My teaching philosophy is in agreement with the poetry of T.S. Eliot who says, “We shall not cease from exploring.” Everyday is an opportunity for learning and as a teacher, I will forever be a student searching for creative and effective methods to engage my students. I believe that teachers need to commit to continuous professional development in order to implement current teaching methods, assessment strategies, and educational technologies to facilitate meaningful learning experiences for their students. A teacher committed to learning how his or her students view the world will be able to captivate the imaginations of the ever-changing generations. A passion for learning is an attitude I wish to instill in each student. My students’ success reflects my purpose in the classroom.
I am most passionate about teaching French. Teaching French goes beyond the understanding of grammatical fine tunings into the history, food and culture that comes alive within the words as well. I have been speaking French with my mother since I was born and attended the French immersion program in Victoria from K-12. Since graduation, I have studied French at the University of Victoria, worked and volunteered for Victoria’s Francophone Society and attended any and all French community events that I can. If ever there is a local opportunity where I can speak and practice French, rest assured, that it is where I will be. As an Anglophone it is important to create ties with the Francophone community for they are a French teacher’ s greatest pillars of support when wanting to strengthen French language acquisition and to find inspiration.
I am also inspired by Dr. Howard Gardner, who has proven that people have a unique blend of intelligences, a statement that I use as a framework for developing lesson plans. Observers of my teaching would see a facilitator providing enriched learning experiences that support personal needs and differing cognitive abilities. Presentations would involve hands-on inquiry based experiments, visual aids and auditory resources to clarify pronunciation of new terms. As a teacher, I will remain fluid and flexible, realizing that each of my students will crave different experiences in order to engage and learn. I am committed to being the facilitator to see that these different avenues of learning become available to each of my students.
Lastly, I believe in learning under an artistic umbrella. The classroom environment should be one of fearlessness and excitement as students work collaboratively, engage in class debates and think critically. With a teacher’s support, students will feel confident to express their opinions and share their true voice more freely through drama, for example. I believe that children would feel safer to explore and express themselves honestly in-role; aiding in their growth towards becoming confident French speakers. In my classroom where honesty, respect and individuality are cherished, students will know what is expected of them but also how important it is that they be themselves and demonstrate personal thinking in their work. Equitable assessment is very important to me so I will ensure that all assignment criteria is clearly displayed, that ample time is provided for completion and that each assignment offers student choice for presentation and reflection.
I look forward to creating an inclusive classroom environment where students will feel confident within themselves and inspired to use and improve their French. A French classroom should be a noisy place where students are given the opportunity to practice, explore, and engage in conversation. It is important that my students see the value in learning a second language. I am committed to showing my students how retaining the ability to speak French will serve them in a purposeful way in the real world, as it has me.