All entries for Monday 17 May 2021

May 17, 2021

What is your teaching philosophy? – Jemima

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

At the heart of my teaching philosophy is my belief that education should be a holistic and enjoyable experience, that inspires students to become lifelong learners. The Jubilee Centre states that "To flourish is not only to be happy, but to fulfil one’s potential" (A Framework for Character Education in Schools, 2020). The school environment should be supportive and caring whilst providing opportunities that ignite students' curiosity and challenge them, so that they not only succeed academically but discover their full potential and flourish as individuals.

This view has definitely been shaped by my experience at my senior school, Malvern College. I was able to try my hand at a huge number of co-curricular activities, be engaged by memorable academic lessons and be part of a close-knit boarding community. My teachers motivated and challenged me, whilst explaining that the fear of failure should never be something that restricts you. I am a firm believer in the power of a growth mindset. Dweck explains that people with a growth mindset "believe that a person’s true potential is unknown (and unknowable); that it’s impossible to foresee what can be accomplished with years of passion, toil, and training." (Dweck, 2012) I find this way of thinking incredibly empowering. It steers away from self-criticism and reveals that strength lies in potential.

No matter the quality of teaching, I understand that learning is incredibly difficult if the student is unhappy. I started boarding school at the age of eight and struggled with homesickness. Because of this, I now believe that pastoral care is actually more important than academic. Without the necessary support, it is very difficult for a child to flourish academically, socially or creatively. I would like my classroom to be an open, trusting space in which pupils feel comfortable.

I will be specialising in English and I find studying language and literature such a fascinating way to unpick human interactions and identities. I want to demonstrate how sensitivity and a critical eye towards texts can help students in their understanding of themselves, other people, and the world around them. I feel this is especially pertinent in an international setting, where students are encouraged to be culturally sensitive and globally-minded. Whilst at university I participated in a Global Leadership Experience with Common Purpose, in Mumbai. Much of the experience was centred around the idea of better understanding Cultural Intelligence. We studied Middleton's theory of Core and Flex (Middleton, 2014) to unpick the extent we can adjust our behaviour to interact with other cultures. Despite the fact this analogy was devised for global leaders, I believe this global and social self-awareness should be taught to everyone. It is something that can be nourished through studying literature and language, being curious about others and critical of our own preconceptions.

I aspire to be a teacher who facilitates a supportive learning environment in which students can be curious, critical, and challenge themselves and others, with a view to becoming independent learners and confident and compassionate adults.

Works Cited:

Dweck, C (2012). Mindset : How You Can Fulfil Your Potential. London: Constable & Robinson.

University of Birmingham Jubilee Centre (2020). A Framework For Character Education In Schools. [Online]. (https://www.jubileecentre.ac.uk/userfiles/jubileecentre/pdf/character-education/Framework%20for%20Character%20Education.pdf). (Accessed 26 October 2020.

Middleton, J. (2014) Cultural Intelligence: The Competitive Edge for Leaders Crossing Boundaries. London: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. [Online]. (https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/warw/detail.action?docID=1683525) ProQuest Ebook Central. (Accessed 16 August 2020).


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