Ms. Manuel’s Philosophy of Education
Behind every school, administrator and teacher is a set of beliefs that guide their decisions and actions. This is their philosophy of education which answers the debatable questions like “what is the purpose of schooling?’, ‘What’s the teacher's role?’, as well as, ‘what should be taught and by what methods?’ My philosophy of education embodies my belief of the student as the singular most important part of education. Therefore, my goal for education would be to develop well- rounded and capable adults who are ready and confident when entering the ‘real’ world.
I came across a quote in my studies that has stuck with me because it truly encompasses my belief: “teaching is intellectual and ethical work… every child is a full human being, complex and dynamic, a three dimensional creature with a heart, spirit, an active, meaning-making mind, with hopes and aspirations that must be taken into account….” (Ayers, 2001.) I know students are people who participate in lives as rich, complex, and at times, difficult as our own. This motivates me to not only teach content area but life skills. As teachers, we are, in part, responsible for teaching them effective life skills such as communication, conflict resolution, mindfulness, perseverance, coping, and many more. I believe students want to discuss and hit on such topics but don’t feel they have the necessary outlet.
I was lucky to have student taught in an environment where they had such an outlet. The students were so appreciative of it and used it to their full potential. I believe this is attainable in my own classroom by making it a safe, warm, open-minded zone. Within my art room, it is important to me that students are able express themselves without the fear of judgment. I’m willing to take the time out of the beginning of the year or semester to create this environment because it is just so important in the creative art making process. It will also set the tone for a great year.
At the start of the year, I will open up dialogue to gain insight into what materials or processes each class enjoys, wants to try, or haven’t had a chance to experience yet. From there, I will tailor assignments and projects that play to their interests, help build upon their experiences, develop critical thinking skills and work to develop skills outside of content area. I also believe that in this day and age media literacy is particularly important and plan to incorporate these skill building activities into my lessons. Lastly, I think it is very important to cover the wide range of arts from new media to the basics of drawings because each has something unique and important to offer. Within each lesson, I will give students plenty of opportunities to make their own choices and decisions, offer open-ended tasks and include avenues for response and feedback.
From my previous experiences, I've realized I am sensitive to students’ needs and aid them in any way needed. I strive to be empathetic, understanding and a good listener. I consider the position of teacher as the medium for progress and growth to occur. Because of this I have the highest expectations for each student am not willing to settle for their mediocre work. I am prepared to push students to their very best. Throughout our time together, I will constantly motivate and encourage students to think about their own and other’s art, concepts and selves.
I am thrilled to be an art teacher and have the opportunity to work closely with my colleagues and administration to strive for the highest quality of education for our students because teaching art is exciting in its demands and personally rewarding. So far, teaching has also improved my technical skills and understanding as I review and present topics in different ways, with broad perspectives, and to new audiences. As an art teacher I feel this is my greatest opportunity in life to have a positive impact doing what I love.