Teaching Philosophy imageTeaching Philosophy image
Teachers should be Sherpas; they guide the way, they help carry the load, they have deep knowledge of the terrain and climate, they have infinite patience and good humour, they are genuinely kind, they believe in their student’s abilities and have high expectations whilst valuing students as unique individuals and they share and celebrate successes.

Sherpas are super strong and humble leaders they are effective because they are deeply trusted in some of the most treacherous terrain on the planet. Whilst your average classroom may not have the stunning views that Mount Everest does, the terrain can at times feel very treacherous and it is teachers who calmly lead students across empty crevasses to understanding without losing any in an avalanche of information. To do this, teachers must develop trust with their students, to develop trust they must first develop relationships.

I believe that the main thing we need to do as educators is to believe in our students and make sure they know that we believe in them. We need to respect them as people and allow them the space to let their light shine.

Creativity is a key underpinning of the current Australian education system, the acknowledgment that future success will depend on creative solutions is echoed through the Mparntwe Education Declaration and the Australian Curriculum. The predicted issues that Australians will face over the coming years are complex and unprecedented, requiring creative problem solving.

Creativity is inexorably linked to the Arts, through the Arts humanity has always expressed that which is beyond words, creativity and the Arts help us make sense of the world. My specialisation is in the Primary Arts Curriculum and within that the Visual Arts. As a primary teacher with a specialisation in the Arts it could be said to have a dual specialisation as there is teaching the Arts as a subject area and then there is teaching through the Arts, as a general primary classroom teacher. The great power that the Arts have as a pedagogy is that they are powerful ways to engage students and when students are engaged in this way the make deeper connections to the content and links to their personal lives. “There is unequivocal evidence that arts-rich pedagogies enhance student social and emotional wellbeing and, consequently, academic learning outcomes across the curriculum.” (Ewing 2018:15)

At the core of effective pedagogy, there must be relationship, we have a responsibility to get to know our students and let them get to know us. Teacher student relationships are a sign of trust, they build a sense of belonging and a fundamental part of what it means to be human, we are social creatures. The ATSIL graduate standards state that we need to know our students and how our students learn. Of all the graduate teacher standards this is the most fundamental, it is only when we know students that deep learning can happen.