Developing a Teaching Philosophy
Behavioural experts tell us that those who understand their motivations and reasons for career choices are more likely to have successful careers. In other words, the more you know about yourself, the more likely you are to succeed. So why should you need to know more about yourself for teaching?
Well, in the context of teaching, every aspect of your emotional and behavioural capabilities will be tested. Truly understanding your reasons and motivations for wanting to teach will prepare you mentally and emotionally for your teaching journey – and this can be achieved by developing a teaching philosophy.
A Good Starting Point
A good starting point on your journey to developing a teaching philosophy is to identify the internal drivers inspiring your career as a teacher. Many educationalists believe these include your motivations and beliefs about teaching. This could include your teaching approaches and how you see the teacher/learner relationship working. Understanding all of these should help you to shape your teaching philosophy, which in turn will help guide you in areas such as class plans, your interactions with learners and classroom management. Gaining a greater understanding of yourself and your reasons for teaching, will bring clarity to your teaching and help drive you forward.
How To Start
Developing a teaching philosophy will be very helpful in laying the foundations for many aspects of your teaching career. You could start by writing a simple statement about your motivations for wanting to teach, and some bullet points of your beliefs and approaches to teaching and learning. For example:
Statement about motivations
“My motivations for wanting to teach stem from my passion for my subject and wanting to help others learn and develop”
My beliefs about teaching are:
Adults should be engaged in the learning process
A positive learning environment should be established which fosters mutual respect
Different learning needs and styles should be catered for
My approaches to teaching would be:
To establish a positive learning environment
To engage the learners through discussion, questioning and group work
To cater for different learning styles by using a variety of teaching methods.
Developing a teaching philosophy may not happen overnight, but it will bring clarity to your efforts and drive your teaching career forward.
For more information on teacher training courses starting soon at Waverley Academy, or the new teacher training book phone +353 (0) 1 4089769 or visit www.academy.ie