Educational Philosophies & Personal Beliefs

I believe in holistic educational approaches.

Our world is an immensely complex spiderweb of interconnected things. Studying music has been shown to improve math scores. Learning language A has been shown to improve grammar in language B. Learning about space, shape and perspective in art has been shown to improve understanding of geometry, physics and chemistry. As such, it is important that children explore a broad range of subjects that touch on as many aspects of life as possi- ble. By developing a diverse Aield of cross-curricular studies, students learn about systems, networks, relationships, causality and so much more. The greater the diversity of a person’s education, the greater their chances of success will be in this increasingly interconnected world.

“Education is learning what you didn't even know you didn't know.” - Daniel Boorstin 

I believe in scaffolding.

As Vygotsky suggested, to maximize learning opportunities and outcomes, educational tasks should be challenging, engaging, purposeful and of course, achievable. They must also be designed to build on prior knowledge and to expose students to new concepts or applications. We cannot erect a sky scraper from the top down, but we can build one from the ground up.

“If a child can't learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.”  - Ignacio Estrada

Education is a life-long journey.

Most people have a bucket list of things to do or places to go, whereas I have a list of degrees to earn. Since I began teaching more than a decade ago, I have taught math, music, design, graphic arts, publishing, visual art, media and business. I am a “jack of all trades” because I recognize the more I know, the more I can do. In turn, the more I can do, the more enjoyable life is for myself, my family and even my friends. I model this in the classroom by sharing personal experiences, encouraging inquiry, exploration and risk taking. I try to help students understand that as time moves on, technologies, ideas and norms change. To avoid getting run over by the proverbial “train on the right track”, I try to teach my students that learning should be a life long goal and a recipe for success.

“Education is not the preparation for life; education is life itself.”  - John Dewey 

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I believe in taking risks for growth.

I also believe that saying “I don’t know” is a beginning of knowledge, as it is the recognition of a growth opportunity. When my students ask me questions I can’t answer, I tell them truthfully, “I don’t know, but I bet we can Aind out.” Next, I model inquiry and research by teaching them how to Aind answer on their own. One of my biggest goals as a teacher is to help my students understand that we can embrace failure as a celebration of effort rather than an acceptance of defeat. To me, failure is one of the greatest learning opportunities.

“I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”  - Thomas Edison 

I believe in the Golden Rule.

In or out of the classroom, I try my very best to model positivity, respect and good will. I believe that every person is entitled to a life free of prejudice and injustice. I believe in love, kindness, tolerance, forgiveness and understanding. When problems arise in my classroom, I encourage my students to seek an understanding, develop an acceptance of differences, offer forgiveness, and to develop ways of moving forward in mutually beneAicial paths.

“What the teacher is, is more important than what he teaches.”  - Karl Menninger