My Philosophy of Education

Introduction to Special Education (SED 503)

Text: Special Education: Teaching In an Age of Opportunity

(5th Edition)

My Philosophy of Education

There are many words that come to mind when I consider what the purpose of education is, however one word describes it best, DEVELOPMENT. When I become a teacher, I will be responsible for many aspects of a child’s development: cognitive, social, mental, and physical. In order to become an effective teacher, I understand that I need to become perceptive to a child’s personal interests and motivational needs, learning needs, and abilities, as well as ethnic and cultural similarities and differences.

As a teacher, I will realize that each child is a unique individual, capable of learning. All children learn and develop at different rates. To be an excellent teacher, I will take into consideration the individual learning styles of each student, and accommodations of diverse learner needs as much as possible. It is with this in mind that, as a teacher, I will incorporate within my curriculum many different learning styles. Instruction, especially in the resource/special ed room, should be child-centered and involve hands on, collaborative, exploratory, problem solving type situations that challenge children and enhance their development. The construction of a classroom that is child-centered will allow me to become a companion in learning with my students so that each day I may learn through watching them learn. By developing a learning environment that includes clear discipline, open communication, and a variety of teaching strategies, I hope to provide a quality education to all my future students.

As a teacher, I will acknowledge that I am not alone in the education process. I will enlist the help of parents, colleagues, administration, and the community. For many, the only purpose of education is to incorporate within children the knowledge of subject matter needed to construct a productive citizen. However, it is my hope to go farther and collaborate with others in order to help my students establish their life goals and work with them to achieve the goals. I understand that some of the students’ goals may be just to be a productive citizen, and that is fine.

The future of our world is dependent upon the children of today. In the society’s opinion, a child doesn’t become successful if they don’t go to college or have a high paying job. As a future special education teacher, I understand that this will not always be the case. I believe that the students, not society, should be the top priority of the teacher in order to create a successful learning climate. A child, with special needs or any other child that may struggle with school, is successful if they are working in a grocery, or a fast food restaurant, if that is what their goal is. They may be successful if they are working as a mechanic, or any other blue-collar job, for that matter. As a teacher, I will be responsible for helping to shape their future, whatever it may be.

We all know we need people in the grocery store, fast food restaurants, mechanics, and people in other blue-collar jobs. Without these jobs, we couldn’t go on. Of course, it would also be wonderful if any of my students went to college, or had a high paying job, which I know that some will be able to do. However, going to college and having a high paying job, will not make them any better than the other students. The greatest sight imaginable is the shining eyes and open mind of a child ready to learn. It is this sight that I hope to experience each day, and when any child under my care is successful or improves, I will get to see those shining eyes and open minds. I will be proud of my students, no matter what they succeed in. As long as they improve, and keep improving they are being successful, and that is what I want to be a part of.

I believe that a teacher should be facilitator to learning, not just a knowledge-giver. I believe that education is not a privilege, but rather it is a right. Thus, as a teacher, I will support my students’ learning and facilitate it. It will