As I’ve been on this journey in education, I have been able to identify a very clear and specific educational philosophy. I must say, that my faith greatly inspires my work. It forms the very foundation for everything that I do. I believe in The Creator, God. I believe that he made each child unique and it is up to me as the teacher to honor how God designed each child.
I also believe that the purpose of school is to provide a nurturing, safe and stimulating environment where children can be free to be who God created them to be, free to make the educational choices necessary to achieve God’s purpose for their lives and free to be able to have a voice in their lives and the school community.
If you look up the etymology for the word “school” it means “leisure or leisure for learning.” In ancient times, schooling took place in the context of relaxing with friends and discussing topics in a leisurely manner…topics of personal interest. There was usually an adult there to guide the discussion without too much interference in the child’s thought process. From this schools were formed. Over the centuries there became such a demand to create people to establish society and to fit certain tasks to do so, so schooling became much more rigorous and specific to certain tasks. We have gotten away from cultivating the child’s natural intellect in order to develop them into the critical and logical thinkers that God created them to be. I firmly believe that parents and teachers are guides in the students’ life, and we are supporting the destiny of the child that was planted in them from birth.
I believe that in order to best educate a child, we have to learn to flow with the four areas of their life: 1). Their Faith 2). Their Person 3). Their Learning Style 4). Their Community.:
- Faith: A child’s faith is unique and personal for them. My purpose as an educator is to support the child as they discover how to establish that unique and personal spiritual relationship.
- Person: My purpose is to pay attention and listen to both parent and child in order to learn how the person of the child has been created by the Creator. Upon gaining understanding of that, I should then encourage, mentor and support the child so that they develop a love for learning.
- Learning Style: Along with the overall person of the child, each child has a specific way that they learn. I am not here to judge and say which learning style is better. I understand that God created each child’s learning style, and therefore, I seek to understand the learning style and then encourage, mentor and support the child as they learn and grow in their unique learning process. I am a supporter of The Democratic School Model because it gives the child freedom to discover their unique interests and natural bents and allows them to design their educational path based upon that. I am also a supporter of Classical Education and Charlotte Mason because they encourage the development of critical and independent thinking while still focusing on the academic subjects that are necessary for being successful in college and beyond.
- Community: I appreciate the child’s community and create opportunities for the child’s community to come together in order to support the learning life of the child. I believe that living in consideration of the community is a major part of educating a child.