All entries for Monday 06 December 2021

December 06, 2021

What is your teaching philosophy? – Suzanne Bacon

What is your teaching philosophy? How has this originated and can you evaluate how your educational touchstones will impact on the teacher you aspire to be?

Central to my teaching philosophy is my belief that children need to have a positive, nurturing connection with their teachers and feel safe and comfortable in their environment in order to learn effectively. Many of the learners that I meet are encountering new experiences for the first time - they could be new to the country, culture, school setting or language. It is easy to forget how young they are, and behind the uniform and face masks are children who have each encountered vastly different circumstances on their individual life journey into my classroom. Building relationships and creating a nurturing environment are central to teaching these (and all) children. Evidence shows that “children with close teacher–student relationships tend to perform well academically including having higher scores on achievement tests, more positive attitudes toward school, more engagement in the classroom, less retention in grade, and fewer referrals for special education” (Bergin & Bergin, 2009, p.152).

Flowing from this core belief is my behaviour management style, which is relationship-centred and restorative. Reflecting on my recent school experience working as a classroom assistant, I have noticed an emphasis on developing relationships with the learners to promote good behaviour. The school uses a restorative approach to manage behaviour and I have found that this allows behaviour to be managed whilst maintaining and restoring the relationships between learners, and between teachers and learners. This preserves the secure teacher-student relationship, which I think is so crucial to allowing students to feel safe and comfortable in order to learn.

When I think of an inspirational teacher, I think of my secondary school geography and geology teacher. He taught with such passion that we never noticed that some of the material that we covered was actually quite dry, and his enthusiasm was infectious. I intend to promote a love of learning (UK Teacher Standard 4) using my own passions and enthusiasm. I will seek engaging, stimulating ways to develop understanding in my learners in the hope that this gives them a lifelong love of learning.

I believe that learning is so much more than just the subjects which are learnt in the classroom during the school day. When I reflect on my own education, I had a very positive experience with a strong emphasis on academic achievement at my secondary school, but the elements of my education that helped me to develop the character strengths that I now rely on such as resilience, open-mindedness, and teamwork were really developed outside of the classroom through activities such as orchestra, playing team sport, Girlguiding and joining special interest groups such as the school’s conservation club. These activities gave me access to people, experiences and challenges which I didn’t encounter in the traditional classroom. This is highlighted in Principle 8 of the TLRP Ten Principles of Effective Learning - Recognises the Significance of Informal Learning. I aspire to be a teacher who creates and encourages opportunities to learn outside the classroom for my learners during and outside of the school day, as I believe that they are crucial to developing confident, balanced children.  


Bergin, C. & Bergin, D. (2009), Attachment in the Classroom. Educational Psychology Review, 21 pp.141-170

Department for Education (2011). Teachers’ Standards: Guidance for school leaders, school staff and governing bodies.

Crown Copyright. M, J & Pollard, AJ 2011, 'TLRP’s ten principles for effective pedagogy: rationale, development, evidence, argument and impact', Research Papers in Education, vol. 26, no. 3, pp. 275 - 328.

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