My teaching philosophy...

Anyone with open eyes and ears can detect that in the world we live in, there is a lot of room for improvement. I believe that the greatest changes take time, but every great change requires a catalyst. I believe that every person has something to contribute to the betterment of society. Whether your passions lie in conserving the environment, reducing poverty, spreading awareness, ironing-out politics, and so forth-- it is our greatest responsibility to pursue our passions and help shape whatever change should occur.

As a teacher, I believe it is my greatest responsibility to help students discover their passions and realize how significant their actions are. I believe in the power of choice. You can choose to smile, be friendly, be timely and to be respectful or you can choose the opposite. Beyond revealing passions and teaching mathematics,.. it is a teacher's highest priority to help students understand the implications of every decision they make and simultaneously show them that it is okay to make mistakes so long as they know how to rise above them.

Lastly, but absolutely foremost, I believe in leading by example. Every teacher should live their lives as if they were being watched by their students in every moment. We should never stop learning, and we should always be applying what we have learned through out the course of our lives.

My goals and aspirations...

I described my fundamental objectives within my teaching philosophy. In order to teach these character principles, I plan to use social media such as blogging, twitter, google, and other WEB 2.0 tools to increase my students technological literacy, exchange teaching strategies, and enable cultural exchanges.

The more a teacher can safely expose their students to, the more opportunities their students will have to discover their passions. If I recommend they watch a classic movie that might build character or reveal social enigmas, they might discover their interests in film by witnessing first-hand the power of quality movies. I hope to also establish connections between students around the world and my own so that my class can see what they should appreciate about their own experiences and what they could strive to gain; this in conjunction with a government lesson might help them discover their fire for politics or ambassador work.

The possibilities are endless, but it all boils down to reaching beyond the classroom walls into the lives of others and seeing what my students find. I want them to be able to do this with a variety of tools and I plan to employ books, technology, media, and community engagement to do so.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Blogs: Classrooms Without Walls

Through out my college experience I have dissected human cadavers, tagged and released sharks, turtles, and a variety of fish-- additionally, I have contributed to many club activities that involved campus gardening, youth worship, and dangerous seaweed removal. All the same blogging has been the single most exciting learning adventure yet. I say this not because I particularly enjoy sitting in front of a computer or because I have some extra-enthusiasm for technology in general (because I am quite the opposite), but because the people I have met and the possibilities I have witnessed through blogging have unceasingly inspired new ideas for my class. I have met educational bloggers from New Zealand, Australia, Quebec, Missouri, New England, Georgia, California, and Central America that have all been more than willing to answer any questions I have about their productions.

Blogging relies solely on production. The more creative your product is, the more feedback you receive, and the greater your audience becomes, the more exciting your learning experience has become. Blogging is ideal for students because it allows them to channel their creativity, communicate with a world-wide community, and experience real gratification by publishing their works. Their really is no excuse for a teacher to not be engaged in blogging either as a class or expecting students to share their ideas and accomplishments through their own blogs-- it is the groundwork for confidence and accountability.


Blogging has been the most difficult thing for me to wrap my mind around in terms of educational uses. Since starting this class, I began my own personal blog which I have found as a useful tool for recording those extra thoughts that just tend to float around or the ones that we just can't seem to push out of our mind. However, for education, it just dawned on me that I would like my students to publish their essays on a blog. This will help me as a teacher because I can track their progress throughout the writing process and their writing skills progression throughout the course. Also, if it is published in a blog, their peers can review it and offer constructive criticism or just learn from one another.

Google Docs

Google Docs is GENIUS! I appreciate it most because I can access any work I have done from any computer that has internet access. Also, it is word compatible-- everything is downloadable as a Word document which helps for external saving. One plus is that it undermines any late excuses, and it helps me to keep students up with their work if they share it with me as a collaborator or viewer. It can help with guided learning, and I can help more than one student at a time from one computer. Best of all, it is a greener way of sharing documents.


As a result of learning about igoogle in my EDM 310 class, I have become the biggest fan of google. Never before has it been so easy for me to access news from multiple networks such as CNN, FOX, BBC, MSN, etc. The best part about it is that all of them are centralized to one personalized web page that I have designed with ease under igoogle.
Since becoming an igoogle user, I have been able to think of ways to incorporate it into my classroom. The chat features would allow students to create comradeship and answer each others questions outside of class, regardless of friendship ties. Also, they could design their own web pages so they can stay up to date on the things they are interested-- and I can learn what my students are curious about. I will incorporate this into my classroom by encouraging them to create a website, and sharing what they have learned from it periodically-- like the first ten minutes of every class, or every Friday. This would help set the tone for the class, create a voice for the students, and focus discussion among peers.


As a future teacher, I believe in student empowerment. I tend to lean toward social reform education philosophies, and podcasts are the perfect way to have students expose injustices, and encourage critical thinking. I like the idea of using podcasts because not only can they videotape their findings, but they can also record their follow up conversations so other classmates who are not involved with the project can be fully informed of the issue and its consequences which leads to a perpetuation of conversation.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Dealing with Disabilities

Throughout this semester, each of my education classes have asked me to reflect on all the work that I have completed. The most impacting assignment that I did was an in class activity where we were handicapped by socks on our hands, blindfolds, wheelchairs, tongue-depressors in our mouth, and jumbled letters on a reading assignment. It taught us to see the world through the eyes of students who have disabilities, and I developed a better understanding of what those challenges entailed. I plan to incorporate a similar lesson into my lesson plan because I see the importance of having my students recognize the courage that it takes to stay involved at school while learning to cope with a handicap.