Travel and education are my absolute passions! Read below for the teaching philosophy I have developed over a number of years in the field:
I understand the value of a teacher. A teacher is at once at once parent, nurse, best friend, counselor and, very often, the energy behind a dream fulfilled. I remember my most influential: my mother, who introduced me to the vast world of prose; my father, covered in chalk dust, as he helped me with my multiplication tables; the kindergarten teacher who took my hand and coaxed me out of my introversion; the high school English teachers who made literary analysis an exercise in self-analysis, and the freshman College Writing professor who started her critique of my essay with the words – “so, you’re a writer” – these words, all the encouragement I needed to change majors from Environmental Science to Creative Writing and honour a lifelong passion. Thus, I understand the relationship between art, scholastic achievement and social responsibility, and I desire to help other students recognize and refine their innate potential.
Like many progressive independent and private schools, I am a strong supporter of service learning and a well-rounded curriculum. Fostered by a mother who worked as a dedicated Reading Facilitator and a father who stressed the importance of practical learning and educational travel, I have nurtured my passions for education policy, teaching and outreach. It is this commitment, openness and enthusiasm that I bring to my career.
When designing curriculum, I emphasize critical thinking, problem solving and empowerment through introspection. I work to remind students that art imitates life and that the pleasure and challenge of reading great literature is the opportunity it offers for self-evaluation. In my classroom, I encourage collaborative and cooperative learning through a student-centered approach to teaching. Students spend about half their class time working on hands-on projects or in Socratic discussions where inquiry and taking risks are prized over rote and regurgitation. I am also developing an awareness of body language and gesture, and how movement and emotions can be utilized to facilitate learning and recall. In one classroom will be a range of learners – the kinesthetic learners, the auditory learners and the visual learners – and I aim to appeal to them all by using technology to introduce movement, sound and video in their daily activities. Additionally, through Teaching Seminars and classroom visits, I frequently collaborate with colleagues across disciplines to discover ways in which I could vary my pedagogical strategies to maintain student interest and promote innovation. Everything I have garnered, I employ in both the classroom and in one-on-one sessions.
Essentially, teaching and counseling allow me to repay a debt and honour what I believe is my life’s agenda. Whenever I’ve needed guidance, I was graced with patient advisors. My application to American University would not have been successful had it not been for a determined high school counselor who called my home every week; my undergraduate career only half as fulfilling had it not been for Honors mentors who checked in constantly; and the journey to receiving my Master’s degree almost impossible without professors determined to see me flourish.
I understand the importance of mentorship that focuses upon academic and life preparation, community building, and self-awareness. Through employment at a progressive independent, private, or like-kind school – or with individual students and professionals – I hope to build upon the experiences and skills necessary to continue releasing students’ passion and potential. I recognize that my life has been based on the labours of many others and I endeavor to exert myself to give in the same measure that I have received.