Okay, well here goes! I am going to do what I can to try to see this challenge all of the way through. I have decided that I need to do some more reflecting regarding myself as a teacher. I will start with answering some questions that have been recommended as a guide to reflective practice in the area of “teaching philosophy.” Thank you to my colleagues Silvanna and Marcia for bringing this resource to Sault College faculty!
So, let me begin with the basics and reflect on what I think my definition of teaching is. To be honest, that is a tough question. I was trained, first and foremost, as a Child and Youth Care Practitioner, not specifically as a teacher. Although if you look at many of the values and approaches to CYC practice, it can be very closely connected to teaching. I have certainly used many of my CYC skills in my work with the College! Teaching, to me can be defined as creating an environment where the invitation for maximum growth and learning can be extended. Teaching is a reciprocal process, I believe, where both the student and “teacher” can learn from each other. Actually making that happen can be very tricky I find though when I am tied to specific outcomes and objectives in a course and I want to ensure that these are met.
This also ties into my thoughts on what I think the definition of learning is. I think it is attaining knowledge that you didn’t previously have and how you get that knowledge might be different from one person to the next. It might be learning through reading or hearing or seeing or doing. What I try to do is ensure that all of my lessons incorporate some component of each of those things so that everyone’s learning style is met. Not a new concept by any means, but is what I try to do as much as possible! I also try to encourage as much discussion in my classes as possible so that students can learn from each other and hopefully I can learn from them as well. The challenge often though is getting students to engage in the discussion. I think I will save that for another reflection!
I really believe that an effective teacher can engage in both the learning and the teaching process in all that they do with their students. I strive to do that as much as possible and I hope that through this reflective process I am able to look at whether or not I do! I look forward to continuing these reflections as we move through the next nine weeks! Hopefully I can learn to up my blogging game at the same time and remember how to do more than just the basic text in my posts!
Time will tell…