July 06, 2022

What is your teaching philosophy? Catharine Steele

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?

My teaching philosophy is a mix of my educational touchstones and my continued journey to be the best I can be through asking questions, learning new cultures and reflecting every day. My aim is to help children foster a lifelong love of learning. I have been lucky enough to live in England, Dubai and Singapore and see cultures that are completely different to those I have been exposed to before. The school I work in is an IB school which focuses on being an inquirer, good communicator and risk taker. The core values of the school ‘RECIPE’ mirrors Goodwin and Hubbels suggestion, be demanding, be supportive and be intentional (2013). I believe a child will learn better when they can relate to the subject being taught. As a student I was always able to grasp the concept of being taught if it was made fun, interactive and accessible. At the end of a school day, I would like to be able to send a child home who tells their parents their highlights of their day. I will promote this through an environment that doesn’t feel stressed, using mindfulness as one of many tools.

My first philosophy is being able to adapt my teaching approach where required and react to the different needs of the learners in my class (TS5). I look back on my second term as a classroom assistant, as a touchstone, when covid-19 took effect and schools were forced to go to home-based learning. This created a new way of teaching and learning; I embraced the challenge of creating visual stimulus when conducting art classes creating step by step examples to reach the final art piece required. ‘Drawing requires us to learn each component skill and then combine them into one process’ (Dweck, pg 68). Breaking down the task kept the learners engaged, asking them to show me their work enabled me to reflect on each Learner’s progress and know that I still had their attention on this platform.

My second philosophy is creating a safe, fun learning environment. A space that is welcoming and one that promotes open communication between myself, the learners and their parents. Hattie states ‘developing relationships requires skill by the teacher – such as the skills of listening, empathy, caring and having positive regard for others.’ (Hattie, pg 118). I will always remember my primary school days being full of happiness and energy. Performing has been a passion of mine since I can remember, and I will be using this every day in my classroom to create a fun learning environment. I secured a place at the BRIT school when I was 14 and this propelled my love for performing and enabled me to follow a dream of entertaining children across the UK. I am always the person who is singing and dancing in the classroom and the learners are drawn to this fun part of my personality and trust is built quickly and easily. The safe space I create through my performing nature means the learners seem happy and comfortable to come to different activities and sessions with me, these connections are something I strive for. This aligns TS1, ‘Establish a safe and stimulating environment for pupils, rooted in mutual respect’ (Department of Education, 2011, p10).


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

Dweck, C. (2017). Mindset, updated edition. London: Robinson.

Goodwin, B.,& Hubbell, E. R. (2013). The 12 Touchstones of Good Teaching: A checklist for Staying Focused Every Day (Kindle version). Retrieved from Amazon.com

Hattie J. C. (2009) Visible Learning: A Synthesis of Over 800 Meta-Analyses Relating to Achievement. London and New York: Routledge

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