I am a reflective primary school teacher who effectively and positively impacts on students, the school and the broader community. This personal teaching philosophy encapsulates my professional knowledge, practice and engagement against the AITSL professional Standards for Teachers.
I develop strong collaborative relationships with my students and get to know them as individuals and intimately as learners within an inclusive, safe, challenging and nurturing environment (Shindler, 2009). This creates a community of learners and enhances student wellbeing, allowing me to respond to diverse individual student needs, interests, readiness and learning profiles (Sousa & Tomlinson, 2011). From this exemplary foundation, I integrate learning theories such as behaviourism (Thorndike, 1931), cognitivism (O’Donnell, 1912), humanism (Rogers, 1998) and positive psychology (Seligman, 2011) to effectively teach a differentiated high-quality curriculum (Tomlinson, 2005; ACARA, 2019). This gives students the ability to become mastery orientated, developing a growth mindset (Dweck, 1999).
I differentiate content, teach concepts and principles and set achievable and challenging learning goals to meet the specific individual learning needs, abilities and characteristics of students (Tomlinson, 2005). Therefore, I can apply a range of effective numeracy, literacy, science and HASS teaching strategies. For example, the use of a powerful mathematical narrative sparks curiosity and creates powerful mathematical learners. Cooperative learning strategies enhance participation, engagement, discussions, problem-solving, higher order and critical thinking skills in all areas of the curriculum (Gilles, 2007). My teaching experience in an Indigenous Community School in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands enables me to implement culturally competent, responsive and respectful teaching and learning strategies for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
I convey high learning expectations of students and establish clear symbiotic behavioural classroom expectations, routines, roles, responsibilities, decisions and choices (Shindler, 209). I incorporate SMART principles and the Child Safe Curriculum where appropriate, including the safe, responsible and ethical use of ICT.
I assess students for readiness using pre-assessment and diagnostic testing data. I formatively mark and assess student learning using ongoing discussions and observations to provide timely constructive feedback (Masters, 2019). Consequently, I can adjust pace, regroup students or review concepts to further scaffold or extend specific students. I design rubrics, requiring students to identify specific learning goals, enhancing personal agency (Tomlinson, 2005). I summatively assess student work, capture data and record learning growth to inform student grades.
Teaching is an art and a science (Marzano, 2017) requiring critical reflective practice and targeted professional learning (Moon, 1999). I contributed to my sites SIP by integrating my professional development of the Big 6 into my classroom practice. Recently, I completed further Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar training, Guided reading and the Early career teachers – Setting up for success workshop.
I pro-actively build successful relationships that contribute to the wellbeing of colleagues, parents and the community. I planned collaboratively with colleagues and regularly shared my resources. I sensitively communicated with guardians, health care providers and government agencies to ensure a holistic teaching and learning approach was achieved for my students.
My teaching philosophy creates a safe learning environment, fosters self-efficacy and powerful learning. Thus, giving students the capacity to be successful, active and informed young people.
ACARA, (2019, September 28). Home. [Website]. Retrieved from https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au
Dweck, C. (1999). Self-theories : Their role in motivation, personality, and development (Essays in social psychology). Philadelphia, PA: Psychology Press.
Gillies, R. (2007). Cooperative learning: Integrating theory and practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications Inc.
Marzano, R. (2017). The New Art and Science of Teaching. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
Masters, G. (2019, September 30) ‘Getting to the essence of assessment’, Research Developments, ACER. Retrieved from: http://rd.acer.edu.au/article/getting-to-the-essence-of-assessment
Moon, J. (1999). Reflection in learning & professional development: Theory & practice. London: Kogan Page.
O’Donnell, A. (2012). Constructivism.
Rogers, B. (1998). ‘You know the fair rule’: strategies for making the hard job of discipline and behaviour management in school easier. Melbourne: ACER.
Seligman, M. (2011). Flourish: a visionary new understanding of happiness and well-being. Policy, 27 (3), 60-1.
Shindler, J. (2009). Transformative Classroom Management.: Positive Strategies to Engage All Students and Promote a Psychology of Success. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.
Sousa, D., & Tomlinson, C. (2011). Differentiation and the brain: How neuroscience supports the learner-friendly classroom. Bloomington, Ind: Solution Tree Press.
Thorndike, E. (1931). Human learning. The Century.
Tomlinson, C. (2005). The differentiated classroom: Responding to the needs of all learners (Merrill education/ASCD college textbook series). Upper Saddle River N.J: Pearson Education.