I believe children are influenced by both nature and nurture.  It is my job, as their teacher, to create an atmosphere that supports their social, emotional, and physical needs.  When a positive community is established within a classroom, children begin to learn.

I believe it is imperative to create autonomy within each student.  Autonomy is achieved when a child can govern him or herself throughout the day, effectively making wise decisions without being coerced or influenced by others. I believe I establish this in my classroom by showing respect to my students, modeling correct behavior, and providing effective guidance.  I believe students should be educated on incorrect behavior and given the opportunity to establish their own rules at the beginning of the school year.  This allows my students to be heard, while simultaneously creating a sense of responsibility to themselves and their peers.

I believe that “teachers who love teaching, teach children to love learning.”  To inspire my students, I strongly believe in the project-based approach to learning.  Project-based learning is guided by the teacher, but the students are the real catalysts for the project.  As they brainstorm, create plans, research, and build models, they are actively meeting state standards with the assistance of their teacher.  Children become motivated to do their work because their work is suddenly fun.  With project-based learning, field trips become field experiences, a classroom may become a replica of a city, children become little engineers, and the year evolves into something they will never forget.

I believe that students reinforce teacher-instructed knowledge best by actively playing games and participating in hands-on activities.

I believe assessments are necessary, but they cannot assess personal qualities of a child, such as: creativity, resilience, curiosity, humor, self-awareness, leadership, empathy, humility, and sense of wonder, only naming a few.  So within my classroom, we respect each other because we all having something to offer.

I believe your child has the ability to change the world, and I am honored to be a part of that process in your child’s life.