The philosophy that I subscribe to in the teaching is focused on the professional aspects of the actions teachers take to assure that every student has the opportunity to achieve the highest student learning level possible. I make it my professional goal to acquire the knowledge, skills, dispositions, and commitments that allow me to practice teaching at the highest quality level.
1) I have committed myself to the students of Clearwater Fundamental Middle School and their learning.
a) I have demonstrated through before and after school tutoring sessions, dissemination of information through modern technology and easy to understand hand-outs to making knowledge accessible to all students and their parents.
b) It is my belief that all students can learn.
c) I’ve practiced the skill of treating all students equitably, recognizing the individual differences that distinguish them from one another and taking account of these differences in my practice. I adjust these practices, as appropriate, on the basis of observation and knowledge of my students’ interests, abilities, skills, knowledge, family circumstances, and peer relationships. Students are encouraged to accomplish projects in their primary language and/or culture.
d) By becoming a Nation Board Certified Teacher and a member of many professional Middle School Science organizations such as the National Science Teachers Association, the Florida Association of Science Teachers and the American Institute for Aeronautics and Aerospace, I came to understand how students develop and learn.
e) Graduate level classes and Pinellas County Professional Development courses reinforced my belief that research based strategies and theories of cognition and intelligence should play an important part in my practice.
f) I believe that the influence of context and culture are directly related to behavior and that by incorporating these factors into my lessons will develop students’ cognitive capacity and respect for learning. Equally important, I will foster students’ self-esteem, motivation, character; sense of civic responsibility, and respect for individual, cultural, religious, and racial differences.
2) I believe that teaching is a journey and not a destiny. I am a lifelong learner who continues to gain knowledge about the subjects I teach and how to teach those subjects to students.
a) Through formal and informal education processes I have developed a rich understanding of the subject(s) I teach and appreciate how knowledge in my subjects is created, organized, linked to other disciplines, and applied to real-world settings. While faithfully representing the collective wisdom of my culture and upholding the value of disciplinary knowledge, I have developed an appreciation for the critical and analytical capacities of my students.
b) I believe that I must continue to command specialized knowledge of how to convey subject matter to my students. Over the years of teaching I have became more aware of the preconceptions and background knowledge that each student typically brings to each subject and of strategies and instructional resources that can be of assistance. My instructional repertoire allows me to create multiple paths to teach the subjects I teach while challenging my students to pose science questions and solve challenging problems.
3) I am responsible for managing and monitoring student learning.
a) I believe that I must create, enrich, maintain, and alter instructional settings to capture and sustain the interest of my students. I strive to make the most effective use of time in my instruction.
b) I believe that collaboration between all shareholders is the key to engaging my students and adults to assist me in my teaching. By making use of my colleagues’ knowledge and expertise, and them doing the same, we will all benefit the achievements of our students.
c) I believe that by commanding a wide range of instructional techniques, and know when to employ them, can offer each student the opportunity to succeed.
d) I believe that by engaging groups of students to ensure a disciplined learning environment and how to organize instruction so as to meet the schools’ goals for students they are adept at setting norms of social interaction among students and between students and teachers.
e) I believe that through a complete understanding of how to motivate students to learn and how to maintain their interest even in the face of temporary setbacks, students will learn in a positive atmosphere.
f) I feel that only through alternative assessments can the progress of individual students, as well as the progress of the class as a whole, can be measured. Multiple methods for assessing student growth and understanding can clearly explain student performance to students, parents, and administrators.
4) Teachers think systematically about their practice and learn from experience.
a) I believe that I should be a role model of educated persons, exemplifying the virtues they seek to inspire in students—curiosity, tolerance, honesty, fairness, respect for diversity, and appreciation of cultural differences. I believe that I must demonstrate capacities that are prerequisites for intellectual growth—the ability to reason, take multiple perspectives, be creative and take risks, and experiment and solve problems.
b) I believe that by drawing on my knowledge of human development, subject matter, and instruction, and the understanding of my students I can make principled judgments about sound practice. My decisions are grounded not only in the literature of my field, but also in my experience.
c) I believe in and engage in lifelong learning, which I seek to encourage in my students. The goal of both formal and informal professional development are to strengthen my teaching, examine my practice critically; expand my repertoire; deepen my knowledge; sharpen my judgment; and adapt my teaching to new findings, ideas, and theories.
5) Teachers are members of learning communities.
a) I am a strong believer that all teachers contribute to the effectiveness of the school by working collaboratively with other professionals on instructional policy, curriculum development, and staff development. They can evaluate school progress and the allocation of school resources in light of their understanding of state and local educational objectives. Together they are knowledgeable about specialized school and community resources that can be engaged for their students’ benefit and can share their skills and resources as needed.
b) I believe that all teachers need to find ways to work collaboratively and creatively with parents, engaging them productively in the work of the school.