My philosophy of education reflects a lifetime of positive examples and learning experiences, including: inspiring teachers, my family, my hometown, my personal teaching experiences, and the College of Education at Butler University. All have contributed to my core educational beliefs and my unique teaching style.
I believe that problem-based learning is essential to social studies education. My biggest goal in the classroom is to enable students to look at situations, throughout history as well as current events, through a multitude of perspectives. I want students to be able to consistently draw connections and see patterns between historical events of the past and the current events shaping our lives in the present. Finally, and most importantly, I want them to take what they learn in my classroom and use it to improve their own lives and the community around them.
In my mind, effective teaching achieves a balance between teacher-led and student-led education. Students must come first in the teaching equation. The most meaningful and memorable lessons come from students discovering answers to their own questions. However, that said, it is my job as an educator to develop a repertoire of meaningful and interactive pedagogical practices that ultimately help lead students to these answers.
The final component of my teaching philosophy comes directly from Butler University. Throughout my college experience there has been an emphasis on the Butler Way and how it can be applied to education. The first key point that the Butler Way emphasizes is passion. We are encouraged to be passionate in our pursuits, regardless of what you do. I am passionate about both education and social studies, and I expect that passion to grow throughout my life. The second key aspect of the Butler Way that applies directly to my teaching philosophy is learning from every circumstance, whether it be good or bad. Continuous self-improvement, constantly refining my craft, and being a lifelong student are all practices that I believe make me a highly effective educator.