On students as learners: My success in teaching is rooted in the fact that I see all students as individuals and I respect that they are progressively learning who they are and who they will become. I believe that learning is the process that all learners, regardless of age, can experience success in. I have worked in diverse classrooms, with students of varying nationalities, backgrounds, and ages. I believe my openness, acceptance, and respect for all learners creates an atmosphere of comfort and safety in the classroom. I encourage and support students to learn at their individual pace as much as possible. I also attempt to integrate as much technology as I can into all aspects of differentiated learning.
On students in society :
Schools allow students time and space to develop their roles as friends, peers, and productive members of society. I think it is imperative that a school sees itself as part of a community, working together with parents as well as local peoples. Some of my most vivid memories as a student occurred outside of the classroom, on an excursion or field trips. The learning that happens outside of the classroom is often as important as what happens within. When school or local restrictions prevent student excursions, the world is always only a click away. With connections to the Internet accessible from almost anywhere, students are connected to the world in seconds. I believe that it is part of the teacher’s role to encourage and guide this worldliness in technology and education in a positive and beneficial manner.
On international teaching : Most of my years of teaching have been internationally with international and local student populations. It has always been my goal to respect my students’ cultures and ideas, while introducing them to differing global perspectives in a sensitive manner. There is an importance as well in respecting my colleagues while sharing teaching ideas and strategies with those members of staff. Whether that is a shared resource, or a handful of games, I like to feel a part of the local community where I live. Although I am Canadian, I see myself as part of a bigger cultural picture, with ties to North America, Europe and Asia. I enjoy bringing various types of literature and activities to the classroom, and building units around cultural events or festivals to give scope and meaning.
On the teacher as a learner :
Every year that I teach, I learn something new about myself and the students I work with. Recently, I have taken the time to slow down the process and take time to consider how to teach critical thinking and interpretive skills. I adapt to a new group of diverse students every year. I have taken on new roles, such as student teacher mentor, and Physical Education and Health K-12 coordinator. Every year I make it practice to set several professional development goals. I feel this is an important practice professionally as it promotes growth and learning. I feel that I am constantly learning and developing; this, I believe, is the greatest gift of teaching. My next aspiration is to begin an Ed. D. in Curriculum and Instruction with an Educational Technology concentration from the University of South Carolina to further expand my knowledge and skills base.