“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela
My role as an educator is to empower my students, providing an education that will allow them to change their world for the better. For this reason, my teaching philosophy is student-centered. My goal in my teaching is to mentor my students, guiding them in their development of the skills necessary to become lifelong learners, learners capable of continuing the progress of our world.
With students at the center of my teaching, my lesson structure promotes student-driven work. For example, many of the activities in my class involve collaboration, allowing students to assist each other in their learning. Additionally, the assignments in my class often incorporate an element of student choice. Choice encourages students not only to learn more about course content but also to engage with it in ways that are most useful and meaningful to them. It is through choice that students are more invested in their learning and more motivated to take it further.
My student-centered classroom considers the skills my students will need beyond the classroom. For instance, I emphasize the use of digital tools in my classroom in order to support the development of 21st century digital literacy skills, skills necessary to be both college and career ready. Providing opportunities for digital writing in the classroom, I not only incorporate tools my students are interested in, but I am also able to guide my students to use these tools responsibly and ethically.
Furthermore, as my students use the internet, they are exposed to more world issues and beliefs; for this reason, I expose my students to new ways of seeing and understanding the world. In order to do this, I promote a cultural studies perspective of literature. This enables my students to consider how different minority groups are represented treated by both authors and culture. This also allows my students to think critically about their own cultures and beliefs, building understanding and empathy for other cultures. By providing my students with a cultural studies lens, I prompt my students to apply their learnings from my classroom to their lives and their global community.
Student-centered at its core, my teaching philosophy focuses on providing my students the skills and content that will best serve them in their futures. As their mentor and their guide, I encourage my students to take these skills and concepts and apply them to global discourse, enabling my students to be more aware and involved in the happenings around them.