S a r a h R e i m e r
“I could never think of education without love and that it why I think I am an educator, first of all because I feel love.”
My teaching philosophy is grounded on my belief that all children can and have a right to learn and grow psychologically, emotionally, mentally, and physically and that joy is a necessity in this learning. This belief encompasses the fact I think that children learn in different ways and that they are competent and capable humans. I believe that, as a teacher, I need to accommodate for the learning needs of all students with a goal to provide success to all students through differentiated instruction and an intention environment to host student’s learning helping them to embrace and find joy in their uniqueness.
I believe that the classroom environment should welcome and encourage students of all abilities, ethnicities, race, religions, languages, world view, genders (and gender identities), and socioeconomic status’ through anti-bias practices, and value every part of the individual and celebrating diversity in a collaborative and inclusive learning environment. It is vitally important to me to engage in culturally responsive pedagogy to provide students with an equitable opportunity to succeed. It is of great importance to me to infuse First Nations understandings and ways of knowing into every aspect of my teaching. In the same vein, I believe that learning does not only occur in a classroom building and I seek to use the environment and our communities to teach students sustainably, encouraging lifelong growth and learning.
I believe in a progressive classroom and curriculum as praxis, where students can learn about concepts relevant to their lives and aligned to their interests through experiential activities that help them to ‘learn by doing’. I believe that this enables student’s learning as a process challenge them inspiring critical thinking. I believe that this method of active learning is an effective way to engage students to promote deep learning and considers the holistic view of the child. I believe that intrinsic motivation helps students to absorb what they learn and apply it to their lives, motivating them to have their own unique passion to learn.
I think that it is important to guide my students through their learning, giving them the freedom to explore the limitlessness of their knowledge while directing them into their zone of proximal development. It is so important for students to have the majority voice in my classroom whether with the class, with a partner, or as self-talk, to gain metacognitive, interpersonal, and intrapersonal skills in the process. It is important for me to scaffold my students through their learning to eventually help them to reach a point of independence and ownership in their learning. To me, relationships are the key to unlocking student potential and I think that gaining a strong understanding of my students will provide them with meaningful learning. This relationship with my students means knowing them alongside their families merging school, family, and community into our learning together.
I believe that all of my students deserve opportunities to find success and to be celebrated in that success, thriving as a result of equitable assessment. I believe that this starts with my understanding of my student’s learning styles, learning strengths, and learning needs. I believe that assessment needs to be differentiated with an understanding that all students articulate their learning in different ways, resulting in valid and reliable assessment through triangulated evidence. I believe that using formative and summative assessment practices together enables me to see how my students are learning through both their process, and their product. I believe that assessment and evaluation need to be aligned with learning outcomes, yet consistent through any differentiated options provided ensuring that all options will provide evidence of essential learning while providing various forms of feedback. Assessment needs to be implemented to provide students with the choice from multiple sources and forms of evidence of their learning in order to utilize their strongest learning modality in order to convey concepts but also challenging them in areas that they are striving to bring them to success and supporting them to move forward.