As a Registered Early Childhood Educator, Child Development Specialist and Ontario Certified Teacher, one is constantly reflecting on their current practices and beliefs and adapting it to the needs of the students in their classroom. I will first reflect on my personality. I feel that I am a kind, nurturing, and patient person who is flexible and able to work as an effective team member.
Second I will reflect on my teaching style. I feel that I have a blend of a few types of teaching styles: a student-centered approach, a cooperative learning approach, experimental/hands-on approach, and a play/inquiry-based approach. I feel that the students should be active participants in their learning and they should work together within our learning communities to construct new knowledge. My role is that of a facilitator in that I guide their learning and conduct assessments long the way to monitor progress. I will provide support and encouragement to my students as needed while they create their own discoveries through an inquiry-based approach. I always try my best to create lessons that are cross-curricular (meeting more than one curriculum/curriculum expectation), technology enriched, contain the availability and use of manipulatives, and a provide opportunity for variety of groupings (independent, pairs, small groups, whole class). Many examples of this can be found on my Instagram page.
Third I will reflect upon my philosophy of education. I believe that all students learn and grow at their own pace and that the needs and abilities of students all differ. I believe that there is no one right method of teaching or learning, rather the teacher adapts their teaching style and strategies to their students to better support their learning. Two theorists who I value are Lev Vygotsky’ Zone of Proximal Development and Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Model.
Through Vygotsky I learned that it is important to look at what the child already knows, as well as what you would like them to learn and then provide opportunities to scaffold their learning so they may attain the new knowledge or skill. If educators are providing tasks that are above the child's zone of proximal development (ZPD) then they will become discouraged or anxious and withdrawn from the task. In contrast, if educators are providing work that is below what the child can achieve independently they also become disengaged from boredom as they have already successfully mastered that task.
Through Bronfenbrenner I learned that it is important to consider the environmental factors that surround an individual as the environment plays an important part in the growth and development of a child. I also learned the importance of relationships between the teachers and parents in working towards a common goal in maintaining the health and safety of children as well as to provide them with an education that meets their individual needs, interests, and abilities. It is important for educators to be culturally inclusive in our classrooms as well because we want all students to be included, accepted, respected, and valued!