I am a teacher. I am a parent. I am convinced that these are interdependent roles. I know that my role as a teacher will only reach its full potential with the involvement of my students’ parents. The homeschool connection is an integral component of any classroom community. I will have open lines of communication with the families of the children in my classroom. I want the families to know that I have an open-door policy and want them to feel comfortable knowing that their son or daughter is in a loving, caring environment every day.
I firmly believe that in a supportive and nurturing environment, all students can and will achieve not only academic, but social and emotional success. Within an exemplary classroom community, students feel empowered to take risks and are able to reach their full potentials. A collaborative learning model affords students the opportunity to experience the various roles within a learning team. Students assume the responsibility for each others’ learning while deepening and widening their own.
A teacher is not an isolate in his or her classroom. A classroom should consist of a community of learners in a risk-free environment. Students need to feel comfortable and safe, not only emotionally but physically as well. My classroom is one where students know that they can express their opinions, beliefs, and ideas without reservation. Students answer questions without feeling as if they have to “be right” one hundred percent of the time. Often it is through the investigation of a misconception that wonderful learning occurs.
Students must be on solid emotional ground in order for meaningful intellectual growth to occur. As such, I emphasize the whole learner. Mental health considerations stand alongside academic considerations in instructional planning and implementation.