Caroline in the Delta

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jun 06 2013

Personal Philsophy of Education

Keeping my head up. There are many update to be had, particularly about:

  • Recent required three day professional development about common core
  • The first official LEAD 21 Walton Leader Scholar seminar last weekend (AKA re-introduction to grad school)
  • The major game-changers that have happened for my job
  • Instructions to get involved in the revamped, revised, second edition of the Dear Successful Stranger program!

In the meantime, though, I was just required to draft my first Personal Philosophy of Education for a class. Cliches and generic terminology abounds! I am unhappy with the disconnect between the intense heart put into it, and the read this 800 times before result it produced. Just shows I’m a beginning grad student, and that major revisions will happen over the course of a year. For now, though, this is it:


Personal Philosophy of Education

            I believe that formal education stems from the adage that it takes a village to raise a child. While parents, churches, and community efforts all contribute to a human’s development, schools are where the most time, focus, and opportunity are directly put forth to mold what begins as a small child into a confident, considerate, and independent adult. I believe it is the responsibility of a school to provide children with the tools, experiences, and confidence to be productive and responsible members of a global society.

An educator is obligated to see potential and demand excellence in every capacity for every student, but within that the educator must recognize that each student has a unique need that must be met in a unique way. There is no one unit, no one manner of speaking, no one prescriptive anything that can meet every learner. It is the responsibility of the teacher to learn these distinctions between students and to smartly foster intimate relationships, apply varied teaching strategies, and genuinely care about the students in her care.

When a true learning relationship is established between school and student, an incredible expectation must be set forth. Children must be taught their own personal value and worth, and then must be taught to hone skills and pursue passion as a personal and societal obligation. I believe schools must not limit themselves to academics, as success is found in corners far past algebra and grammar. If students dedicate eight hours daily to school, we are obligated as social institutions to best prepare them for life outside of school. With technology, this means students must walk away first with a deep personal understanding of themselves, then with the social skills necessary to navigate a relationship-dependent society, and last with the experience and exposure to the innumerable tools available to learn any subject at any time with the right motivation, as this is the current reality of our technology-driven society.

Creating relationships and opportunities for students to master understanding their own potential as competent and confident members of society is not possible without partnership among the entire community. Schools must be the front-runners for forming lasting and strong relationships with all other members of a community: families, churches, businesses, and public services. When schools work in partnership, students learn the power of connected communities and work harder to find and create them for themselves. Schools must search for the potential value in every relationship with every member of the community both for gains in the school and to model an ideal in students.

In all, I believe that it is the charge of a school to be student and community driven to the core, in all actions and beliefs, with a mission to be a cyclical producer of healthy, happy, and purposeful people.


One Response

  1. Wise words Caroline.
    Isn’t it all about connections, connections, connections? Both within the community in which the school is based, but also within the heads of individual students – the one giving a structure to hang knowledge on, the other a network to support and enrich the child.

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