Completed: Teaching Philosophy

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by MATThematical, Apr 11, 2015.

  1. MATThematical

    MATThematical Rookie

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    Apr 11, 2015

    Hi all! As part of my application to a multiple-subject credential program at California State University-- Los Angeles, I have finished writing my statement on teaching philosophy. In it, the school asked for our personal history leading up to our decision to be a teacher, our philosophy for educating students in an urban setting, and why we chose CSULA for earning our credential and a statement regarding the values of the university's education college.

    I have posted my finished philosophy below. Any critiques and suggestions anyone has would be greatly appreciated:

    "I have taught college mathematics since 2009 and am currently an adjunct instructor at CSULA and Citrus College. I recently attempted to pursue a Ph.D. in mathematics, but was not admitted to any programs. I have considered my options, and rather than continue teaching solely as an adjunct instructor with possibly limited prospects for a full- time position, I would like to expand my horizons and take a new direction in my career.

    One of my options is to become a high school or middle school teacher. Another possibility has occurred to me, as well: that of becoming an elementary school teacher. This option has taken root in my considerations. I have worked well with children, having tutored them in their schoolwork. I have a gentle and patient personality that has aided me in building rapport with the students I have tutored as well as with the children of my friends. In addition, I have found inspiration in my nephews, Yashua and Xavier (both are school-age and the sons of two of my closest friends). When I spend time with them, I find opportunities to teach them during our conversations. It is always an honor to do so and to see their intelligence and creativity shine.
    With this inspiration and my ability to teach children, I would like to earn a multiple- subject credential at Cal State LA and pursue a career as an elementary school teacher. I believe that any child can learn and that children learn best when they are encouraged, guided by a kind and effective teacher, and supported at home. It is very important that a teacher encourages a child’s parents or other family members to take an active role in the child’s education, supporting the child emotionally and academically.

    I want to instill in my students a love of learning and create an environment where they can discover the world around them. I would promote this with an intuitive approach to teaching concepts, the use of inquiry-based learning, and applications of concepts to individual and class projects. I would also like to make effective use of educational technology to teach my students in accordance with these values.

    Having taught a socioeconomically and culturally diverse population of college students (including those who are from traditionally disadvantaged ethnic backgrounds), I look for- ward to teaching an equally diverse population of children in an urban setting. My goal is to create a multicultural classroom that promotes respect and understanding of people from all walks of life. I want my teaching to meet the needs of English language learners, students with diverse learning styles, and students with disabilities, helping each child to overcome challenges and achieve their goals and dreams. I want to be a teacher who sets a foundation for a child’s success in school, in their career, and in life.

    I have been part of CSULA’s community since 2006, when I transferred from Citrus College to complete my Bachelor’s degree in mathematics. I went on to earn my Master’s degree and teach at CSULA. This university is my school of choice at which to earn my teaching credential. Here, I have received a consistently outstanding education. As both a student and member of the faculty here, I have seen the values of the Charter College of Education come to life in the university at large. Examples of this include the collaboration I have with the faculty in the mathematics department and the reflective practice I find in my performance being evaluated by other faculty and my students. I would implement the values of the Charter College of Education while learning about elementary education, a field I have never studied before, and, later, while teaching elementary school. It would be a privilege to continue my education at California State University– Los Angeles and take my career in a new direction of educating our nation’s children."
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Apr 11, 2015

    I didn't read beyond the part where you said that you weren't admitted to any PhD programs so you considered your other options. Honestly, that worries me. I understand that it may be your truth, but it looks bad, like teaching kids is sloppy seconds and not your real passion.
     
  4. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Apr 11, 2015

    Agreed. That was a huge red flag to me as well.

    Don't mention that in your teaching philosophy. In fact the first two paragraphs that you've added seem very out of place in a teaching philosophy. I would get rid of them entirely.
     
  5. justwanttoteach

    justwanttoteach Cohort

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    Apr 11, 2015

    I agree with Cesar...like he said. Although this may be true...find another way to word it. "While I have worked as an adjunct professor at the college level and considered going on for a PHD, I felt adding additional teaching experience at another level would provide me with a more rounded view of the teaching profession." Or something flowery and bs like that.

    When you start out negative...you shoot yourself and the audience's confidence in you in the foot.

    Everything else sounds good. When you mention technology in your class maybe add something like "teaching responsibile and safe use of technology to students." (DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP IS HUGE RIGHT NIW)
     
  6. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Apr 11, 2015

    A lot of this sounds more like a cover letter gone astray, IMO. Sorry.
     
  7. jojo808

    jojo808 Comrade

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    Apr 11, 2015

    The OP states that the school wanted a personal history leading up to the decision to become a teacher, so the first part does address that request.

    I agree with everyone else about deleting the part about not getting in to the Ph.D program.
     
  8. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Apr 11, 2015

    "I have taught college mathematics since 2009 and am currently an adjunct instructor at CSULA and Citrus College. I recently attempted to pursue a Ph.D. in mathematics, but was not admitted to any programs. I have considered my options, and rather than continue teaching solely as an adjunct instructor with possibly limited prospects for a full- time position, I would like to expand my horizons and take a new direction in my career.

    Try instead, something like "I have taught college mathematics since 2009 and am currently an adjunct... I recently contemplated a pursuit of a Ph.D. in mathematics. However, after considering my future options and my own personal interests, it became clear that my interest for the future involved working with younger students."

    That isn't a perfect adjustment, and you'd still want to tweak it, but it sounds less like, "Ugh, fine, I'll try being a teacher," and more "I had options, but I'd rather be a teacher."
     
  9. MATThematical

    MATThematical Rookie

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    Apr 11, 2015

    Hey folks! Thank you so much for the suggestions. I'll be editing my teaching philosophy appropriately, especially taking out the Ph.D part.

    For the record, I genuinely want to pursue this avenue of teaching elementary school and am not treating it as "seconds." But I can definitely understand where the Ph.D. bit would have made it look bad.
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Apr 11, 2015

    If elementary is your passion and direction, I'd also cut out the part about teaching middle or high school.
     
  11. MATThematical

    MATThematical Rookie

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    Apr 11, 2015

    Noted. Good call.
     
  12. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    Apr 11, 2015

    In your actual philosophy, you talk a lot about wanting to do these things, but you never actually discuss how you'd do them.
     
  13. HandsnHeartfull

    HandsnHeartfull Rookie

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    Apr 13, 2015

    I think this sounds very lovely. It is great to know of others who are passionate about teaching. Your philosophy sounds great. I hope things work out well for you!
     

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