My philosophy requires that I nurture and respect the students and that I bear in mind that I serve as role model for effective learning. I believe that there is no such thing as students who cannot reach their potential; there are educators who cannot meet students’ needs due to their own shortcomings. These shortcomings may be due to the absence of love, care, skill, belief, or resources of educators. Love of the teaching profession and continuous learning and selfimprovement are the main ingredients in my teaching style. I strongly believe that if you don’t love the work and have respect for the students and the teaching environment, your vitality and consequently your success will suffer.
My first day working as a substitute teacher, I remember walking into a very diverse first grade classroom filled with glimmering eyes that were all eager to meet me. I can never forget how welcoming and accepting such young bodies were. The moment these students surrounded me, I thought to myself, “I am in the right place.” After six years, I still feel the same way. Seeing the light in the eyes of my students when they are learning, and knowing that I have helped them in gaining knowledge, is one of the greatest rewards I could ever receive as a teacher. My students know that I love and value them and expect them to value themselves and their peers. They know that respect, tolerance, and courtesy will be daily lessons in our classroom. Modeling love, care and respect for my students is the most effective lesson I teach.
I also strongly believe that a teacher must be willing to learn from his/her students in order to truly understand them. By doing so, as a teacher, one can discover that each student is an individual with unique qualities which will help the teacher to create and use different strategies to meet the needs of each student. To put all of your students on the same scale is one of the biggest mistakes and injustices to students’ abilities. I am proud to teach in a manner in which I observe and respect the differences of my students and am open to learning from them as well as learning from my peers and other teaching professionals. As a result, I am able to create lessons and an overall learning environment that address the specific needs of each of my students.
Through my experiences over the years, I have realized that besides building positive relationships with students in the school building, it is also essential to form bridges between a student’s school life and home. Doing so can help parents become more involved with the school and more aware of the school’s efforts. It also builds a trustful bond between teachers, parents, and students, which helps students become more comfortable in the school environment and respectful learners in the classroom. One way I have achieved this goal is by hosting Saturday breakfasts at school for parents and students, providing them with an opportunity to get to know each other in the school setting.
Another activity that I utilize for this purpose is a movie night at my home as a reward for my high-achieving students with their parents. This also motivates my other students to become eligible for this reward. My favorite activity for building relationships is our weekend camping trips with students and parents during which we get to spend quality time away from school. While I do not get rewarded monetarily for these activities, it has been the greatest reward to see their benefits to my students’ success. I thrive on the experience of seeing a student, who is working very hard to get better grades in class to be able to receive these rewards.
Without love for teaching and my students, I could never give so much of myself to this profession. I would not be willing to spend so much of my personal time and energy to improve my relationships with them. Thus, my philosophy requires that building strong, positive, and trusting relationships with my students are necessary for creating a more learning-friendly environment that aids effective learning.
The iLearn Teacher of the Year Program honors excellence in classroom education and provides a forum to showcase many outstanding educators whose efforts and example have inspired their students, their colleagues, and the communities they serve.
iLearn Schools Teacher of the Year is the highest honor that iLearn Schools can bestow upon a teacher. This program annually recognizes and rewards teachers who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and excellence in teaching.
Every spring each campus selects a Teacher of the Year and amongst them, one iLearn Schools Teacher of the Year is selected. The one teacher that is selected as the iLearn Schools Teacher of the Year represents iLearn Schools in the Governor’s Teacher of the Year and the New Jersey Charter School Association Teacher of the Year programs.