The first days of school are the most significant for a teacher and the student to ensure a smooth transition from summer vacation and from one grade to the next. It revolves around setting forth expectations and creating an environment that is welcoming, yet stimulating to the students intellectual growth. My philosophy of education revolves around the teacher being a role model. One must first model for the students what is expected, before gradually giving away responsibility. Inside and outside the classroom, the teacher must continuously acknowledge oneself as a life-long educator and learner, remaining an admirable role-model for students to look up to and emulate.
My role as a teacher is to be a guide for my students so that they are actively learning in
my classroom. My students must be involved in their learning in order for it to become
meaningful. Meaningful learning is the only kind that will remain with the students once they leave their classroom. I could never just present students with facts and expect them to learn. However, my philosophy is to provide them with the necessary resources they need to find the facts themselves. It is important that teachers possess the qualities necessary to do this; while professionalism, content knowledge, and dedication are certainly positive characteristics to display for students, they cannot stand alone when it comes to teaching. Teachers must be able to show students what it means to think critically. One way I do this is by modeling how to ask questions. Then, I watch as they pose those questions to their classmates, or ask themselves when figuring out a difficult problem. Afterward, I always share in their victories, whether they are big or small. The teacher needs to display the enthusiasm that comes with education and to convey
the significance of life-long learning.
This type of quality learning must occur in a place where students feel comfortable to
express their own ideas and creativity. My classroom serves as a community for students to think critically and explore new ideas, representing all who exist in it and all that occurs in it. Posters with words of encouragement reinforce how students should act, inside and outside of school. Student work, essays, art, and math always fill my room, representing each student as an individual. Print-rich classrooms show the importance of literacy and all the learning that takes place within their walls. I believe that even the way I design and set up my classroom, reflects the hard work that I put forth and the effort that I expect in return from my students.
There is nothing more rewarding than the days I spend inside my classroom with my
students, and my goal as a teacher is to have each and every one of them take something with them after they leave my class and continue to grow. Just recently, I received an email from one of last year’s students, in which she wrote a detailed essay about her experience in my classroom.
I couldn’t help but get emotional as I read the words from a fourth grader, detailing her days in our third grade classroom and recounting all that she learned and how much it meant to her. To me, there is not much more I can ask for then to have even a small impact on a child’s life and help them grow and learn. I am thankful every day that I get the chance to do so.
The iLearn Teacher of the Year Program honors excellence in classroom education and provides a forum to showcase many outstanding educators whose efforts and example have inspired their students, their colleagues, and the communities they serve.
iLearn Schools Teacher of the Year is the highest honor that iLearn Schools can bestow upon a teacher. This program annually recognizes and rewards teachers who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and excellence in teaching.
Every spring each campus selects a Teacher of the Year and amongst them, one iLearn Schools Teacher of the Year is selected. The one teacher that is selected as the iLearn Schools Teacher of the Year may represent iLearn Schools in the Governor’s Teacher of the Year and the New Jersey Charter School Association Teacher of the Year programs.