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My philosophy of Education

Many years ago, as a young and shy nine-year old, my life was filled with many new and varied experiences. I was exploring the world around me and discovering places I liked to be. One such place was my fourth grade classroom with my teacher, "Mrs. Docks". She was demanding, structured, always prodding me to do more, challenging, but inviting. And, she always made me feel that I could do anything. She, like my parents, was sparking my quest for learning.

One day, after an especially grueling assignment- one on which I had focused my keenest energies- I felt such a significance, a feeling that I had achieved something very important. I felt such delight and enjoyment in learning, in working hard, and in taxing the energies of my mind to accomplish something good.

On that day in my youth, I made a decision: I wanted to become a teacher. I somehow felt that teaching was powerful, encompassing, and I wanted to be a part of it. That motivation has been a continual guide for me as I now am in the midst of over three decades of teaching and as I continue to approach education.

To me, education is a complete process not limited merely to the confines of "formal schooling" or any building. It is a lifetime pursuit of learning, sharing, growing, having integrity, caring about others, and recognizing and appreciating differences. It is the interaction of ideas, feelings, philosophies, theories, facts, and values. It is the skills one learns that help her think for herself, make critical decisions, and contribute to her surroundings appropriately with both self-reliance and inter-dependency.

It is the capacity and ability to listen to others, to inquire, to support, to empathize. It is the challenging of the mind, of self or others, to learn, understand and apply difficult concepts. And, it is reading a book or sharing in the excitement of a unique creation by another.

Lastly, I believe, it is the light that goes on in one's soul as she begins to appreciatively discover that she is a part of a whole human-kind, one that is subject to joys and sorrow, and one in which she can patiently and happily make a difference.

Copyright © 1984 Cheryl McCarrey (URL: http://www.mathroom107.com/p/educational-philosophy.html.) Readers may distribute this post for noncommercial purposes provided such distributing is of the entire post, including author's copyright and contact information.