Teaching Philosophy

My goal as a teacher is to reach my students not only with knowledge but with usable life skills. This can and must be done on several levels.

The first goal is to make known knowledge. It suggests communicating in such a way that those who receive the words spoken come to know what the communicator wants them to know. The first point, teaching is not speaking but rather conveying to another person in such a way that they go away having an enhanced knowledge of the subject.

The second goal is to open. In a more figurative sense, this verb used of the opening of one’s eyes, mind, and heart so the person may understand existential truths. This stresses the divine element essential in teaching. Only Christ could open the eyes of the Emmaus disciples so they would know that He was the One with them (Luke 24:31). Only Christ could open the Scriptures to them so they would appreciate them and know their meaning (Luke 24:32). Only Christ could open the minds of His disciples so they could understand the Scriptures (Luke 24:45). Only God could open the heart of Lydia, that is, “rouse in (her) the faculty of understanding or the desire of learning.” Second point, man can teach but only God can open the hearts and minds of people and in turn convey existential truths to them.

The third word simply articulated is, “to teach.” If our students are not learning we are not teaching. The responsibility and awesomeness of this goal should not be taken for granted.

Point four, let our students learn thoroughly by witnessing how we conduct ourselves. It is not only what we teach but how we conduct ourselves that conveys volumes to the students. Let our lives be an effective tool for teaching.

Point five, it is not just enough to teach even to the point of our students learning, but they must practice or use their new found knowledge until it becomes second nature. I seek to encourage my students to not just add to their knowledge, but also to increase their critical thinking methodology.

In conclusion on my philosophy of teaching, all the above mentioned points must exist within the sphere of “Life Long Learning.” If the teacher is to continue in effective teaching they must commit themselves to a pattern of always enhancing their own personal knowledge. Doctors, both medical and psychological, see the need for continuously keeping their knowledge current, can the teacher do any less.

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