Teaching Philosophy

Having experienced so many educational settings has shaped my perspective as an educator.  In the public and private elementary school system I learned how to adhere to standards-based teaching with a strong focus on skills and assessment.  I know the high demands which will be expected of entering kindergartners.  Returning to the world of early childhood, I experienced the pull away from teaching isolated standards and return to a more holistic approach such as the project-based and art focus of Reggio Amelia and the scientific and hands-on learning of Maria Montessori.  My own style of teaching is a synthesis of all of these philosophies.  I believe in child-centered, play-based learning, but stay anchored with formal assessments and lessons designed to teach specific kindergarten readiness skills.  I will never drill four year-olds with flash cards or force them to write before they are ready, but I will use relevant and tactile activities such as shaping letters out of play-dough and learning to repeat a pattern while beading a necklace.  I will use the children’s current interests and “I wonder…” statements to create new lessons designed to meet the needs of one particular group of children instead of adhering to a “We’ve always done it this way…” mind set.  Focuses which are always close to my heart when teaching include creating an inclusive community which celebrates diversity, engaging children in the natural world through scientific and hands on studies of plants and animals, and a strong focus on art which is process as opposed to product based.