I spent yesterday guiding my students through the process of developing their belief/philosophy statement on teaching.  I participated alongside my students.  To spend a significant block of time to reflect on my values and beliefs regarding education, teaching, and learning, was quite refreshing.  I haven’t seriously reviewed my belief statement since I was student teaching.  I was amazed and inspired by how much of my teaching practice was reflected in my belief statement.  It makes sense though.  As I write in my book:

An education philosophy statement is the bedrock of any master teacher; it encapsulates the principles and beliefs you bring to your teaching, creating the foundation to guide your teaching practices.

If you haven’t review your belief statement, then I encourage you to reflect and answer the following questions:

  • What motivated you to go into teaching?
  • What values and beliefs would an ideal teacher have?
  • What are your beliefs about students, learning, behavior, respect, school systems, etc.?
  • What changes would you like to see happen in our education system?
  • What values do you want to model for the students inside and outside the classroom?
  • Of your beliefs, which ones are non-negotiable?

Interestingly, one of my students proposed a longer school year for a change she would like to see happen.  Then I asked the class if they would like a longer school year.  Eyes began to shift.  I reassured the students their responses would not leave this room.  Nearly 75% of the students raised their hands in favor or a longer school year.  Hmmmm…

If you are in the process of writing a belief / philosophy statement then read my post on Topics for Philosophy Statements, especially if you are have trouble writing one.