Personal Philosophy of Teaching, Learning, Schooling and Inclusivity
What is it to be a teacher? Well that question is never answered; because being a teacher is an ongoing process, which never reaches its highest potential. Why do teacher like for teaching to be a continuing process? Teachers do not want their desire to teach to reach a peak, and then plateau or be at a decline. And for that reason I have concluded that I want to do the best that I can to become like the role-model teachers that I have had in my life. Now that I look back, I can see my teaching skills, as the skills that I had gained form my previous teachers. Visual teaching is the one of the lessons that I have learned form my previous teachers that have made the greatest impact on my life. It was their PowerPoint’s, their interaction between visual aids and the lectures, videos that they included in the lessons. Eventually when I reach my purpose to teach, I wish to teach social science at a high school level.
The purpose of schooling in a democracy is to have an open forum for different thoughts to come together and aid the development of understanding and learning. Especially in history, even though the freedom to express is welcomed, it will be necessary to distinguish “investigation of what distinguishes justified belief from opinion.” That is the difference between epistemology and uncertainty. Like I mentioned earlier in the introduction, a teacher as a role model must provide the facts that are correct, and maintain neutral when it comes to the expression of personal ideas. It is essential, because students must develop their own ideas as they progress in education. So a teacher provides the necessary educational tools and then the students decide which ones they want to choose to develop their own ideals. All of my classes that I have, whose teachers made a great impact on my life, they kept their own ideals to themselves, and they allowed for the students to develop our own response to a historical event. That way there can be different way to approach to a response of a historical event. Because in history there are multiple angles to reflect on an event, but if a teacher only brings up one version, then usually the students adapt that approach to history. One very common in history is the Civil War in the viewpoint of the Union, but mostly the viewpoint of the Confederacy is ignored. Why? Because the South was the enemy to the Union, they wanted State Rights (slavery) and they lost. Usually the losers and the enemy’s do not get their viewpoint told in history, that’s why it is important to include all, so there can be a greater understanding of the facts that occurred during history.
Every student is different, so the way they will learn will be too. It will be essential for me to provide lectures with different ways to approach learning, but my main focus will be through written and visual media. But the good thing about history is that it can cover multiple natures of learning, and all will be covered in some way. One example that I can think of was in my US history class junior year of high school. All of the students were given days to prepare, because we were going to act out the prosecution of Antonio López de Santa Anna. I was given the role of Santa Anna, so before the day of the trial, I had to prepare my self, with research, a costume, and an acting lesson. Then the day arrived of the mock trial, and one quarter of the class had roles form the Mexican-American war, another quarter were playing the roles of defenders and prosecutors and judges. And the rest of the classmates were jurors, who had to determine the facts form, and then come to a verdict. Another was of teaching that I enjoyed was here at CSUSM, where the professor divided the class into nation that were being represented in the lecture of the week, then we will have to respond to the events that were occurring as the lecture progressed. For example the Lesson had arrived to the conclusion of WW1, and my group was assigned the role of the US, and I was chooses to portray the role of President Wilson. The PowerPoint slide that followed was going to discuss the response of President Wilson, and since it was me praying the role, I had to present to the class the 14 points to the class. The lecture became interactive, and it forced me to prepare before class, to make sure I could be ready to respond historically correct. It was the same for the rest of the class, since all had individual roles for their nations, one was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, one was the new President of Turkey, the Kaiser of Germany, the Prime Minister of England, etc.… What students need form a teacher’s lesson are interaction and participation and free expression.
A history teacher has to be a good storyteller, since the first historians in civilization were the ones who told stories about the past. Eventually as civilization evolved, the professionalism of the subject evolved as well. A teacher has to be a good storyteller, but it is essential for the teacher has to use other media to achieve that goal. The goal is to provide historical knowledge, and the good thing is that historical knowledge can be achieved though many teaching techniques. The previous example in this paper about high school and at CSUSM, have impacted me that attracted me to the teaching field. I will adapt those techniques into my lectures, because it will place my students into history and its effect on their lives today.
I like to think that I almost answered the question that started this essay, what is it to be a teacher, but I cannot. Well that question is never answered; because being a teacher is an ongoing process, which never reaches its highest potential. There is always a new and better way to do something old, which does not work as well. I have learned a lot form my previous teachers, and I want to do the same for the future generations; I have concluded that I want to do the best that I can to become like the role-model teachers. Now that I look back, I can see my teaching skills, as the skills that I had gained form my previous teachers. Visual teaching is the one of the lessons that I have learned form my previous teachers that have made the greatest impact on my life. It was their PowerPoint’s, their mock trials, mock nations, that they included in the lessons. I hope, that soon I can be the one to apply these teach techniques in my social science at a high school.