Educational Philosophy

 

 

STATEMENT OF EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY

 

My career in education is dominated by my experiences as an early childhood educator. My experience as a teacher coupled with my training and experience in supervision has inspired the following educational philosophy.

I believe that all children are not only capable of learning, they will learn. All students will develop self-esteem, which leads to confidence. Students will learn to become independent, to know their strengths and weaknesses and become organized in their thinking. My hope for students is that they will learn to become responsible for themselves and respectful towards their peers, adults, school environment, and community. In every aspect of their lives, I hope that every student works to the best of his/her abilities. I believe in order to be successful academically every child must begin by developing personally and socially.

Student outcomes are dependent upon the instructional climate of their classroom and school environment. In order to expect students to become organized thinkers there must be an organized, nurturing and supportive environment for children to learn in. Classrooms should be clearly labeled with age-appropriate signs. Daily schedules should be posted and routines implemented and followed. Children work best or most successfully when they know what is expected from them and when they know what to expect.

An atmosphere that is respectful to and reflective of students will lead to students who are respectful to peers, adults, school, and community. The school and classroom environment must reflect students work as much as possible. Children must feel a sense of ownership over their environment.

Parents must be an integral part of the instructional program. Parent presence and involvement will make the school experience for each student more complete and important than just feeling like a place they have to go. Parents must be welcomed into every class to read their favorite book or personal writing during story time. During music parents could teach their favorite songs or simply sing along with their children.

Creating an environment where every member; students, educators, and parents, feels a sense of ownership is perhaps the most important link to positive student outcomes. This may not be an easy task, however it is one that is in the best interest of everybody.

Children learn best when they are actively involved in the learning process. In addition, children learn best within their personal zone of proximal development. Teaching in a developmentally appropriate fashion is at the forefront of my beliefs towards instruction. A curriculum that supports the child who is just beginning to communicate stories and the child who is capable of writing stories is the only one that makes sense to me. In this curriculum there is no room for failure. Students are able to work to the best of their abilities and are positively reinforced for their progress.

For each student, teachers will work intimately, keep an anecdotal, and compile a portfolio to document the child’s growth. In order to support the teacher and ensure individualized attention, class size must be kept to a minimum.

Teachers would work together collaboratively in deciding which topics of instruction should be taught. During grade meetings, for instance, the teachers on the same grade could decide which topics of academic subjects they would like to explore with their classes. During the grade meetings they could discuss their opinions and share both positive and negative feelings about how the topic is being explored within their own classroom. Together, through sharing, they could support each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

A Leader needs to lead by example and possess a strong educational vision. I believe the priority of every school should be its children however, that is a tone which is set by the Leader of the school. Just as I believe a teacher should allow her students opportunities to feel ownership, I believe the school leader and/or administration should allow teachers to feel a sense of ownership over their work environment.

As a leader, I will seek out new and innovative professional development opportunities. These opportunities will not be for teachers alone but for the Paraprofessionals and parents as well. I will keep my door open although I hope not be found in my office very often. I will make it my personal goal to come to know the students as personally as I can. I hope to sing along with the children during music, read stories during story time, construct buildings with blocks and confer during writing workshop. I will keep at the forefront of all my beliefs the reason I became involved in the field of education was to work with and for children. My decisions as a supervisor/leader will always have the children’s best interests as my priority.

The type of school I envision holds the aforementioned hopes and goals as a minimum standard upon which to grow and flourish. I have learned that nothing in life that is worthy comes easy. I know it will take hard work, commitment and dedication, but most importantly, team- work with my colleagues to make these dreams come true. I am committed to realizing my dreams and I welcome any future experiences that will add insight to developing these ideas further.

Fighting for Happy

Fighting for Happy

“You have storms and waves inside of you that you must not tame as the world will tell you to. Rather, you must make peace with them and let them roar.” -Andy Charrington, The Point of Pain

We all have addictions right? What are you addicted to? Is it a thing, like a drug or alcohol or food, is it a behavior like, spending money or cheating, or is it a feeling like misery or jealousy? I think I am addicted to self doubt that then leads to procrastination. What does that even mean? What is addiction? Well, it is a state characterized by compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli, despite adverse consequences. It can be thought of as a disease or biological process leading to such behaviors.

