So I had to re-write my first philosophy statement to flesh it out a bit.
For those of you teachy people who may be interested, here is the final version:
In many years to come, the teacher who is remembered with great fondness is the one who truly cared. I strive to be that teacher.
I believe that all students have the right and responsibility to learn in a safe, supportive and engaging classroom environment. In this classroom, we all go through learning together. We support each-other, offer ideas and value different perspectives. We challenge each-other in a respectful way. We offer and accept help freely. We are active listeners and speakers. Opinions are not only valued and encouraged, but expected. We are not afraid to say what we are feeling or thinking, for we know that we will not be laughed at or judged.
I believe that students learn best when they are engaged in a task and interact with others. In order for my classroom to encompass this atmosphere, I model these ideals in who I am and in how I act. I not only teach the students how to work together as a team, but also give them many opportunities to practise, utilise and evaluate these skills. I give my students numerous occasions to engage in a topic and express their views through discussion, writing, visual arts and ICT. I listen to the students, and expect them to do the same for their peers and myself. I am honest with my students.
In my classroom, we recognise and celebrate diversities in culture, beliefs, religion, gender and ability. I believe that this creates a healthy and safe atmosphere, which in turn aids learning. When students feel accepted, they are more willing to take risks in their learning. My beliefs are obvious through the way I treat students, parents and other teachers - and in the way I expect my students to behave. I integrate different languages into everyday life at school, and encourage the students to learn about their own culture and that of others.
In my classroom, we care about what is going on in our class, school, community and our world. Not only do we have compassion, but we strive to make a difference. I believe that it is exceptionally valuable for people to look outside of themselves, as this makes us appreciate what we have and also develops personal compassion. I aspire for my students to develop into active citizens who have empathy for others, despite the egocentric path society is taking. I encourage my students to be aware of issues highlighted in the media and to think of a way they can help, however small. I show the students that I too care about these issues.
In my classroom, the students are aware of what they are learning and why they are learning it. I believe that students engage and learn best when they understand the reasoning behind what they are being taught. I share the learning intentions of each lesson with my students, and we refer back to them consistently. I encourage my students to evaluate their learning regularly, and I teach them how to reflect on their new knowledge and understanding.
As a teacher, I encourage my students strive for excellence. I expect them to work hard, to be willing to take on challenges, and also to have fun. I believe that when teachers place high (but realistic) expectations on students, they meet these standards and even exceed them. I care about each student trying to better him or herself, and I lead by example through regularly completing professional development. Together, we celebrate these achievements.
In my classroom, we endeavour to be the best that we can be - in our learning and in who we are as people.