My philosophy towards effective discipline is to create a friendly and welcoming environment while providing students positive reinforcements for them to succeed. When dealing with younger children, I believe that they need routine and consistency. Therefore I will make my classroom rules known on the very first day and I will enforce them continually throughout the year. If I am consistent with my rules and procedures, then my students will always know what to expect and the year will run more smoothly. I think that the best way to prevent misbehavior is to have a safe, motivating, and positive classroom. It is imperative for students to be actively engaged so that misbehavior is less likely to occur.
Students should be active participants and should study/work hard to become successful in the future. They should be willing to learn and enthusiastic about gaining more knowledge. A student should be respectful in order to receive respect from their teacher and classmates as well. The main reason a student is in school is to focus on their education and preparing for the future. One example that portrays my beliefs about students is that there are many different academic levels in my DT’s classroom. During lessons, I make sure every student is engaged and interested so learning is always taking place. All our students learns in a different way. Since I am in an inclusion classroom and have several ESE students, I have to teach every topic in different ways so that all my students are able to understand.
I feel that there are so many more ways to assess a student. For example, informal assessments such as walking around a classroom to monitor students’ progress on a project, or question and answer session at the end of a lesson, even have a closing discussion with the class for understanding of a lesson. I feel that the “traditional” way of assessing students is changing. Using different instructional strategies in the classroom is so essential to teaching. Every student learns a different way, so there HAS to be differentiated instruction among the classroom. You have to make sure to appeal to all types of learners during the different instructional strategies being used or have different instructional strategies based on small groups. During my internship I was constantly using the different leveled readers during our Rotation time. This way each of the groups are able to read at their own level.
Instructional strategies determine the approach a teacher may take to achieve learning objectives. Teachers should have a variety of instructional strategies as well as differentiation among those strategies. Not every student learns the same. By having a variety you are able to meet the needs of each of your students that way they are able to obtain the same outcome. During my internship I have really taken the time to get to know all of my students and their instructional needs. I make sure that I provide help for those students who need extra help and also provide enrichment activities for those who complete tasks early. My lesson plans show accomodations as well as enrichments.
Management in the classroom is key. If there is no classroom management, then there is ultimately no learning taking place. Procedures and routines must be set in place during the first week of instruction; expectations should be crystal clear. Students should understand why the procedures and routines are in place and what the consequences are for not following through with what is expected. Student and teacher accountability is a two way street. I believe that the accountability is a shared responsibility. As long as the teachers’ expectations are clear, then the students should understand what they are accountable for. If the teacher fails to deliver the students expectations then the accountability would fall on the teacher. One thing that I did to help manage the classroom during my internship, was bring in a treasure box. This worked as a rewards system. Students who were showing exemplary behavior were able to go to the treasure box and find something that they liked. Students were always trying to show me that they deserved to go to the treasure box so I knew that this kept them on their toes. I also came up with a behavioral management system where I put comments in the students planners on how their behavior was throughout the day. That way their parents are aware of how they are in school.
Assessing Student Performance
Assessment is needed to show student progress and their performance. It also provides the teacher with data that shows how well students understand the material or if the subject should be reviewed further. There are many different ways to assess students. Teachers should be flexible and use different assessments to assess their students knowledge of a subject matter. Formative assessment is a great way to quickly see how well the students are handling a certain topic. If students are not getting it then you will know right away if you need to go over it more in depth or even change your approach. In my class, I am constantly questioning the students during my lessons, that way I know exactly where they stand. I also try to do a KWL chart whenever I can so I can assess their prior knowledge as well.
Student and Teacher Accountability
Students should be held accountable for their learning by listening and following directions. Also by following the directions given, asking questions, and creating academic goals for themselves. Teachers should be responsible for teaching these students behavior and to act as mentors and role models during the learning process. It is the teachers duty to provide the necessary resources and materials to help students become successful in the classroom. This is especially important when it comes to students with a specific learning disability and who those who need accomodations. My students know the rules and their responsibilites and that they are accountable for them. We did a My Job, Your Job, My Parents Job at the beginning of the semester that went in their Data Notebooks. The words were created by them and that way they know exactly what they are accountable for as well as what the teachers and their parents are accountable for.
How my philosophies have changed
My philosophies of teaching have most definitely changed over time. I was able to broaden my views of teaching as I was exposed to many different types of classrooms and learning environments. I believe that students make the classroom. You cannot get the feel for a classroom or understand how your classroom will function unless you have met your students. Before I began my internship experience, I was only familiar with assessing students by how I was taught in my education classes. By actually being in the classroom everyday, I have been able to use and implement those assessment strategies that I had learned in my courses. I am not able to see first hand where my students stand when it comes to certain learning objectives. I still feel that assessing student performance is a huge key in helping me plan as a teacher.
The changes I have made concerning my beliefs about teaching have been because of my experiences. Being introduced to so many different classrooms, teaching styles, and students have allowed me to combine a lot of different teaching techniques and beliefs. If I had missed out on one single experience that I have been exposed to, then I might have different beliefs again just due to missing out on that one experience. My beliefs are constantly going to be changing and developing as I continue to be exposed to the diversity of teaching and to the experiences of a teacher.