I believe that everyone, regardless of social status, race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, religion, or any other identifier, should have equal opportunity and freedom to learn. Education should empower the individual by providing them with broad knowledge of science, culture, arts, and society. Education should lead to independent thinking, discovery, and the development of skills that enable continued learning beyond the end of formal education. I believe that education should develop one’s understanding of the world, so that one can function with equity in a diverse society. I believe the well-trained person can do what they are trained to do, but the well-educated person has the potential to do anything.
I believe each student comes with a unique set of skills and needs. While there is a common knowledge base and skill set that all students need to learn, the same approach will not necessarily get all students to the desired goal. My duty is to meet a student where the student is and devise a plan that will take them to where they need and want to be. As a teacher, I must provide a safe environment for intellectual and artistic exploration and development. I must provide honest assessments and feedback. I must encourage, nurture, and promote learning by all appropriate means and avoid any which would limit student learning and growth. I encourage students to explore their own interests and paths while fulfilling the educational requirements set forth for them. I believe that as a teacher, I am also a student. Keeping current on relevant research in my area and on pedagogical practices best serves my students and ensures that my teaching is effective, relevant, and timely.
I believe that education is a collaborative activity. The student must have an active role in their education. The student brings their knowledge and experiences which then guides the education process. The student must also be active in questioning what they are learning so that they can ensure understanding and integration into their knowledge base. I as a teacher must be receptive and welcoming to these questions, and be patient and nonjudgemental in my response. I also believe that as a teacher, I am part of a community of teachers who must work collaboratively to maximize the education of our shared students.