Over years of experience as both a student and as a practicing educator, my philosophy of education has developed into a strong concept- all students have a right and a capacity to learn. The concept may seem simple, but it is too often overlooked. This PASSION to provide all students with opportunities to learn is what, in my opinion, is necessary to become an outstanding teacher. My own experiences include teaching English abroad in Costa Rica, student teaching in a bilingual Kindergarten, student teaching Spanish for Spanish Speakers courses to juniors and seniors in high school, and teaching bilingual fourth grade and kindergarten in Chicago.
I love cooperative learning! I believe cooperative learning groups is one of the most effective teaching strategies in the classroom. In order to use cooperative learning, the students are broken into groups and allowed to work with their groups to complete a certain task. Unlike standard group work, each student is provided with a specific role and set of responsibilities. This develops leadership, teamwork, responsibility, and accountability across the curriculum.
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My entire childhood, I lived a single story. I went to a Catholic school, where I was a white student from a middle class family who had a library full of books, technology readily available, and parents who supported me. I was without a stress in the world besides what snack was in my lunch that day. Throughout my courses at Monmouth College, I began to recognize and appreciate the need to teach from a multicultural perspective and move away from my single story life. I read the required assignments and wrote essays about how I would practice these concepts, but had a hard time even picturing such concepts. Could I honestly relate to students who did not have enough money to bring lunch to school? These types of ideas were so surreal, so foreign to me, that I questioned my ability to become an effective teacher. I went to Costa Rica knowing that I would study Spanish and do volunteer work in a rural community. Never did I expect to completely change my entire way of thinking. And so it went, I was sent to a small community in the middle of nowhere. I walked into the local school and told them I wanted to help. “Habla Ingles? (Do you speak English?)” they asked; upon my response, I was asked to teach English class... and start that day! Without any curriculum, nor another person in the community who knew English, I was expected to teach 110 students a language completely foreign to them. With ideas about all the different teaching methods and classroom activities I had learned back at Monmouth, I had grand plans running through my mind. The next day, I walked into the classroom to realize that each of my students had to share a pathetic excuse for a desk. I soon discovered that some students also shared chairs, an entire class of 18 students shared 6 pencils, and there were 21 books (mostly books in English that tourists had left behind) in the entire school. For the first time in my life, I realized that material things do not lead to an education. These students had developed a sense of community that empowered them to learn, regardless of their socio-economic situation. These students were so responsive, so empowered that they begged to learn more. They stayed in during break times, asked for English class on their day off, and came to my porch each night just to practice their English. They all had close to nothing, but they still had a drive to learn and know more.
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English Language Arts, Balanced Literacy, Creative Writing, Reading, Grammar, Spelling, Vocabulary, Specialty, Math, Applied Math, Basic Operations, Geometry, Measurement, Numbers, Science, Anatomy, Basic Principles, Biology, World Language, Spanish, EFL - ESL - ELD, Life Skills, For All Subject Areas, Literature, Writing, Reading Strategies, Writing-Essays, Holidays/Seasonal, Place Value, Informational Text, Test Preparation