My students are given the freedom to make decisions about their learning, whether it be what to focus on for an investigation or how to present it. It is important for my students to be a part of the learning process and for their voice to be heard. Giving students the chance to make decisions about their learning also increases their motivation and pride in their learning. Choice also helps students to feel that they are important and contributing members of our classroom community.
Each student has his or her own individual needs - academically, emotionally, and socially. In my classroom, we are all learning alongside each other even though the ways in which we learn may be different. It is my job as an educator to investigate the needs of my students and to the best of my ability help to meet those needs in the classroom. We are all on our own personal learning journey. There is so much we can learn about ourselves and those around us.
Students should not be passive consumers of knowledge and information. Instead, students need to be given a safe place where they can explore, play with new ideas, and design solutions to problems. In my classroom, we emphasize using information and knowledge to create some sort of product beyond the standard worksheet. Project creation is a much more meaningful way to assess understanding and provides students with an outlet for creativity and self-expression.
The three tenets described below are key concepts that guide my thought process as a teacher. It is my desire that the information below demonstrates how I view my responsibility as a teacher, as well as how I view my students and learning in general. All three ideas are interconnected, yet bring their own dynamic to the classroom.