As a teacher, I am a reflective practitioner who is always using a critical lens to view my practice, in order to find ways to improve professionally and personally. I have a strong belief that I, as the teacher, am also a learner. Therefore, I am not the sole expert in the classroom who dictates learning: I am a facilitator and a guide to assist my students in finding their own answers. It is my job to help each of my students achieve success in a way that is meaningful and relevant to their unique lives and abilities. It is also my responsibility to ensure that a caring classroom climate is fostered so that all students feel they belong and are valued.
What do you believe about your learners and the way they learn?
All students come to the classroom with a vast knowledge base through personal life experiences and all students are capable of learning. Each student will learn in a different way and should be provided opportunities to make choices about how they learn and how they showcase their learning. Students need chances to explore real objects and materials in order to build a more concrete understanding of concepts. Students are curious and capable of constructing meaning, independently and collaboratively, especially through inquiry about topics they are interested in. Students need a safe environment in order to learn to their best potential. Learners need structure and routine so they know what to expect, but they also require choice and freedom within their learning in order to engage in a way that is meaningful to them.
How do you want to teach?
I aim to teach in a way that is responsive to each student’s needs and, therefore, am flexible and constantly reevaluating how to best reach all of my learners. I incorporate multiple intelligences into my lessons and offer choice to best suit each student’s preferences. I believe in providing many opportunities to experience learning through real tasks and materials. Technology is utilized as a method to engage students in their learning and promote literacy in technological mediums. I also strongly believe in infusing content from other cultures, including First Nations, Metis, and Inuit ways of knowing, into all subject areas. Music and the arts are also a strong foundation upon which I build my learning experiences.
What does your classroom look, sound, and feel like?
My classroom environment is thoughtfully organized and aesthetically pleasing without being too busy or distracting. You may see students participating in whole class, structured routines that are practiced and familiar, or you may see students all working independently or in small groups on activities of interest that are targeted to their personal learning. You may see learners engaging in a talking circle or a turn and talk activity where they get to converse and share their insights with others. Upon entering my classroom, you will hear productive noise: students will be engaged in learning that involves exploration, collaboration, and creation. You will hear music in my classroom often. Music is used for transitions, background noise, daily routines and greetings, body breaks, introduction to new topics, or just having fun. My classroom environment feels exciting and fun, as well as safe and homey. My classroom is a community in which all members belong and are valued.