can vote. The Toledo Public School system never went into detail about it. Through my high school social studies classes, I learned the importance of our civic duty to our country. One of my teachers made a requirement of at least 10 hours of volunteering for a political official. Through that experience, I realized what it meant to be a citizen and how to impact the community. It is our responsibility to be involved in our community by either serving or volunteering. We also have the responsibility to vote for our officials even for the smaller things like school board leaders. A person that I look to resemble in the ideals of citizenship is Eric Lui. In the documentary, American Creed, Lui is a vital part of Citizen University(2018). It is a university that helps legal immigrants become citizens of the United States. Lui shows the importance of citizenship and the need to love and support your country. Citizenship is a necessary aspect of life that I will be teaching these students about.
A value that I truly believe in and want to reintegrate into the school systems is hard work. If you put the hard work in, you will be rewarded. It is a simple value, but in today’s society, I do not see enough students putting in the effort to succeed. Last year, I had the privilege to work with a TPS K-8 school. The students had good personalities but when it came to the schoolwork, they just had no care in the world. When I went to high school, I had one non-honors class that was not an elective class. The biggest difference between my hard work and the other students was that I put effort and homework assignments showed that. The Dayton school board elected to make students only obtain a 1.0 GPA if they attend study groups to achieve the 2.0 GPA(Kelley, 2017, pa. 3). For athletes to only have to obtain a 1.0 GPA means that education is not as important and that you do not have to put hard work into your schoolwork. I do not like that at all and I have a desire to make sure students have the tools to work hard to succeed. If you study and put effort, the sky is the limit for these students.
My philosophy of teaching is very similar to Progressivism. From previous schooling, only a handful of teachers had a philosophy that was student-centered. The purpose of Progressivism is “learning to solve problems of democratic society”(Lipton & Oakes, 2003, p.107). It helps students be able to understand critical thinking and have a better understanding of democracy. In Progressivism, the role of the teacher is to “create an environment rich with opportunities for student-directed learning and group problem solving.”(Lipton & Oakes, 2003, p.107). Many of these teachers did not give material that would support our learning and our engagement in the classroom. My favorite teacher, my 10th and 12th grade teacher, taught with these ideals and this is the reason why I want to teach. He would have discussions with us and allow opportunities to have us work off of each other. Without teachers that want you to be involved in democracy and have critical thinking we are nothing. The philosophy that I bring is going to have a lot of discussions and group activities, so the students can be more involved with each other. My cooperating teacher is currently teaching a class called American Social Problems that deals with the social problems that engulfs America. The purpose of the class is to show the problems and make solutions of how to stop these problems. He has allowed the students to interact with each other to talk and solve these problems. I think that my philosophy can shape these students into people that care about this nation and work to improve it.
I am a firm believer in John Dewey’s democratic beliefs and I will incorporate his ideals into my democratic values. In his first element he says that democracy is “numerous and … varied points of shared common interest”(Dewey, 1916). This is a starting point for democracy. The next step of democracy is to have the students interact with each other. If there is no interaction, there is no democracy because no one shares any interests. One way for teaching these students to interact is to have group projects, so they have to have a common goal of completing the project. Another way that one of my previous teachers created democracy and a shared interest was letting the students decide the rules for the classroom. The students put their input in and made rules together. Interaction is a key part of citizenship. Citizenship is the foundation of helping to make our country better.
John Dewey’s second element says”…… its continuous readjustment through meeting the new situations produced by varied intercourse.” (Dewey, 1916) Adaptability is an important factor that teachers should teach their students. I think that I am good an adapting to new situations. In my own personal experience, I have had plenty of group projects where we have to present that day, and someone was sick that day. We had to adapt and split that person’s role. Teaching adaptability is a challenging task but to me is important to do. One way that I could see teachers teach adaptability is to change seating arrangements. It seems so simplistic, but students get to sit with others that that were not sitting with before. It makes the students interact while adapting at the same time. Another way to make students adapt is to create environments in government or geography classes. Assigning students to a certain government or country and making them adapt to immerse themselves in that role. Adaptability is a fundamental aspect of hard work. Hard work, being a value that is close to my ideals is an important value that we have to teach. My goal is to make these ideals of democracy to fit the values that I believe in.
I believe these values and beliefs that I have set me apart from teachers today. I want to see all of my students succeed and I work my hardest to achieve these goals. I want to make sure our students are ready to be involved and do their civil duty as a citizen.
Ball, S. (Producer and Director). (2018). American Creed [online film]. United
States: Public Broadcasting System (PBS). Retrieved from https://www.americancreed.org/
Dewey, J. (1916). Democracy and education. Retrieved from https://www.gutenberg.org/files/852/852-h/852-h.htm
Kelley, J. P. (2017, August 23). Dayton lowers GPA rule for school sports: What it means. Retrieved September 20, 2018, from https://www.mydaytondailynews.com/news/local/dayton-lowers-gpa-rule-for-school-sports-what-means/3HgUw9nyxv1ZQZKJoV1uiL/
Oakes, J., & Lipton, M. (2006). Teaching to change the world. 3rd ed. Boston, MA:
McGraw-Hill.Tags: University of Toledo
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