Focus on Teachers
This week, I interviewed my teacher during his planning period and asked him a series of questions pertaining to his teaching philosophy, impact of national/state standards on his teaching, stresses and strains of teaching, and expectations for young teachers. The part that I thought was most interesting was how much I could have predicted the answers to his questions. Observing his classroom and the way he interacts with students sort of made his answers obvious to me, which was cool.
The first question I asked was what my CT’s teaching philosophy was. He answered that:
“My philosophy on education has taken new twists during my 15 years of teaching. Currently, my
educational philosophy seems to be focused on building a positive relationship with my students
and building their academic confidence as they enter their first year of high school.”
I’ve noticed that he often speaks of student’s confidence and the way their social and academic lives evolve over time. He sort of approaches students by relating to their interests outside of school as a way for them to gain trust and respect with him in the classroom. That’s one of the things I really admire and take away from this experience.
Another topic we discussed was the dreaded state and national standards. My CT expressed the common problem with timing of the curriculum. He said he used to focus his units more on what interests students, but has recently stopped that focus because of the increase in the amount of material students are expected to know. This is one of the common problems we have discussed in class with social studies education. My CT also mentioned that relating history to the student’s community and home life is often helpful, so he still tries to tie in that aspect, even if it does take more time to develop.
In regard to the stresses/strains of teaching, my CT stated that individual pacing is very important. He has talked about this with me before in regards to my stressful semester, stating that keeping your individual energy level up is key. He has told me that in his first years of teaching, he really had to actively ration time for himself to just relax and not think about school. He said that now he uses that time to spend with his family. I think these tips will help me a lot as a start my first few years of teaching.
Overall, I really enjoyed interviewing my CT and think I can learn a lot from the way he conducts his time management, especially. Through observation, I learn a lot through dialogue with my CT and his personal experiences.