Educator Philosophy Interview

MTE/501 Instructor Erica Holloway April 11,2016

Interviews

Each person in our group conducted an interview with a teacher. The teachers were not from the same school, did not teach the same subjects, and a few of them did not teach the same grade. They were asked questions on their personal philosophy of teaching, how their own experiences shaped how they teach, and where they saw education in the future. The differences and similarities in their answers were something to talk about within our group.

7/8th grade Physical Education and Health Teacher

Interview Conducted by: Jeannine Gonzalez

Interviewee: A. Masias, 7/8th grade Physical Education and Health Teacher

1. How did you develop your own educational philosophy?

Towards senior year of college I had my own philosophy of teaching and how I wanted to teach when I had my own class. I then changed my philosophy a bit after doing classroom observations. After a few observations I changed my philosophy based on how I observed how students learn and what tools I would need as a teacher and what tools my students would need in order to attempt to close the achievement gap for my students. This is how I was able to form my teaching philosophy and put it into practice in my career.

2. What are your core educational values?

My core values of education have a lot do with the treatment of my students. The five values I have and hold highly are: Trust, safety, respect, discipline, and consistency. I also try to have fun with lessons and ensure my students are able to understand what I am teaching. Another thing I hold in high regard is diversity. I am not only talking about cultural diversity as students are beyond that when it comes to diversity in a classroom. When I talk about diversity I am including learning styles and abilities of the students and what their needs are. I strive to explain things on a level everyone can understand and those who get it, can go their own way, those who need more understanding I work with until they are comfortable on their own. Those students who want to take the assignment to the next level are also encouraged to do so.

3. How do you know when a student is learning?

I know a student is learning when they start to demonstrate the task on their own and start to apply it to real life situations. This is how I know they have grasped what I have taught and they are trying to utilize it the best way they can or interrupt it to make it their own and how they understand it.

4. Where do you think education is headed in the future?

In recent years many schools have cut a lot of elective programs such as art, wood shop, cooking, PE, sports, and so on. In the future I see schools slowly start to bring a majority of these programs back. Schools need programs like these and some schools have started to restore these programs which is awesome.

On the other hand, I see schools heading towards technology based learning. Many schools no longer have chalk boards, they are now white boards. The white boards are now becoming “SMART BOARDS”. I see many teachers in the future doing lessons in power point formats instead of using overhead projector screens. We even have projectors that teachers can just place the book page on and it will show up rather than transparency film. There is nothing wrong with this, we just need to be able to keep up with the technology we use to teach in order for our student to be successful.

5. How have your own life experiences shaped your current philosophy regarding education?

When I was in school my parents were going through a divorce. It was hard for me to stay focused at school when I felt my home life was a wreck. As a teacher now I see some students who are having a hard time at home bring that to school with them. I try to acknowledge that and let them know I am here if they need someone to talk to but also at the same time I need them to also focus on their school work at hand. I try to turn their attention to their school work and projects so for a little bit they do not have to think about what is going on at home or in their personal life.

Also as a student, growing up I had bad experiences with teachers. They would scream and yell and degrade when a student would not do something right the first time or when a student was not understanding. When I made my decision to become a teacher, I also made a promise to myself I would not do that to my students. One of my core values as we went over earlier is respect and I try to show that to all my students no matter what kind of mood they are in.

High School History Teacher

Interview conducted by: Michael Johnson

Individual interviewed: LaDawn Johnson, Social Studies teacher, Perris Lake High School

What is your philosophy of education?

My philosophy of education is that every mind has the capacity to learn. When you fill the mind with education, it will create a healthy and productive society. When the people of a society are educated, they will be more self-sufficient. A society that is economically self-dependent is the path to increasing productivity that leads to economic growth, which is good for the country as a whole.

Where do you think education is heading in the future? Technology would be where education is heading in the future. We have to provide our students with the tools to compete in a globally connected world. Technology has the power to transform how individuals learn, and we have seen that in recent years with the advent of iPads and other gadgets in the classroom.

How have your own life experiences shaped your current philosophy regarding education?

By embracing my shortcomings, weaknesses, strengths and maturation and interjecting real life experiences into the curriculum. In other words, I can make a connection to students linking real life experiences to subject matter. Making content relevant can be very meaningful within the framework of a student’s physical, social and physical development.

7th Grade English Teacher

Interview conducted by: Francisco Castro

Interviewee: Ms. Terrazas 7th grade English Teacher

1. What do you consider to be your educational philosophy? I like to make it fun and interactive for the students so that they want to learn what I am teaching. There is no point wasting both of our times by lecturing all day. The more that they enjoy and participate, the better they learn the material and that is why I am here. To ensure that they know what they need to know to be successful all around.

2. Where do you think education is heading to in the future? Education is clearly becoming more geared towards technology. Which can be both good and bad. I feel that you lose a certain important element in teaching if you focus too much on technology but that is where the future is. As the world advances in technology then the students must be able to use that tech in the real world.

