I have always wanted to become a teacher. It was not until I was inspired by one of my high school math teachers that I became passionate about math as well. So, I decided to put my passion for math and teaching together and set out on a journey to become a high school math teacher. I graduated from Sonoma State University in May of 2017 with a BA in Mathematics and a concentration in secondary education. In May of 2018 I completed the Single Subject Credential program at Sonoma State University.
My Teaching Philosophy:
I believe that all students have the right to learn. A good teacher is able to give all students an access point into the content regardless of where their skill level is. Lessons need to be structured so that students are given multiple representations of a particular concept or skill. In other words, material should be presented orally, visually, and through manipulatives. I also believe students need to be given choice when they have to demonstrate their understanding. Everyone has strengths as well as weaknesses and it is necessary to play on those strengths when having students demonstrate what they have learned.
One of the most important skills students will learn is how to collaborate. I believe that working in a collaborative environment is crucial to learning how to be a productive member of the workforce. Not only does working in a collaborative classroom prepare students for the workforce, it also helps students learn how to think critically and critique the reasoning of others. In today's age of information it is important that students learn how to analyze information and be critical before believing it is true.
In order for students to feel comfortable with collaborating with one another, the classroom environment needs to be a safe space. Trust is a necessity to a successful classroom full of rich discussion and collaborative learning. Students need to be able to feel comfortable with one another so that they are not afraid to be wrong or to respectfully critique the reasoning of their peers. To create a safe space, students need to have time to get to know one another and trust needs to be built. Before delving deep into content, I believe it is important to give students time to get to know both the teacher and their peers through community building activities.
Every lesson should start with what the students know. Students come with their own "funds of knowledge" that stem from personal life experience, cultural experience and previous background knowledge. It is important to allow students to share what they know about a particular topic before teaching students more information about it. Not only does this get students more engaged in the content, it allows them to take ownership of the content.
Finally, I believe in a philosophy of assisted discovery. While some lecture is necessary for guidance, if lecture must occur I think it should be an open lecture where students can share their ideas. Students should be allowed to discover the content on their own through projects and tasks that guide them toward an end goal. Ideally, students should discover the material on their own; however the teacher is there to lead them in the right direction when it is necessary. Content tends to stick much better when it stems from discovery and projects as opposed to lecture and memorization. Conceptual understanding and analytical skill building is the ultimate goal of assisted discovery instead of regurgitating content.