My Teaching Philosophy
It is essential to understand that battles are primarily won in the heart. People respond to leadership in a most remarkable way and once you have won their heart, they will follow you anywhere.
- Vince Lombardi
Win the heart.
My time at university has given me the opportunity to take part in practicums at 3 different schools, including one special education centre. My disability subjects allowed me to complete a practicum in an acquired brain injury rehabilitation centre for adults. Through all my practicums, the most common attribute that lead to success was building strong relationships. Relationships create trust, happiness and a sense of belonging. Without a strong relationship, there is no reason to continue.
In the school environment, relationships are the greatest tool teachers can use to create and engage successful learners. Studies have found that students appreciate the interactive relationships established with their teacher (Pomeroy, 1999) and the stronger the teacher-student relationship is, the more effort students make to learn and succeed in school (Muller, 2001). While the curriculum does not change for each student, by building great relationship with student and understanding what drives them, we can change the way we teach to suit the style of the learner.
As a father and uncle, I understand the importance of building a solid relationship that focusses on trust, respect and appreciation with my children, nieces and nephews. The young people in my life are confident with me, they question things, they seek advice and we laugh with and at each other. Therefore, I strive to create the same environment when I enter my classroom. Without trust, respect and appreciation, the fundamental teacher-student relationship will never be established, and the student may become lost in the classroom.
However, as a teacher, it is important for me to not only build strong relationships with my students, I desire to build trusting relationships with families and caregivers. By building and maintaining relationships with families, it has been found to have a significant impact on improving early childhood performance (Xu & Gulosino, 2006) and when trust between parents and teachers is strong, it improves the closeness in the teacher–student relationship (Wyrick & Rudasill, 2009).
However, in order to create a successful relationship, a teacher needs to be a confident communicator. Being able to talk and listen to students, other teachers, parents and school faculty are important communication skills. Good communication skills lead to good teaching, particularly referential skills (where teachers can explain the content effectively), learning and motivation, supporting student ego and conflict management. Overall, communication is the foundation of building relationships (Frymier & Houser, 2000).
Frymier, A., & Houser, M. (2000). The teacher‐student relationship as an interpersonal relationship. Communication Education, 49(3), 207-219. doi: 10.1080/03634520009379209
Muller, C. (2001). The Role of Caring in the Teacher-Student Relationship for At-Risk Students. Sociological Inquiry, 71(2), 241-255. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-682x.2001.tb01110.x
Pomeroy, E. (1999). The Teacher-Student Relationship in Secondary School: Insights from excluded students. British Journal Of Sociology Of Education, 20(4), 465-482. doi: 10.1080/01425699995218
Wyrick, A., & Rudasill, K. (2009). Parent Involvement as a Predictor of Teacher–Child Relationship Quality in Third Grade. Early Education And Development, 20(5), 845-864. doi: 10.1080/10409280802582803
Xu, Z., & Gulosino, C. (2006). How Does Teacher Quality Matter? The Effect of Teacher–Parent Partnership on Early Childhood Performance in Public and Private Schools. Education Economics, 14(3), 345-367. doi: 10.1080/09645290600777550