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May 30, 2022

What is your teaching philosophy? – Clarisse Ng

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 fundamentally rooted in forming close, positive and respectful relationships with each and every child to optimise conditions for learning. In particular, I value each and every individual’s different interests, talents and unique personality. As demonstrated by Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, it is only when a child feels safe and their needs are met will they be ready to start learning effectively.

When my son started school, being very shy and quiet, he was easily overlooked by the class teacher and he felt unnoticed in a large class. He really struggled to learn during his first two years at school and it had a negative impact on his self-esteem. Outside of school, he was passionate about sport, skiing, swimming and Brazilian jujitsu but his teachers were unaware. It was only in his third year, when a teacher took her time to personalise her relationship with him and really make him feel included that I noticed a huge change in his attitude and confidence. He began to feel more valued and his outlook on school was replaced with a positive experience. It was not what that teacher had taught him that was of importance, it was how she made him feel. He is now a thriving 15 year old, about to take his GCSEs and I will always be indebted to those teachers who made a difference along the way. I aspire to be that teacher who makes a difference in a child’s life by focusing on human connections. I want to be able to create an environment where each child feels a sense of love, acceptance and belonging and can flourish personally and academically.

I believe each child is born with a thirst for learning and I want to nurture and encourage this love of discovery and curiosity that will hopefully, last a lifetime. To fully achieve ones potential, my goal will be to help children become motivated, effective learners. We need to instill in children the importance of grit to succeed (as psychologist Angela Duckworth describes it, a combination of passion and perseverance). What goes hand in hand with grit is a growth mindset (Carole Dweck). Having a growth mindset not only promotes academic progress, but children will enjoy better emotional and physical health and have stronger, more positive social relationships with other people. It is imperative that children are not disheartened by failure, rather, they view their mistakes as an opportunity to grow and learn. The brain is malleable and what a child is achieving now, is by no means an indication to what they are able to achieve in the future.

Underpinning all of this is always high expectations from each child and myself. As a teacher, I shall endeavour to never remain complacent and I will always seek to reflect, refine and improve my practice.

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

Duckworth, A (2016). Grit : The Power of Passion and Perseverance. New York: Scribner.


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