Learning Philosophy

“You have to have a lot of passion for what you are doing because it is so hard, if you don’t, any rational person would give up.” I know exactly what Steve Jobs meant when he said this! In teaching, I have days where I feel my positivity is drained, and I feel hollow. Without the passion and love I have for my students, I would not have the drive needed to help my students succeed. In my classroom, I believe the environment should be energetic and conducive to student discovery. I feel my role as a teacher is to guide, support, and encourage my students in the learning process, whereas my students take the lead. I provide multiple opportunities for my students to use what they have learned to create in a variety of ways. My personal favorite tool to use for creativity is technology. My students learn numerous apps to choose from to produce their creations.

When defining what makes an outstanding teacher, multiple traits come to mind. In my classroom, it is imperative to create a safe, positive environment for my students to learn. I start every year by building a relationship with each student and trying to find the leader in each individual. While building those relationships, I feel like my energetic and enthusiastic personality contributes to a pleasant environment and
high student engagement. A great teacher not only needs to build relationships with their students but with their fellow educators as well. Robert John Meehan said, “The most valuable resource that all teachers have is each other. Without collaboration, our growth is limited to our own perspectives.” The most rewarding aspect of being a teacher is seeing student growth and enthusiasm. I love seeing the moment of realization that a student has when they have learned something new and then seeing that student share their new found learning with a classmate. Learning begins to spread like wildfire.

I relate the most to a constructivist learning theory.  John Dewey’s work and research resonates with me the most when looking at a constructivist learning theory.  Student discovery and creation is a key factor in my classroom. I focus on an inquiry-based learning style where students actively participate in their learning through hands-on discovery and exploration. Implementing technology to support discovery and creativity is a significant part of my beliefs and teaching style. I often use a variety of apps where students can record themselves and summarize what they have learned, photograph their work, and explain their thinking as well as use the Apple TV to present projects to their classmates. Seesaw is one specific app that I use frequently to document student learning with videos and pictures. Parents are able to follow their child’s Seesaw account, which gives them insight into their child’s learning and also allows both the student and myself to track their growth throughout the year. As the school year progresses, students learn digital citizenship and how to positively and effectively communicate with their peers by commenting on the work of others. I believe strongly in teaching my students how to represent themselves on the internet in an appropriate manner that will hopefully one day never keep them from securing a potential job. In fact, creating their digital footprint should give them the edge.

My innovation plan ties in with a constructivist theory because kids are in charge of their learning.  Blended learning is important because students can progress at their own pace.  I think that is what constructivism theorist wanted to see in the education system.

Annotated Bibliography:

David L, (2015). “Constructivism,” in Learning Theories.  Retrieved from:  https://www.learning-theories.com/constructivism.html.

This article explains what constructivism is, the contributors, and the key concepts.

Bates T, (2014). Learning theories and online learning. Online Learning and Distance Education Resources. Retrieved from: https://www.tonybates.ca/2014/07/29/learning-theories-and-online-learning/

In this article Tony Bates explains several different theories.