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Teachers have been creating philosophies for education since as long as educators have served a purpose. A philosophy in a class room can be anything from spreading equality, lessening the overall achievement gap, treating each student the same, or even providing a welcoming environment to all students. At some point in a teacher’s career, whether it be during college, or internships, they create their own philosophy of how they think their specific class will facilitate their own philosophy. By creating these ideals, the teacher has a basis on how they will teach their students. Some teachers base their philosophies on personal, positive teaching styles that they experienced while in grammar school, or college. Those kinds of situations can impact a future educator, and even cause them to build up upon previous ideas. Other times, a student can experience a negative situation while going through school, and vow to make sure that those conditions or situations never happen in their classroom. With that being said, if I were to create a classroom facilitated around one broad and enthusiastic philosophy, I would focus on making sure each student received the same teacher to student relationships, and would do my best to make sure one student does not ‘out shine’ another. Each student should be made to feel special, and should think they have talents of their own that are unique.
In high school, I was very active in the music department with show choir and the many musicals. Out of the forty-some-odd students involved in the advanced ensemble, the same few people were always placed in the spot light. Not only was I, along with other students, discouraged when I was neglected from showing my true potential, but the students who were always in the spot light grew up with the whole world handed to them on a silver platter. With this experience in my repertoire of school experiences, it definitely stands out as being more important than I even noticed during my time in school. It taught me that the students who never knew better, and were always given every solo, or lead role, never knew what it actually felt like to strive for a part that they never received. Sometimes people have to be denied, and when that is not the case, people begin to think they are always going to receive everything they want in life. Needless to say, the main star of the show, whose name was known all over the county, dropped out of college within the first few months of her freshmen year. I cannot say that it was because she was the star of the show, but I would have to attest to the thought process that it revolved around not knowing how to fight for what she thought she deserved.
With that being said, I was usually the teacher’s pet all form elementary school all the way through high school. It was never anything that I strived for, but something that just sort of happened out of nowhere. With this personal experience, I can honestly say it has helped me with employers, and managers that have let me stay on their staff in Myrtle Beach, when I can only work once every month or so. It was these previous relationships that taught me how to behave, and what my elders saw as respectful actions. So, yes there was benefits to being the teacher’s pet, but. . . I was also “the teacher’s pet”. Most students were envious, and always made assumptions that my good grades were the product of my teachers favoring my work. There were times when it got hard, and I felt like I was the only one in a class who was receiving above average grades. In many of the classes I was in, the students seemed to be the ‘at risk’ students, and they were the ones who would ‘harass’ me, in a sense, the most. It consists of these memories that I have a firm belief on keeping all children equal.
Based on these two experiences, I have been able to see what happens to the students who are handed everything, and those who are always liked by the teacher. Because of this, I see a fit classroom being an environment where I would try my best to keep the equality of each student obvious, and the favoritism to a minimum. I understand that there is always going to be a student that a teacher can connect with on a more personable level, but I would make my room a place where each student felt as if they were all equally liked and appreciated by me. I also am a firm believer of schools being a place where students who have a tough home life go to get away from the mental pain, and escape a world they live when school is over. If I treat a student with limited affection, and his or her parents do not show them love either, I would just be adding to that level of discomfort and neglect that the parents had been providing. My responsibility as an educator is to teach, but how can a student learn when they are not shown that they have self-worth?
I do believe that this could be very difficult to implement, and I would have to remind myself constantly not to show favoritism. I would also make a point to not share grades with the class; it was a common occurrence when the teacher would say, “Samantha, you were the only one who received a 100%”, or would name the few who received an “A”. Those are the types of statements that put students above one another. Keeping all students on the same level can ultimately affect their time in my class, and benefit them with their mental wellbeing. Every student is different, and I would not be able to treat each one exactly the same, because that could bet redundant, but make each child feel overall welcome, appreciated and wanted in my class room.
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