I teach middle school aged students who are at the age where being popular is a huge factor. This is an age where adolescents can fall into peer pressure and make some poor decisions that can lead to bad habits for the future. I do not want to see any of my students, who I know will have so much potential reach their goals and do not regret the decisions they made when they were a teenager. In addition I am looking forward to teaching middle-aged students because they still adore their teachers and what their teachers do for them. I know that I will be appreciated for all the hard work and extra hours I put in for them. They will respect what I have to offer them and I am excited to feed off of all of their energy and see all of the growth they have.
I teach through inquiry-based learning. I find students retain information better through doing. For example riding a bike, you can have all the theory on how to pedal and maintain balance however you will never master the art of bike riding until you get on that bike and practice. People tend to think that a quiet classroom is where the best learning occurs. I disagree. I find that students are more engaged when they are involved in classroom discussions, debates, and working in partners or groups. Two minds is always better than one because students can learn from each others’ experiences or will see things from a different vantage point which can lead to creative solutions to problems. Obviously during a work period the class should be quiet, and students should not be making plans for the weekend or reliving the previous weekend. However there are going to be numerous of times where the classroom is noisy due to hard work and student engagement. That is fine, I will never discourage, instead I will always encourage my students to work with another student. After all I want my students to be able to feel comfortable interacting with other people so that they are able to deal with other people outside of the classroom and gain experience for once they graduate and are no longer in school with a teacher guiding them what to do.
I will grade my students on three categories, participation / ability to work with others, effort, and performance. I want to set my students up for success and since most jobs require you to work with others it is important they learn these skill at a young age. It is required that they participate and actively contribute to the success of the group goals. With all the group and partner work that will be occurring it is important that every student is putting forth a good effort. If students are putting in a good effort but are failing to get the results they will not receive a failing grade. I do believe that if a student is putting in a good effort they will start to understand the concepts and will begin to find solution to problems. It is important we do not discourage their efforts but encourage them to continue on this track and they will achieve their goals. Lastly I will grade on performance, if they do well on tests, assignments and projects they deserve a good grade.