The Role of Relationship Building in My Philosophy of Education
- Pages: 6
- Word count: 1403
- Category: Philosophy of Education
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Helping develop and educate young students has been my goal since I was fourteen years old. In my five years of teaching, I have been a part of a school system that I never knew existed and have seen things that really make me think about my philosophy of education. Education has always played a major role in the life of children and will continue to play a role in the future as well. Children are affected by education in school and outside of school. Education can happen in so many ways in the school system. I believe that every child can learn in the school system but they all learn different things in different ways. Every student is not going to excel in the school curriculum designed to improve their academics. Some students just do not care to learn subjects in school. As a teacher, it is still are ity to teach them and help them with learning. Not all students are going to be college ready by time they leave high school but they can still learn about life after college. Not only are we teaching them (or trying to teach them) academic skills, but we are teaching them how to live in the real world.
We are teaching students social skills, coping skills, and management skills. These are important skills to learn to be successful after school. As teachers, we need to make sure we show these skills to students. In reviewing an older philosophy written by me a few years ago, I noticed that I had favored my philosophy around building relationships/rapport with students. This has not changed for me. Due to my work placement the last five years, I still believe that relationship building playsa huge role in education. Working with students who are appointed to a residential placement because of family or life issues have opened my eyes to a whole new world. Building relationships with students has become my number one priority. Students in my building come and go very quickly. Most of them do not have a steady family or a true place to call home. The students jump from placement to placement or move around to different foster families. I like to think that the relationship that I try to build with them could be the one that will change their life. In a few discussions in my master’s classes, I hear my peers discussing about our (teacher’s) approach towardsstudents. A common approach that is spoken very much of is smiling towards the children because it may be the only smile they see all day. Not every family is the “All-American” family and live perfect lives, they all have their problems. Until I really started working with school-aged children, I never understood this approach to them. Now it is very important to me and could mean a lot to students. I believe starting off with a smile could be the beginning of a positive relationship. Building relationships in the school setting is very important. Unfortunately, for some students, a teacher is all they have for comfort. It is important for teachers to have appropriate friendships with students. For some students, a teacher may be there only friend. After a relationship is built and trust is gained, a friendship is formed. With my current students, it is hard to form relationships because so many have hurt them in the past and they have lost trust in all. This is something I work on to gain with them. Once I can get their trust, then I am able to teach them.
When I wrote my first philosophy of teaching, I compared special education and regular education many times throughout the paper. This was because I based my philosophy on being a special education teacher. At that time, I believed them to be totally different and playing different roles. I took my job and realized that not only am I responsible for my students in special education but I am also responsible for my students not in special education. When I began in education, I wanted nothing to do with being responsible for curriculum and designing an entire classroom. I wanted to be in collaborating room and co-teach with a regular education teacher with them leading the way. I quickly realized that is not what special education is about.
Since being in my job, I have gained a new respect for regular education teachers. They work really hard to design a curriculum and maintain and positive learning environment for twenty plus students. Soon after accepting my job, I realized that I would have to learn how to be an elementary teacher and a special education teacher all in one. I had to change my ideas about my classroom and learn classroom management. I had to change a lot of my ideas about education. Change is something that all teachers need to be ready for. Change in the education system happens all the time. Prior to becoming a teacher, I never really understood how much change went on just within a few school years. It seems that every year there are new standards to teach in different subjects. There are new types of testing materials for students to take. New principals and teachers come and go. Change is everlasting. Teacher need to ready to accept the change and roll with the flow. We need to stay up to date with data and standards. It is important for us teachers to be in the know about all education. We need to be willing to try new things to help students succeed. Especially in my classroom, change happens on a weekly basis. As mentioned above, my students are appointed to our residential facility and placed in my room. Some may be there for a few months and others may spend the entire school year with me. In my classroom, I have been as young as teaching 4th and 5th graders but been as old and 7th and 8th graders. This has happened all within one school year. I really have to be able to quickly change my curriculum and classroom management all within one school year. Change is not always that extreme but it can happen. This is not the case for all teachers but change does happen. One year a teacher could have the best and brightest students and the next year it is the complete opposite. As a teacher, we must know how to deal with the adversity and be ready.
Another aspect that has changed in just the few years that I have been teaching is the amount of social media that is being used. Social media has taken over. Personally, I believe social media has really hindered social skills for many students. Many students do not know how to act or talk with adults and peers unless it is through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, or text messaging. Staying up on the lingo and social media can be used to a teacher’s advantage when trying to get the word out about assignments. Creating class pages on Facebook or sending tweets about school are ways to keep up with society. This is not for every teacher and not every student has access to these resources but many do. Keeping up with society is very important to help with student success. Education is one job that has not been taken over by machines and robots. I do not see the future of education ever being taken over by those things. We will always need teachers, there will good ones and there will be bad ones. We need to be there for one reason and that is to teach and inspire tomorrow’s leaders. All teachers have different philosophies and different ways of doing things in their classrooms. One thing to be said is that we should all have one common vision, mission, and goal. We want to create the best learning environment for the students. Teachers should be able to give that to every student that comes through their classroom. There will be challenges and bumps in the road but it is up to other teachers and me to embrace those challenges and create a positive atmosphere for all students. I will not be able to make a difference in the life of every student that I teach but if I can change one or two lives then I would consider that a success.