I believe that each student is a unique individual desiring a safe, stimulating environment that allows for self-discovery and imagination. To successfully establish this atmosphere, I establish a sense of community and hold high expectations, so that my students are challenged daily. As an elementary educator, I believe it is my responsibility to discover who my students are, what experiences and prior knowledge of content they bring to my classroom, and what they want to achieve, to tailor the curriculum to meet student(s) needs.
I successfully achieve this through developing strong relationships with my students and their families each year. I frequently collaborate with parents and colleagues to discuss students’ strengths/weaknesses, plan effective lessons, and discuss multiple strategies for instruction to continuously reflect on the best teaching practices. One of these practices include scaffolding lessons as needed, to ensure students build on their prior knowledge to make meaningful connections and develop a deeper understanding of the content.
As my students form connections I facilitate the development of critical thinking skills, in addition to encouraging students to be vulnerable. When students feel comfortable taking educational risks, I can foster a democratic classroom that encourages higher-level thinking, community, and independence. I believe I can make a difference in students’ attitudes towards education by taking an interest in their lives, and creating a loving environment that cultivates learning.