There are many reason why I want to be a teacher. I adore children and I think they have a great sense of humor. Teachers also have a job security and that is important because not all jobs have that. I feel like in order to be a teacher I need to have have compassion for my students. As a teacher I want to care for my students and show them appreciation. I want my students to succeed in what they want in life. According to Ferlazzo (2015), “Students work hardest for teachers they like and respect. When I am asked, “How do I get students to like and respect me?” my immediate response is, ‘Like and respect them first.’” I believe this whole heartedly because I have always been taught to treat others the way I want to be treated. It would appease me to know that I have mentored someone into being an intellectual individual. I would like to teach the second grade because I enjoy the energy they give off and I value the foundations of elementary education.
The philosophy of teaching that I have chose is progressivism. According to Cohen (1999), “Progressivists believe that education should focus on the whole child, rather than on the content or the teacher. This educational philosophy stresses that students should test ideas by active experimentation. Learning is rooted in the questions of learners that arise through experiencing the world.” The progressivism philosophy is known as a student-centered philosophy which focuses mainly on the student itself. I think what Cohen is depicting is that with progressivism the teacher should focus on just the child and have hands on activities in order to help them mentally understand the experiment. Sometimes students actually have to be active in something in order to fully comprehend what is being taught. The progressivism philosophy can be brought into the classroom by allowing my students to participate in hands-on experiments, such as measuring the rain fall outside or using Cuisenaire rods to set up a math problem. The primary goal for my students is to make sure they are learning the material of the curriculum through hands-on activities and that my classroom is a student-centered classroom.
My philosophy of teaching is progressivism and one of the many goals is having a behavior strategy. I plan to manage my classroom by actively involving my students. I will have a five sectioned chart that ranges from green to blue. Green is being the best a student can possibly be and making good choices the whole day. I will reward my students for getting on the color green by giving them a piece of candy or letting them take a gander in the classroom treasure box. Blue is the worse color a student can get on and the consequences of blue are a parent/teacher conference or a referral to the office depending on how bad the behavior is.
Utilizing the goal of progressivism in parental involvement is important in the management of a classroom. Parental involvement is a reflection on the student’s behavior. Referring to the article Parent Involvement and Children ‘s Academic and Social Development in Elementary School According to Bachman, Nokali, and Votruba-Drzal (1994), “In this study parent involvement is conceptualized as a product of the interaction between the influences of school and home settings by providing continuity between the two environments. For example, if parents are aware of a teacher ‘s instructional goals, they may provide resources and support for those learning aims at home.” Parental involvement holds a big factor on the child’s life. Another goal of the progressivism philosophy is having hands-on activities for the students. Games are a great way to bring out the fun in a classroom. I would like to use games in my classroom because they help students learn without even realizing they are learning. Having students participate in games allows them to make new friends, improve their social skills, and make school fun. I believe games tie into the progressivism philosophy because they are student-centered. There are many other goals that fall under the progressivism philosophy. Hands-on activities, behavior control, and parental involvement are the ones I plan to utilize in my classroom.
The role of the teacher in the progressivism philosophy is to make sure the students are gaining all the knowledge they need through experimenting with hands-on activities and to focus mainly on the student. A student’s interest is the upmost importance when it comes to designing a curriculum because if a student is not interested in what he or she is being taught they will not care to participate in the lesson. Respect is also a huge factor when it comes to the role of a teacher through the progressivism philosophy. The teacher has to respect his or her students in order to gain the respect back. Yelling at the students will not make them listen any better and providing rewards will not make them all good students. According to Zeiger (2016), “Teachers must be leaders in the classroom and in the school, earning the respect of students and setting a positive example. They must be disciplinarians, doling out fair and consistent punishments to students who break the rules. At the same time, teachers must show care and concern for students.” Zeiger gives some great examples of what the teachers role should be in his or her classroom. I think one of the key rolls she pointed out was to to be fair with the students and not to show favoritism to other students while targeting another for bad behavior. I am a firm believer of not having a double standard classroom. For example, if a student’s parent works at the school I do not think it is acceptable for that student to have any more privileges than the other students whose parent does not work at the school.
Finally, progressivism is the philosophy I will utilize in my classroom. I will use the philosophy by allowing my students to participate I hands-on activities, behavioral control in the classroom, and parental involvement. My hands-on activities will consist of games and outside experiments. My student’s behavior will be controlled by the five sectioned chart. I plan to have communication with my students’ parents and keep them updated on the many things we do in class as well as their children’s academic progress and behavior. I believe that all of these are very imperative in a student-centered philosophy