Educational Beliefs and Practices

Why I Want to Teach

Teaching is important because building on previous knowledge improves each generation. Human ingenuity and progress are hope for the future. It’s also important to me that learning should be fun and engaging for both students and teachers. There is always something to be interested in in a subject, and transmitting that interest creates a thirst for knowledge. The teachers who have made the most significant impact on my life and my children’s lives have been the ones who are enthusiastic and make learning fun. I want to be that teacher for others.

Beliefs as an Educator

Learning should be honest, fun, social, project-based, and practical. Students need structure, and I continue to improve at that, but it is more important to be an adult who consistently shows up, keeps trying, and represents good values. I am a determined, compassionate, and engaged teacher.

I believe in being honest and realistic in representing the world appropriately to my students. It doesn’t help a student who is late to tell them that being late in the real world will get them fired from a job when the truth is they might be written up or have a bad review. I’ve learned much from Love and Logic about loving kids and giving them real-world, logical consequences.

Theoretical Basis for Beliefs

The learning theory that best supports my approach is constructivism. Projects allow students to build on prior knowledge. “The student’s previous knowledge, experiences, beliefs, and insights are all important foundations for their continued learning” (WGU, 2020). Project-based learning also follows Vygotsky’s idea of learning as an active process.

Ideal Learning Outcomes

I want to help my students learn to ask questions and use good resources to find answers. If students learn to ask and research questions, they can learn to do anything. They won’t always have a teacher guiding them, but they can learn how to become their own teacher. I want to teach them how to take good notes; I like to teach about doodle notes. Doodle notes make learning more active by engaging more learning styles (listening, reading, kinesthetic). Another important outcome is learning to appreciate that everyone has something unique and special from which we can learn.

Instructional Strategies

I teach students to ask questions by emphasizing the structure of open-ended questions. Questions should start with Who, What, When, Where, Why, or How and end with a question mark.

Part of teaching students to become their own teachers is recognizing the patterns they create. I want to teach them the CTFAR model:

C – circumstances are neutral facts.

T – thoughts about circumstances develop feelings.

F – feelings are valid.

A – Actions are a natural result of feelings.

R – results are the consequences of our actions.

This simple model helps us have continuous and sustainable growth cycles and promotes positive change. (Castillo, 2024)

Assessment Tools and Strategies

I use Exit Tickets to gauge understanding, support individual learners, and adjust lesson plans. The exit ticket is a simple task that allows students to demonstrate knowledge of the core standard.

Another tool I use is a self-reflection score. Students rate themselves in addition to the score they earned, which helps me determine their confidence levels.

Rating system:

1 – I do not understand

2 – I’m starting to understand, I can do it with help

3 – I understand, I can do it independently

4 – I’m confident, I can teach someone else

Stakeholder Relationships

Parents are our children’s first and most important teachers. I see my job as an opportunity to work with parents to support students’ values and growth. That is what we all do as a community: support the best family outcomes. All stakeholders contribute to the well-being of students and their ability to learn. Being an involved community member is important by showing interest in culture, interests, and events.