Friday, April 23, 2010

I Know This Much Is True

One thing I've been thinking a lot about lately is my intentions for travel and teaching. A Teaching Philosophy is usually a formal document used by traditional teachers on resumes and CVs as a way to land a job. They try to pinpoint their unique values, convictions, inspirations, and beliefs in a one to two page document and send it away to be scrutinized. The idea is to provide an alternative of a heart-to-heart conversation about why someone has chosen to teach, what they feel is important to be taught in today's world, and how they plan to teach said topics. This document is intended to be revised throughout a teaching career, as one changes and gain experiences in the classroom and with real students. So, without further ado, I present (for harsh criticism) my first draft of my Teaching Philosophy:

What is a teacher? A teacher is a mentor, a role model, and a fallible human being who strives to communicate and explore the surrounding world. A teacher is a person who is dedicated to Truth and Integrity, to Diligence and Sacrifice. A teacher doesn’t have all the answers, and never pretends to. A good teacher will tell their students not to take their word as fact.

What do I want to teach and why? I want to teach English as a Foreign Language, Arts, and Natural Sciences. There are many manners of communication: speaking, reading, and writing are just a few. Teaching English to non-native speakers is a way to mend separations and work through differences, culturally, geographically, and otherwise. Arts in any form are vital for self-expression and creativity. Looking at something in a new light is but one achievement found in education. Natural Sciences are relevant to understand the world around oneself, to look at the gears and wires of the systems taking place despite our own existence, and of course, how that existence affects such systems. The theme is that I aim to teach subjects that can be taught in a non-traditional manner. As a non-traditional learner, that is how I tend to provide information: with my hands, through pictures and demonstrations, by watching, copying, and creating my own variation, by promoting mistakes through trying.

Education is vital for life. Literacy is the first step of education, and there are many in this world without it. Basic communication skills are the next step of education, finding the words and ways to vent your thoughts and feelings, fears and desires. Philosophical and analytical expression is the next milestone of education. Reaching a point where one may discern about foreign systems and cultures.

Without Education, especially women, are almost certainly ensured a life of strife and poverty, of a lack of freedom and even a lack of basic human rights. If females are educated in a more widespread manner, control may be harnessed on some of the earth’s most complex problems: rising populations, HIV/AIDS epidemics, slavery and prostitution, and even world hunger.

It is my goal to begin each day by learning from the situations I encounter, while applying my own education, and offering lessons of my own. In this way I hope to benefit those around me, and to positively affect lives, and less negatively impact the earth.