After my pre internship I did some deep reflecting and was quite shocked with the lack of a social environment not only in the classroom I was in but the school in general. Of course outside the classroom the students had their social interactions and the teachers did as well but with other teachers from what I saw.
My teaching philosophy is very relationship heavy. I believe in developing positive long lasting relationships with students and to create a social environment inside of my classroom. I want students to feel comfortable and able to kick back and have a good time in school and while learning valuable lessons not just in math, but in life as well.
I think that constructivism really meshes well with my philosophy of a social environment. I think it is important for students to be able to interact with other students in the classroom. I think also that discovery learning is something that has been preached throughout my university career, especially in a mathematics classroom, which has caused quite a stir around a lot of math teachers and caused a sort of a “math war”. I really want to do a lot of discovery learning when I am in my internship.
I think there is a lot of pressure to conform to what is the norm around the schools we are placed in and I think that if there is more people conforming to the standards and direct teaching and students doing notes, and taking tests and handing in worksheets, we are never going to reach our students full potentials and the potentials of students who do not learn by taking notes. I was shocked when I performed inquiry/discovery learning activities during my placement how the students who seemed to be struggling the most in the class, were the ones leading their groups and having a deeper understanding of the math that was being taught. But as soon as I went back to direct instruction they started to slip again.
So I think there definitely has to be a happy medium of sorts but with my philosophy I feel as though a constructivism approach is going to benefit all students in all different ways, and all we want as teachers is for our students to be successful and I think with my teaching philosophy and taking this approach of creating a social environment, my students will be able to achieve great things.