All entries for November 2020

November 30, 2020

What is your teaching philosophy? – Judith

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?

My teaching philosophy is based on the premise that every single child is unique with varying blends of strengths. Each is full of potential and has a plethora of different possibilities. I intend to foster their personal best in regards to academic, personal and social development so they can truly thrive.

As a teacher I feel it is my responsibility to cultivate a mindset that is open to change and full of curiosity. The foundations of my approach will be centred around Growth Mindset research and methodology. I view it as a key differentiator to achieving successful learning outcomes and flourishing children; “ With the right mindset and the right teaching people are capable of a lot more than we think.” (Dweck,C.S 2006 p 64).

One of my class mottos will be progress not perfection. Mistakes will be viewed as opportunities for growth and learning. Differences will be celebrated and focus placed on individual strengths. Success criteria will be personalised so each child can move forward with their learning in their own unique way with success and confidence growing. I want each child to recognise that we all are lifelong learners. Furthermore, I wish to develop a thinking classroom where deeper level questions and techniques are actively used and encouraged.

Wellbeing will have a high priority. Giving the children the tools and skills to flow through life’s inevitable rollercoaster with more ease is, in my view, paramount. Academic rigour will be upheld with a focus on “Learning to Know” and “Learning to Do” however equal weight will be given to the 2 pillars of “Learning to Be” and “Learning to Live”; (UNESCO 1996).

The importance of being a positive role model and developing an excellent rapport with each child will underpin my teaching. Mindfulness and yoga will be used to promote well-being. Elements of Vygotsky theory of learning will be utilised. I believe scaffolding is a great way to ensure personalised support and effective learning. Compassion for the self and others will be continually developed alongside a strong sense of community.

There are many touchstones that have lead me to wish to adopt such an approach, a few of which I will expand on. Having come from a competitive academic grammar school that fostered competition and had little time for rapport development, has lead me to desire a more collaborative and inclusive classroom. It has lead me to focus more on formative assessment with personalised goals. I left school with a sense of lack of possibilities of where I could go in my career and life. This perceived lack of choices has made me passionate about developing a culture of growth and possibilities for my students.

To achieve the goal of thriving students I will need to work to the best of my abilities, continuing to learn, grow and adapt. I will need to create the inclusive and fair environment so I can successfully promote positive behaviours and increase positive emotions for all. I intend to keep reflecting on what effective teaching is in terms of student outcomes especially in the context of an international school environment. Whilst academic achievements will be fostered I believe this is not sufficient for them to flourish and thrive in our dynamic, fast paced and changing world.

Dweck, C.S (2006) Mindset. Changing the way you think to fulfil your potential. New York, Random House.

Seligman,M.E.P (2001) Flourish. A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being. New York, Free Press.

UNESCO (1996) Learning; The Treasure Within. Paris, UNESCO.

November 25, 2020

What is your teaching philosophy? – Richard

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 personal teaching philosophy directly applies to my touchstones. My touchstones are a reflection of the person I am. As educators we are rarely, if ever, asked to articulate our philosophy of education or core convictions and likewise, rarely if ever, take time critically to reflect and ask if our practice matches our philosophy, beliefs or core convictions. My philosophy is that every child deserves the opportunity to reach their full potential. This belief of mine comes from my experience of working as an International Baccalaureate (IB) grade five teacher. According to Sinek (2017) ‘Once you understand your WHY, you’ll be able to clearly articulate what makes you feel fulfilled and to better understand what drives your behavior when you’re at your natural best’.

I attained a First Class (A) TEFL certificate and moved to Thailand to begin a career in teaching. Following my first appointment with one of the private local teaching schools in the country, I progressed (through language institutes and international schools) to my current position as a Grade Five PYP Teacher for the Canadian International School of Beijing. Throughout my teaching career, I have worked tirelessly to improve my lesson planning and pedagogical practices. This has involved constantly reviewing and reformulating lesson plans, individual and group strategies, classroom management, and consulting with other teaching professionals.

I personally think teachers do not generally enter the profession for accolades or affluence but rather see it as a calling and a way to give back. According to the blog post Educational System (2013) ‘Education and philosophy are closely inter-related. If philosophy is love of knowledge then education is acquisition of knowledge’. As I get older and reflect upon my practice, I have a deeper understanding of what type of teacher I want to be, and I make the necessary adjustments along the way. I have great admiration for the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum and feel that my educational philosophy is similarly aligned as I try to foster the potential of my student’s so that they can pursue their ambitions and become global citizens. The International Baccalaureate ‘aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect’ (IB).

Effective, intentional teaching begins with a strong set of beliefs, but even the best teachers struggle to make sure that their classroom practice consistently reflects their core convictions. One thing I have come to realize is that I can always learn from others in order to become a better teacher. No matter what age we are, it is important to take things into consideration before arriving at a decision. Reflection and seeking opportunities to grow wiser by learning about different theories of philosophies, then applying these theories towards my outlook on life, will most certainly impact my teaching.

References List

Educational System (2013) ‘Importance of eclectic approach in education’, Educational System, 27 January. Available at: (Accessed: 5 July 2019)

IBO. (no date). Mission Available at: (Accessed: 10 August 2020)

Sinek, S. (2017) ‘The science of WHY’, LinkedIn, 16 November. Available at: (Accessed: 10 August 2020)

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