Well, my first placement of student teaching is almost over! The past seven weeks have gone by so fast. Words alone cannot describe the experience I had student teaching in a preschool autistic support classroom. Although I was hesitant at first, I can honestly say that the placement has given me new knowledge as I learned more about autism and teaching early childhood education.

Recently, I completed my educational philosophy. My philosophy of teaching is grounded in Benjamin Franklin’s saying: Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” Click in to read my teaching philosophy:

1. I differentiate instruction for all students. My primary academic mission has been focused on differentiating instruction to meet individual learner needs. My views on differentiation stem from Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences. Each student learns differently; therefore, my instruction promotes visual, auditory and kinesthetic learning. Throughout my lessons, I vary instructional methods and techniques to engage students in active learning, critical thinking and problem solving.

2. I provide a welcoming classroom environment. My classroom is filled with visible print that is attractive, meaningful and authentic. The walls reflect learning that is taking place by including a word wall and examples of student work. Bulletin boards are tools for learning, rather than decoration, purposes. Bulletin boards are interactive and contain authentic student work. I provide students different centers in my classroom such as reading, math and science centers. The students’ desk arrangement reflects cooperative work and can easily transition for large and small group work including literature circles and interactive read-alouds. An abundance of books is offered to students at all times; I encourage the growth of imagination through enjoyment of reading. Most importantly, organization and structure keeps my classroom functional.

3. I am an interdisciplinary teacher. As an elementary educator, I am responsible for teaching multiple subjects. Utilizing my knowledge of the content areas, I challenge students to think outside a single subject and consider how social studies, reading and language, mathematics, science and the arts connect. I unite the content areas together by offering real-life situations for the students. When approaching any subject, I do not teach that subject as an island. My students are challenged to think outside the box and discover ways in which knowledge can be integrated and enriched by other areas of study. I implement Bloom’s Taxonomy in order to stimulate student learning by higher-level thinking problems.

Hopefully these three points of my educational philosophy gave you some further insight and ideas that you can include in your own educational outlook. Now, I am preparing for seven weeks in a fifth-grade classroom – wish me luck!

– David