3. Have your own life experiences shaped your current philosophy regarding education? Yes they definitely have. Being a student for so long I know what they are going through, as I was in there shoes longer than I have been teaching. This is why I try to make my lessons as fun as possible. So they can learn and not think this is a giant waste of their times. I want them to come to love to learn. Also since I this is my first year teaching I am constantly reaching out to more experienced teacher for pointers to ensure that I am doing my best for my students.

1st and 2nd Grade Teacher

PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION: (Joan Tlalka-1st&2nd Grade Teacher)

I believe that every child can learn. Being an effective teacher requires that every child receive their own

individual assistance to learn wherever needed. Not every students learns in the same manner. It is up to the

teacher to find and discover each student's learning style. Individuality should be stressed for the students

who need a different way to learn. Every child can learn.

Classroom environment is also important for children to feel that creativity that inspires them in written

language, science, art, music, etc.

The teacher is a role model that children should look up to. Children know what's expected of them when a

role model is in place. Respect is so important.

WHERE IS EDUCATION HEADED IN THE FUTURE?

Most educators probably agree that the future of education is going in the direction of electronics.

Computers are in many classrooms for each individual student to access; laptops for all students and

teachers. The future may consist of multidisciplinary lessons with individual learning plans.

The computer may be the paper and pencil of the future. No more pencil sharpeners?????

HOW HAS MY OWN LIFE EXPERIENCES SHAPED MY PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION?

My memories of my school experiences were on the most part positive. I don't recall a bad day in school.

As a former teacher, I hope my students always felt the comfort to be themselves and to feel the connection

I felt with them.

I've wanted to be a teacher since I was 10 years old. It was important to me to be a positive influence on the lives

of my students. My goal was to make each student love school, respect education, feel success, and have a love

of learning throughout their lives.

I am always proud when I learn that a former

student has become a teacher or is planning on being a teacher. I am proud of all of their successes.

I don't regret my career as a teacher. I would do it all over again.

Education in the Future

After reading and analyzing what each teacher had to say about the future of education, it was known 4 out of 4 teachers thought technology was the way of the future. Technology will not be going away anytime soon and we as teachers have to be able to adjust to this. We have to be able to use the technology given to us in order to teach our students so they can succeed. If we as teachers do not know what we are doing with the technology, we cannot not be effective teachers. One teacher felt when using technology to teach, it loses an “important element of teaching” but it must be done in order for students to be able to be successful outside the classroom as well. The way of the world is technology geared.


As a group we agree technology is the way of the future and although it has pros and cons, the pros out weigh the cons. If technology is going to be they way of the future, as teachers, we need to teach safety as well when it comes to using technology.


Of all 4 interviews, only one teacher touched on bringing back elective programs to the schools and offering a more hands on learning approach. They felt life skills should be taught at school so students can practice them in real life once they leave at the end of the day.


All interviewees felt school and learning should be fun. As a group we have the same philosophy, learning should be fun and students should be able to have a good time at school.

How have life experiences shaped current philosophy regarding education?

All teachers stated past interactions with teachers while they were in school have helped shape their personal and current philosophy. While some stated teachers they have encountered did not respect their students, others stated teachers they had were boring and did not bring lessons to life.


Many of the teachers also try to keep in mind their students have lives outside of school that can be stressful. They seemed to each understand the life of a student and sometimes it is hard to leaver personal issues at home. Many students see school as an outlet and a safe place they can turn to. All teachers who were interviewed seemed to have an understanding and respect for their students inside and outside the classroom.


As a group we have discussed this aspect and we took into account our own lives as of right now, we are working, some of us have families who we need to attend to, and we are going to school. Imagine we have a teacher who is not understanding of this, we would not get very far in our education as adults because life gets in the way. We want to respect our students just as the teachers who we interviewed do and strive to make a difference in the lives of students.

How these findings can be used to enhance teaching and learning in the classroom.

We know everyone agrees technology is the way of the future. We can use this knowledge to prepare our students so they are not falling behind as they move on in their studies because they are so overwhelmed by technology.


Knowing and remembering our students have lives outside of school and respecting this fact will help us to treat our students with respect and sensitivity in which can form a bond and that way our students will know we care about them and all aspect of their lives which will in turn, they will want to learn about what we are teaching. We have to be able to let students open up in more aspects than just what we are trying to teach.


Asking students about their weekend lets them know you care and in turn they are settled in their seats and you have eliminated as much as possible of them talking to their peer about their weekend because as a class, everyone already knows, which then leaves time for teaching and learning.


Teachers have to take an interest in their students beyond their achievement levels and grades in the classroom. This will help when trying to tweak a lesson to make it interesting to the class. If things can relate to their lives, students are more inclined to taking an interest to the lesson.

Reflections

Monday, April 11th, 11:45pm

University of Phoenix

We found that teachers teach because they care and want to make a difference. The teachers we interviewed are very much respected at their schools and they have a lot to offer to their students. They want to give their best each day and be able to have a student leave better than when they came in. This is the kind of teacher we want to and strive to be. We have come to a conclusion of we all may have different philosophies but that will not make use a bad teacher. We have to make it our own and be able to adjust to things as they come our way. With that being said, we all agree once we are teachers, we still never stop learning.

Team C: Francisco Castro, Jeannine Gonzalez, Michael Johnson, Ciara Ramos