The three pillars that education is built on according to our curriculum are Lifelong Learners, Sense of Self, Community, and Place and finally Engaged Citizens. These are the things that all learning has to be brought back to when deciding how to shape learning activities. Education is essential to everything that happens in daily life. It is important to have skills such as reading, writing, problem-solving among many other things.
I believe that it is important for students to learn through inquiry and hands-on experiences. I do not think it is appropriate just to get the students to sit and listen to me teach the entire class. I also believe that it is not an effective method to just have students read handouts or textbooks and answer worksheets. I truly believe that students learn best when the activity is student centered and student driven. Some ways that can help this happen include making hypotheses from previous knowledge. If you activate students’ previous learning or ask them questions that make them be thinkers rather than just listeners. If you create thinkers in the classroom then they will learn the content and put it into a way that they can understand it, this means they will remember the content. It is also important that we as teachers allow students to follow topics that interest them and form answers for their many wonders in life. It is essential that the students are engaged in all class learning and if not then nobody will get to the desired learning at the end of lessons and units. Students learn through experiments because they get to test and create a greater understanding of the knowledge that is part of the curriculum. Hands-on activities and inquiry experiences allow students to hit many of the outcomes and indicators in the curriculum, they also allow students to take some control of the way that they learn and the teacher’s role is to help facilitate parts that can make sure the students are meeting the guidelines.
As an educator we must meet the needs as stated in the adaptive dimensions document “regards teachers as professionals who have the authority and the responsibility to make adaptations to the learning environment, instruction, assessment, and resources to meet the needs of all students” (Ministry of Education, Pg. 2). This is very important for teachers to realize that part of this career is that you need to use the right instructional strategies and adaptations that give all the students the best chance to be successful. It is also important to know that the four variables of the Adaptive Dimensions are learning environment, instruction, assessment and resources. These are things that I believe need to be things that teachers should not be afraid to alter when things are not going smoothly in your teaching. I also believe that as teachers we need to have a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset. A growth mindset to me means that everything we do is a learning experience and that we do not all have the same strengths but we form together and make each other the best possible group of learners.
Building relationships with your students is very important to creating a positive classroom environment. If you do not create relationships with the students then they will not trust you with any issues that go on in the classroom or outside of the classroom. When teaching it is important to relate the content to things that the students are interested in or else the learnings will not truly soak into their minds. Students need to feel like they are equal in the classroom and the environment can not come off in an authoritarian way. It is important to have a good balance where the students respect you but not out of fear. If you do not create these relationships with the students then the classroom dynamics will be off and it will not be enjoyable for all involved meaning the students potentially may not get to all the desired learning goals.
Being a teacher is one of the most important careers in the world and it is important that as teachers we model positivity and high-quality learning opportunities to the students. This happens through building relationships with students, creating learning opportunities that are hands-on or inquiry-driven, and meeting the needs of the students in your classroom.