More than content and pedagogical competence …

Photo Credit: Shar Geraldino

My Educational Philosophy

I believe that education should focus on developing self-sufficient and globally competitive members of society.

Successful educators understand the fine balance between advocacy for academic rigor and responsiveness to student needs. While they foster high expectations for all students, great teachers are, at the same time, highly cognizant of and value individual differences.

I believe that the main responsibility of an educator is to harness and develop the learner’s social and academic competencies. Such requires educators that have strong content pedagogical knowledge. Hence, teachers must engage in a continual pursuit to enhance their teaching craft and professional edge.

For math learning to occur, for instance, teachers must foster a culture of positive mindsets. They need to articulate rigorous goals for their students, put premium on academic excellence, and strive to see them excel. They must inspire students to persevere in problem solving, to find meaning in mathematical  connections, and to love learning. They should not only ensure access to effective math instruction, but also build confidence in math.

I believe that successful teaching happens when both students and teacher value and are fully invested in the learning process. Students must engage with authentic mathematical tasks, discuss and interpret math in their own language. They must be able to communicate their thought processes and mathematical solutions, justify their solution choices, and endeavor to use technology to enhance understanding.

Inherent to successful teaching is consistent tracking of student growth and learning progress. Effective teachers diagnose underlying skill breakdowns and then address the gap with targeted remediation. This can be achieved through skillful instructional planning, which is necessary to ensure alignment of content, process, and product.

I believe that teaching excellence does not happen in isolation, either. While a single teacher can play a pivotal role in educating a child, no one can enact change without collegial support. A shared instructional focus among colleagues is necessary to sustain academic progress and establish reciprocal accountability. Studies also indicate that active parental involvement tends to positively impact student achievement.

While pedagogical content knowledge is teaching’s ‘core’, this alone does not guarantee effective instruction. Belief in each child’s ability to succeed is also key. Successful teaching entails educators who can make complex content accessible to learners, inspire students to think and ask questions and to seek for a better version of themselves.

Then and only then can effective teaching truly begin.

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