PHILOSOPHY OF TEACHING
My philosophy of teaching is known as the L4=#1L method. Simply explained, this means that if you have the four “L’s” explained below, you will get a successful product, or #1 learning, will occur. For this reason, I offer my philosophy of teaching for your analysis.
A teacher must teach his/her standard curriculum. However, I believe he/she must also teach some skills that will allow the students to be successful, no matter what they end up doing in life. I truly believe, if you teach the students how to live, listen, love, and yes, laugh, then success is inevitable.
Students so often are held back by fears. They are afraid to make mistakes, to take a risk, in short, to live. Students are human, not robot. As humans, we are “built” to make mistakes. This is how we learn. However, due to fear, students feel mistakes are not part of the learning experience. I truly believe it is the times we take risks, succeed or fail, and gain knowledge from those situations, when we learn the most. Essentially, I encourage students to learn to take calculated risks to become better people. Essentially, I ask them to learn to live.
Next, I not only ask the students to learn how to listen, but I also listen to them. In this day and age, I feel students often need someone just to “bounce” ideas off of. I truly value a student’s opinion, even if it is not what I personally believe. By listening to their ideas and dreams, I am not only learning about them, but I am also teaching them how to be a good listener. Some of the most profound words of wisdom come from my students. I cannot fathom my life now without having heard some of my student’s thoughts and beliefs. If they can make such a profound effect on one person, just imagine what they can do in the future, when they are filled with the confidence they will gather from their experiences up until that time. Success is inevitable. If they learn how to listen to others, and they feel they are listened to as well, then they will gain the confidence they need to help make the world a better place.
I value each of my students as individuals. I have a heart that has a special place for each and every one of them. I do truly believe they are our future. If we do not love them, how will they know how to love? In love, I am referring to love of each student as an individual as part of a greater whole. Each student has so much uniqueness. Why should be hate because of our differences? We should love each other for being different. Imagine if everyone loved only playing tennis. What fun would the world be? What if everyone painted like Picasso? Would the art really seem that impressive? I believe we have to teach out students that all types of people are needed in this world, and we should not hate, but cherish each other. If we teach the students that it is important to love each other as humans, then they will realize we are very unique and special. What a better way to teach them than by modeling it?
Last, but not least, I truly believe that the students need to know how to laugh. So often, students enter my room with only one goal- to make an “A.” Although this is a valid goal, I believe there is so much more to learning. Humor is essential to all of the elements I listed above. Without laughter, life can become mundane and “lifeless.” Studies show laughter helps reduce stress. If we teach the students now, when life is not really that hard (although they may think differently), that it is ok to laugh at mistakes, then later on in life, they will know that it is ok to laugh every once in a while. If they know how to laugh, and understand that laughter is needed in life, they will have a brighter outlook on life. If that is the case, success is guaranteed. The happiest people are the ones who can laugh at times, especially at those when laughing seems as if it is the least realistic thing to do. Laughter is essential in every part of life, and especially in the classroom.
So, from the above, you can see, I strive to teach the students to live, listen, love, and laugh. I have noticed a great improvement in my teaching skills, as well as in my personal life, because I follow this philosophy. Imagine what the world would be like if everyone was given the chance to use these skills to make the world a better place!