I feel like I’ve learned so much during the past year and a half. I remember that at one point I had to state my philosophy of education, but I actually had to go back to that document to remember what it was! Some things have changed, but the essence is still the same. My philosophy is tied to my beliefs about teaching, my identity and what I think my role or purpose is as an instructor. Teaching is so much more to me than trying to pour information into an often unwilling student. I’m so much happier when I see students making connections on their own, or bringing current events to the classroom just because they thought it was interesting and connected with something we were learning. Simply memorizing facts that are quickly forgotten is not how I want my students to remember their time with me in the classroom.
One of the things I love the most about being a teacher is connecting with the students. Teacher presence is an important consideration for me; even as I move to teaching more online I still want to maintain that connection and encourage students to connect with each other. I definitely want to move from teacher content to student created content, whether in my face to face classroom or online. Learning is so much more meaningful when you have to work a little to get it.
With perhaps an overabundance of cloud tools and emerging technologies available, it’s important to continually reflect upon the ‘why’ of what you are doing. Does your choice support your educational philosophy? Will it benefit the students? Or is it simply the newest toy that all the cool kids have?