I believe all students are capable of learning and are motivated by a desire to investigate and solve problems. When students are given the opportunity to explore topics that are important to their lives, they will naturally develop a sense of questioning and a love of learning.
Therefore, I believe in the theory of constructivism: learning is an active process of making meaning. It is not enough for students to be told what is right and wrong; rather, they should be given the chance to reflect on their experiences and construct their own knowledge. The teacher should act as a guide in the classroom, asking open-ended questions to provide students with the chance to develop their creativity and individual personalities. The role of a teacher is not to be the sole giver of knowledge; rather, teaching and learning is a collaborative process.
I believe that when students feel respected and play an authentic part in shaping behavior roles in the classroom, they will identify with them and work towards the self-management of behavior. When problems arise, it should be approached in a non-threatening setting, as the classroom should be a place where all students feel comfortable and safe. Accountability is important; however, I feel flexibility and communication promote learning and community. My goal as a teacher is to provide each student with an opportunity to succeed in my classroom.
To create in ourselves and our students a global perspective, and to work together in a rapidly interconnecting world, collaboration is vital. Technology, among other things, offers the opportunity to expand our knowledge of other countries, cultures and ways of life, and while there are differences that should not be ignored, there are also similar values that should be acknowledged and cultivated. If teachers and schools work to engage students as collaborative learners throughout all levels of education, generations of citizens who understand the value of collaboration and practice it throughout their lives could be created.
Learning is a never ending journey, and I strive to model that idea to my students. Perfection is an impossible goal; rather, teachers and students should be focused on celebrating mistakes, as they provide opportunities for growth, and the seeking out of new questions to be asked, for it is in the search for answers that the most influential learning is done.