Teachers who exceed our expectations are those who have adapted their own personal teaching philosophy. Sure, they have studied educational theories, listened to the advice of experts and observed outstanding peers in action. But the confidence needed to thrive as an effective educator is based on a teacher’s philosophy of how best to teach a child.
Once a teacher Adapts and masters a personal educational philosophy, she must not waver in her perspective or become uncertain by early mistakes and failures. She must constantly refine and perfect her ideas and craft until it becomes an inner law. Greatness in teaching demands that we don’t blindly follow the leader but that we beat our own path to the promise land.
The trouble encountered by many new teachers in their first year is the difficulty of applying all the accumulated theories leant in college. They haven’t had the chance to discover what works and what doesn’t work in the modern classroom. Today’s classroom often defies the theories and formulas regarding classroom management and lesson designs that may have achieved success in the past. Each classroom is different. It has its own character and atmosphere. What works in once classroom will often fail in another?
Those teachers who have created their own, unwavering teaching philosophy possess the competence to take control of any classroom environment. They have confidence in the effectiveness of their ideology, no matter how unorthodox these ideas may appear to others.
Principles Needed to Develop an Unwavering Teaching Philosophy
Maintaining a dynamic teaching philosophy requires extreme focus and concentration in today’s modern classroom. Many entities will challenge your ideas and approaches. They will attempt to redirect you into more traditional teaching routines. Before I won the teacher of the year award in 1998, I received many complaints about my teaching methods. I heard many emotionally unsettling things spoken behind my back.
However, I was confident in my teaching style and stood steadfast against the pressure. In the end, many of my peers were shocked at the rate my students had excelled. Parent testimonies were off the chart, so to speak. Mental toughness is concentration at its best.
Unafraid of negative consequences
Maintaining an unwavering teaching philosophy means that you are willing to endure administrative discipline or even job dismissal. Greatness sometimes comes at a heavy price. Some of the greatest teachers have moved forward against the grain and defied the odds. But although their ideology was rejected in the beginning, their message became a foundation to build upon for future generations.
A teacher with unquenchable passion for their teaching philosophy can endure all kinds of harassment on the job. They are so excited and involved in seeing their student excel academically that backbiting and objections from peers are overshadowed. For once, when I taught at a local school in Wisconsin I was so eager for the next day to arrive that I could hardly sleep at night. The next morning, even though I sensed the whispering and often got the cold shoulder from many of my peers, I was always ready to energize my students with a host of creative and innovative presentations.
Gaining Respect for your Philosophy.
Observation of highly exceptional people who have command of their personal philosophy is a fantastic way of gaining more respect for your own approach. Go to speaking presentations and watch how dynamic speakers lay out their ideas. The topic doesn’t have to involve education.
Your aim is to study different approaches to teaching people and adapting those processes to the education field and implementing them in the classroom. This is how you go about establishing your own personal teaching philosophy.
Being Different Pays Off
The importance of developing your own style of teaching cannot be stressed enough. If you want to become a dynamic teacher and separate yourself from the norm, you cannot do what everybody else is doing. Closing the achievement gap will require teachers who can come into a classroom and command it using ideas that have not been taught in the traditional education classes.
Once you are comfortable with your brand of teaching, you will have the opportunity to empower and equip student s with superior learning capacities. I often had groups of first graders performing at a third grade level. When the word spread regarding this outstanding accomplishment, new parents with first graders targeted my class with great honor and delight.