Monday, February 20, 2012

Philosophy of Learning

I have been in the educational field now for six years and my philosphy of teaching has not changed and I don't believe it will. I have always wanted to make sure that my students are equipped with everything they need to make it to the next level. Being in the technology field that means that they must have access to every digital learning tool available.  This can be a laptop, iPad, iPod, desktop or the internet. Whatever the media, students have to have that exposure in order to succeed.  Teachers who hold back on using these tool are not only handicapping themselves but are also holding back our students.  We have to continue to press forward and stay one step ahead of them in this field. Students are learning new things everyday through the digital highway and if we don't follow suit we are doing them a disservice.

I will not compromise on education. Every student, from the disabled to the high perfoming deserve our best.  The best to me is qualified teachers, digital technology, access to the internet and quality instruction time. If our students see that we waste time in the classroom then they learn to waste time.  We have to become an institution of learning again and not glorified babysitters.  We need parental involvement and administrator backing to do our jobs effectively. We have to model the very thing that we emphasize to them.  Education is their job not just something to do. Just like a job they are expected to come in on time, be prepared and meet deadlines.  Practice does not make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect.

Responded to


  1. Hi Toni,

    You have an exceptional philosophy of teaching and learning. It is evident that you will provide successful learning experiences by implementing your instructional strategies. When I read your post, I recalled a conversation with one of my colleagues about the progress of students. We discussed how we maintain a progress monitoring sheet on each student in our school. This sheet contains important data about a student’s progress in school. Some of the data on the sheet includes: report card grades, (Zone of Proximal Developmental (ZPD) in reading, fluency ranges, standardized test grades, and much more. It is easy to look at a student’s progress at a glance.

    One student came to me reading on a 0.9 reading level; I teach second grade. This student is basically reading on a kindergarten level. My research revealed that he had digressed through the summer, and he was a struggling reader. However, he is now reading on a 2.1 reading level, and he is showing great progress. Yet, he is not where I would like for him to be at this point. The reason that I shared all of this is to give an example of how we have to focus on individual students, and we have to design instruction that targets the individual student’s needs. I have another student that came to me reading (almost on third grade level), he is now reading on fourth grade level. There is progress again. The alarm would go off if there was no progress.

    I agree with you that we should never compromise our principles as teachers to provide the best education we can for each individual child. Furthermore, I agree with you that technology has to be integrated into our lesson plans and implemented in our instructional delivery. Technology motivates and captures the students’ attention.

    Sandra Dykes

  2. Sandra, kudos to you on your student's achievements.It is educators like you who all parents should want in the classroom. We have to focus on the kids that would be otherwise lost if someone didn't help them. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Hi Toni, great philosophy. How do you feel about those Back to Basics school that do not incorporate a large amount of technology into the curriculum? I was told by one administrator " they need to know how to write, think critically, and debate their point before they should put their ideas on a PowerPoint. Technology can be taught at home." I was first appalled, then fascinated. What do you think of this approach?

  4. Toni,
    I agree; when teachers fail to use technology with their students or teach their students how to use technology, they are holding back their students as well as themselves. I know teachers who complain about the outdated laptops they have to use for their lesson planning, but fail to use new technology available to them, such Smartboard or Promethean boards with their students.

  5. Toni,

    I wish we could bottle up your philosohpy and have many of our veteran teachers take a swallow. I have found that new teachers come in with such enthusiasm as compared to those that are on their "later side" of their career. Many experienced teachers have given up on incorporating new strategies etc. Our current generation of students have been exposed to way more technology than we ever dreamed about. I really wish colleges would incorporate a class that addresses changing with the times/trends (for education majors). Education is a field of continuous growth and change. I really believe some people major in education with the feeling that they will teach the same way forever.
    Thank you for your determination. It's teachers like yourself that keep a spark going in every school.