Environment, Motivation, and Effective Practices Weeks 7 – 9

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The assignment will focus on connecting theory to practice and citing sources to demonstrate your knowledge about the theories and theorists.  For this assignment you are being asked to construct a philosophy of teaching based on the readings in the course and other texts or journal articles (no websites) that have influenced you. The assignment will help you to visualize the influence of your learning on your teaching practice.  You are being asked to help someone see who you are as a teacher and what life as a student would be like in your class. In the philosophy you must:

Define your teaching philosophy
Describe the atmosphere and design of your current or future classroom and what theories/theorists have influenced you with regard to these choices
What your theories/theorists have helped you realize about learners and teaching
Discuss what you want students to take away from your classroom how do you want to impact your learners

What should my assignment look like?
Your paper should be 3-4 pages long.  Consider the following as guides for your paragraphs:
What is the heart of your philosophy of teaching?  What is the goal of your classroom? Consider this opening paragraph the culmination of your thoughts about teaching so far. Sentences might start with:

At the heart of my teaching philosophy is..
Learners in my classroom will.
It is the role of the teacher to.. 

What kinds of learners are you hoping you create? (ex. how will you help them be motivated, successful, etc.).  Sentences might start with:

Learners will be
I motivate learners by/through..
Children in my classroom

What theories have influenced you? Choose 2 or 3 that you then discuss over the next few paragraphs.  Define the theory and cite where your knowledge of this theory came from (no on-line web sources texts should be used or peer-reviewed journal articles). Then write about how this theory looks in practice in your room.  For example, if you are influenced by sociocultural theory how is that evident to anyone who looks in your room and sees your teaching and reading materials or hears the conversations going on in your room? Sentences might start with:

I am influenced by ______ theory.  This theory is evident in my classroom through _______ (what? Book choices? Centers?  Make your examples relate to your theory)

End with a summary of your classroom and what it looks like.  For example, you might say (in more words than this example), In my classroom, students have the spaces to discuss current issues that they are dealing with.  Our class readings reflect who they are as social and cultural beings, and stem from their interests.  The learning in my class begins with the students as Dewey (1902) proposed, and relates the new learning to their interests and ideas.  End with your hope for how students leave your room (ex. More confident? More engaged? More empathetic? More socially aware? etc.).  Sentences might start with:

My classroom is one where
I encourage..
I hope
Learning is..
I give my students.
I teach my students..
I empower students through..
It is my hope that students leave my room.

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