From reflecting on my experiences as an educator, I have come to a realization that I am a lifelong learner and a creative problem solver using my knowledge as a science enthusiast. This personality of mine has allowed me to design creative math and science lessons throughout my practicum experiences, and portrait these subjects, that students frequently grow to dislike, as fun and beneficial to solving everyday problems.
I believe the gap in my academic teaching is in integrating indigenous culture and ways of knowing into my lessons and education philosophy. I have prepared myself with a wealth of knowledge around the indigenous topic, however, I have not planned nor executed any lesson on this topic, which is why I have listed it as my area of growth.
Delivering the academic material is not the only job of an educator. In order to truly make a difference in students’ life and learning, I must also become more well-rounded by integrating social and emotional teachings in terms of providing an inclusive learning environment and building positive relationships with students. Although I have experience integrating these values in my classrooms, I have not put enough emphasis on my lessons. I believe students learn best when given a safe environment where they can express their knowledge and are not self-conscious about giving wrong answers. In order for this to happen, I must actively build a classroom culture that revolves around this belief.
Another component of being an educator is to have consistent and effective communication with parents. The method of establishing a classroom blog is commonly used in most school and my practicum school is no exception. This is an effective way to communicate with all parents in most classrooms, and as I move towards taking over 100% of the workload, I believe it would be very beneficial for me to take over the classroom blog as a starting point to communicating with parents. However, this is only a one-way communication method, which brings me to my other goal of establishing positive relationships with parents. This is not to simply ensure parents know what their children are learning at school. This is to ensure that I have as much relevant information on my students’ daily activity in order for me to provide the best learning experience for my students. This will allow me to provide the necessary attention and help my students when needed, or to communicate the students’ needs when they are not in my classrooms to their parents.
By applying these goals from my area of growth will improve my abilities as an educator in the areas of academic, and social and emotional competencies. These steps are necessary in order for me to pave the pathway for my students to become independent lifelong learners, which aligns with my philosophy of education.