My Teaching Philosophy

      Teaching English Literature is a perfect fit for me.  I have always been an avid reader, and look forward to sharing my enthusiasm with my future students.  Though it is natural to anticipate that students’ interest levels will vary, I am intent on making sure that students will leave my class with more than a surface-level understanding of the literature I will teach.  Instead, they will be encouraged to develop crucial critical thinking skills, forcing them to look beyond superficial facts.  They will use knowledge and higher level thought processes to form hypotheses, compare and contrast, and defend their work. 

      The skills students will leave my class with will transfer to other subjects and areas of their lives as well.  No matter the setting, they will need to clearly express their thoughts in writing.  Using real world examples to demonstrate where they will use these skills will also show them the importance of what they learn.  It will draw them in to the material and catch their interest. As a teacher, I do not see myself as simply a giver of knowledge.  Students need to be engaged and interested, and to do this they must take part in their own learning.  I will use group work and individual research, among other strategies, to allow students to take on some of the responsibility for their work.  I will also encourage them to help and teach other students to deepen their understanding of the material.  Every student is different and unique, and can contribute positively to the class with prior knowledge and different styles of learning.  In that respect, various methods will be used to teach the class so as to accommodate all students.  Modeling will be used whenever necessary so students can observe processes step by step.  They will learn the essentials, like writing and test-taking strategies, but will also participate in presentations, develop artistic projects, and create dramatic re-enactments of plays as a means of measuring comprehension.     

      I expect my English students to do more than just read books.  They will develop the means to think things through and express themselves clearly.  Too many times students forget what they learn as soon as summer break starts.  In order to facilitate lifelong learning, true comprehension is vital.  I believe my teaching methods will allow students to develop the necessary skills to take with them long after they leave my classroom.