I was born during the peak of my mother's diplomatic career and as a result, experienced frequent, international moves throughout my early childhood. Some children bounce back from interrupted education, but it took until my teen years for dedicated educators to really invest the time and effort that it takes to redirect an unanchored and distracted student. Before then, no teacher had ever sat my mother down and mentioned that our jaunts around the planet had made it difficult for me to commit to my academic career. It is thanks to these professors that I discovered the depths of my musical talent, and subsequently, grew into a confident and observant learner.
My philosophy of education originates from my experiences as a Third Culture Kid, a multilingual learner, and a student who needed individualized instruction and attention. In my classroom, students discover that learning is fun and want to do more of it! They learn to become self-aware, noticing their strengths, and working towards improving areas of growth. First and Second grade are transitional years and are about fostering student confidence and independence, so that they can be ready for more challenging academics later on. All this is made possible by the building of a safe class community in which every day begins with a morning meeting. During this time, students can share their observations and ideas, note common experiences, and learn to have discussions by practicing good listening and speaking skills. They are unaware of it, but every discussion and lesson is an opportunity for enriching their vocabulary, and we notice "delicious" new words, and try to determine their origins and uses. It is also during morning meetings that the day's agenda is discussed, so that students know what to look forward to. I spend the first few weeks of school observing each student and taking observational and anecdotal records in order to help form a complete picture of each learner. Once formed, I am able to determine which, if any, accommodations or scaffolding need to be put in place, in order to assist students in their learning journeys. As a teacher, I model hard work, a love of learning about the world, empathy for others and ourselves. My students have independent and respectful voices, and an eye towards fairness and justice (as young students tend to do). In order to engage my students' interests, I constantly seek the best learning materials that will aid them in their learning, My students are sometimes Third Culture Kids themselves, and speak multiple languages, so determining a realistic rate at which a class will advance falls to me, with the aid of grade- and age-appropriate assessments in reading, writing, spelling, and math. Differentiation is possible only with the knowledge of what my students already know and what they need to learn.
I am deeply passionate about the work that I do, and it shows in my relationship with students. We sing, we dance and celebrate, and our classroom culture is playful but focused. If I am successful, the end of the year brings about students who are confident, observant, and empathetic learners ready for the year ahead.