Teaching: Seven Activities
The art of teaching is a matter of personal style.
Each teacher has his or her own convictions, beliefs, and
unique philosophical biases. These
activities will help you find your personal educational philosophy by
exploring fundamental questions about your teaching: Why you do it?
Its significance? And
the belief structure that you bring to it?
One method of clarifying your personal
educational view is to ask others about theirs.
By comparing and contrasting educational beliefs, you will be
in a better position to understanding yourself as a teacher.
explore your personal philosophy of education
gain insight into the philosophies of coworkers
gain greater awareness of the intangibles of teaching.
One: Ground Work Write a
short answer or response to the following questions and statements.
Your responses will help you begin the philosophical
exploratory process. Note:
You may want to probe these questions with your mentor or a peer
Why did you want to become a teacher? List the
List personality traits that support your success as a teacher
What motivates you at work?
Write down your five key motivations.
To what extent does work define who you are as a person?
List your work goals. In
other words, what do you want to get out of a teaching career?
How does teaching align with your core values?
Has teaching been a vehicle for you to discover personal
Why would parents want to enroll their children in your class?
Activity Two: Shared Insights
have pondered the “Ground Work” questions,
meet with two or three other teachers and share your insights.
Get their feedback. Ask
them to challenge, support, or add to your viewpoint.
Your Story Tell, record, or write a story or incident that characterizes a
success you’ve had in teaching.
Be certain to explain the meaning it had for you.
Activity Four: Gaining
Perspectives Meet with
two or three experienced teachers (seven years or more) and ask them
the questions that follow (record their answers):
does teaching mean to you?
aspects of teaching do you like the most?
has teaching changed your life?
principles guide you in your teaching?
has your view of teaching changed over the years?
As a follow-up, find connecting threads in their answers.
In short, draw some conclusions about their educational
Activity Five: Surveying
short survey of three to five “Why-Do-You-Teach” questions.
Then ask a sampling of co-workers to complete the survey.
From their responses, draw some conclusions about teaching
Note: Keep your inquiries short and direct so
those taking the survey will not be a burden.
Sample question: “Give one to three adjectives that describe
your teaching philosophy.”
Activity Six: Memories
three very experience teachers (twenty years or more) and ask them to
give you their most poignant memories of teaching?
Are there any common denominators behind their memories?
If so, what does this tell you about the value and meaning of
Activity Seven: Reflections
Journal Keep a
“reflections” journal where you jot down your internal responses
to different situations and incidents at work (both with students and
staff). Use this journal
as a philosophical barometer; check it occasionally to see if a
philosophical attitude is emerging.
Development Activities (Select a category listed below)