At least that’s what Webster says.

So I am perplexed. What rewarding stimuli could possibly exist in a state of self doubting procrastination? If there are any, I promise they are lost on me. I find no joy in putting things off. In fact, with each pushed task, with every disappointed glance from my husband, with every crumpled yellow post-it of things never accomplished, I feel the weight of the world crashing down on me. This inevitably leads to more self doubt. Thus, the vicious cycle continues, leaving me glued to the couch watching an endless loop of reality television. I am tired, angry, and bored, existing in a whirlwind of missed appointments and unpaid bills where that weight piles on every day.

There is a voice inside my head screaming at me. “Turn off bravo and GET OFF THE COUCH!” I hear it throughout the day as I mindlessly scroll through facebook or instagram getting happily distracted by the daily lives of loved ones. I hear it, “You’re wasting time! Focus! Why can’t you get it together!?”  Every night as I lay in bed, I hear it as lists take form and begin to swirl around in my mind. Lists of calls to make, forms to fill out, people to respond to, lists that carry harsh judgement, lists that never get completed. They just haunt my mind until I eventually fall asleep.

So, I find myself wondering….how do you change something about your behavior, something that you are aware of, and want to change? It should be simple, right? Just stop. Or in some cases, just start.  Well, it’s obviously not so simple, not. even. close.  

In my opinion, it all comes down to one’s will and determination. The same can be said for any addiction, the only thing that will put an end to it is you. The problem is figuring out how to listen to the willful and determined voice and ignore the addicted one.

I have known people who have had addiction destroy their relationships, their health, and in some cases, even their ability to function in society. Nothing helped them…no cries from family members, no consequences, nothing saved them on their downward spiral. No outside praise or discrimination can have a lasting affect on the addicted soul. I believe that is because most addictions stem from a place of self loathing. The addiction manifests in countless ways but the root is always the same. The people I know who have survived their addictions are the ones who woke up one day and made a choice. A choice to be kind to themselves 

We all have that voice, the one that tells us to put the brownie down or to chew gum instead of light a cigarette. I have always been certain of that. What I didn’t give enough attention to is how important it is to not only hear that voice, but to then actually follow through and listen to it, no matter what. Recently I have been working really hard to look within and hear my willful and determined voice.

Here is what it has been saying…

You must realize that you have been lost and endure all of the pain that comes along with that loss before you can begin to understand how valuable you are. When you strip it all down to the bare bones, take away all of the excuses, take away all of the circumstances, the only thing left is you. You know this of course. YOU have to choose to fight your guts out to change and be kind to yourself. It must start from within. Your father died, you still need to take the kids to school. You lost your job, you still need to pay the mortgage. It is in the process of learning to take responsibility for your own happiness and fulfillment that you can successfully change behavior. There is no more room for excuses. The world does not owe you anything. YOU owe it to yourself to turn the tv off and get to work. You owe it to yourself, Tarsha.

As I have been listening to my inner voice more and more I can see small changes taking place. I am taking care of myself. I am exercising, reading and writing. I may not be getting to all three in one day just yet but I am getting there. I am fighting to get this weight off of my shoulders.  I am sharing my struggle without fear of judgement. I can do this now because I am focused inward. I no longer expect anyone else to “fix me” I am doing it myself. It is excruciating. I have been lost in a sea of chaos and confusion for so long that I stopped trusting myself. So it is terrifying.  But I will be damned if I waste any more time existing in a state of perpetual procrastination, doubting myself. I know what matters to me and for my family. I have always known that. I will no longer allow the pain of the last seven years to overshadow it all in my mind. I will no longer exist, treading water, afraid to splash about. You know why? Because I deserve to be happy. And guess what? You do too. Look inward, trust your journey and be, unapologeticlly, you.

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