Philosophy of Education
by Susan K. Mauersberg
Mount Nittany Middle School
My philosophy of education is rooted in the notion that the study of English is really a study of life and its pursuit of skills that will help one succeed. I believe that a cornerstone of what often contributes to our success in life is how we express ourselves and communicate with each other. Teaching students these skills involves not just the study of language or sentence structure but an immersion into a journey that goes beyond academics and shapes the student as an educated human being and a life long learner.
This journey, guided by the teacher, takes two paths. One path we travel is that of literature. Studying literature involves exposing students to lives or situations of others, real or imagined. It is the probing inquiry into literary terms and the different characters, cultures, socioeconomic levels, ages, time periods, and values that shape the students’ own thinking, sense of individuality, and appreciation for others. In order for this examination to materialize, students need to engage with the literature actively. As a teacher I provide the atmosphere and the structure for interactive learning. Students will find themselves involved in such things as literature circles, class debates, research projects, skits, or journals.
Another path we travel is that of communication. Through class discussions, group presentations, individual speeches, plays, songs, poetry, sentence structure lessons, peer editing, essays, short stories, and research reports, students are heavily engaged in developing and refining their ability to express themselves in oral and written modes.
It is through this immersion that students begin to understand that English is not just the study of a particular proficiency such as reading or grammar, but it is a journey through many skills, different worlds, various genres, and interesting approaches. With my philosophy and approach, I have found that students not only experience the particular curriculum that the district has established for them, but they learn valuable lessons that go beyond the classroom. They learn to express themselves with more clarity, fluency, and confidence. Students have a heightened awareness of how literature connects to current issues that our society faces. Their appreciation for literature is transformed into a deeper respect for individuality in their peers, adults, and the world. And in our troubled society today, these are not only key factors to success in their own lives, but the lives they touch.
Last Modified on August 17, 2011