My Teaching Philosophy & Strengths
From the first day of school, I prioritize building a sense of trust and community in the classroom. It is important that students feel comfortable taking risks and making mistakes as they are learning. It is also important that students know they belong and are valued members of the classroom community.
My approach to language teaching is inspired by Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) methods. I believe that significant language learning happens through real, authentic, and meaningful interactions and experiences. I use a variety of activities such as dialogues, information gaps, and experiential learning to facilitate active learning and keep things fun. I am energetic, enthusiastic, and passionate about my job. I encourage students to be active agents of their learning.
I recognize and appreciate the diversity of learners that exists in every classroom. In order to create an inclusive learning environment, I turn to Universal Design for Learning guidelines. I diversify how I present material. I use scaffolding techniques to combine the introduction of new learning with students’ prior knowledge. I work to make lessons uniquely changing and adequately challenging, according to students’ needs and learning objectives. I constantly evaluate and assess student learning, informally and formally, in order to adapt my teaching. Above all, I maintain positive expectations for all students. Students in my classroom are fully aware of my passion for teaching, as well as my enthusiasm for their success.
My Top 5 Teaching Strengths
- I facilitate a positive learning environment. Research confirms that having positive expectations for student success is one of the key characteristics of an effective teacher. I am very transparent about my belief in all students' ability to be successful. I go out of my way to get to know students individually, so that I can provide the type of instruction they need. Students in my classroom are fully aware of my passion for teaching, as well as my enthusiasm for their success.
- I focus on positive student interaction. My interaction with students is always one of respect combined with kindness. I make a point of addressing students by name and their preferred pronouns. I use inclusive and respectful language, and I offer an encouraging smile as often as possible.
- I respect students' cultures and identities. I include culture in my classroom by surrounding students with multicultural learning materials that can help to engage students. I recognize that providing a cultural component to the classroom contributes to the sense of belonging and demonstrates that I recognize and value the unique and individual identities that make up my classroom.
- I dedicate time to lesson planning. I am a planner and organizer by nature. I work hard to develop lessons with a fun opening or "hook", establish good pacing, sequence activities, transition between activities/tasks, and build flexibility into my lessons. Above all, I plan active lessons so that learning time is maximized. I avoid long lectures, and instead use mini-lessons to introduce new topics followed by several applicable exercises and activities that allow students to engage with the material.
- I group students for active learning. I love seeing my students working together, and I use a variety of grouping methods depending on the activity students are completing. I rely heavily on "think-pair-share" opportunities, these are a great chance for students to take time to process their thoughts before asking them to share. This approach also reminds me to build in "wait time" rather than rushing to get answers. I also like chat circles so that students are sure to work with a variety of partners and everyone feels like they are an important part of the group.