My teaching philosophy is driven by my passion for giving my students an opportunity to learn and grow to become confident, independent, and successful individuals. It is so rewarding to get the opportunity to witness progress being made by each and every one of my students. It is my responsibility to discover how students learn best and then adapt my teaching strategies to meet the needs and the abilities of my students. I teach not only academics, but skills they need to be a caring, contributing, and polite citizen.
I also feel it is my duty to positively influence every student that crosses my educational path. A classroom should always serve as a safe place and I always provide my students with a positive example as a role model. It is also important to create a trusting relationship with both the students and the students’ parents/guardians. Communication is the key to any successful relationship.
In order to incorporate my philosophy in the classroom, many types of teaching strategies are utilized, as all students learn differently. I believe that all individuals can and will learn; it takes patience to discover what strategy is going to work for each individual student. It is important to teach functional and social skills to enable students to function appropriately in real life situations. I teach through hands on activities, direct instruction, and role playing in the classroom and then applying what is being taught in the classroom by actually going into the community and experiencing the situation.
Ziggurat Model/Gentle Teaching:
The Ziggurat Model is based on the fact that we must first understand why students are engaging in specific behaviors and identify what is reinforcing for them before attempting to teach them new skills. The Ziggurat approach centers on three assessment tools and a five level system, and it uses students’ strengths to address deficits. Each level represents an area that must be addressed in order for learning to take place.
*I can truly say, I love my career choice and have learned more from the students than they have learned from me.