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Philosophy of Education

William Butler Yeats once said, "Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." Lighting fires in the minds of children is the main purpose of teaching. As teachers, we have the power to expose our students to a world of exciting ideas, enabling them to find their purpose in our world. As a teacher, I plan to light fires under my students and encourage them to be lifelong learners. In order to do this, education needs to be fun, accepting, and challenging.

First, education should be fun. Children have to be in school seven to eight hours a day for at least thirteen years of their lives. If this time is not enjoyable for them, they will develop a negative attitude concerning school and learning. Instead, we need to show our students that learning is fun. One of the best ways to do this is for teachers to be enthusiastic about learning themselves. If a child sees his/her teacher excited, he/she will also become excited. Another way to make learning fun is to appeal to the interests of each child. A teacher should let her students know that what they like is important. If a child sees his/her interests are taken seriously, he/she will be encouraged to learn more about those interests. This may help a child to find his/her place in this world.

Furthermore, education should be accepting. Children should feel accepted and loved within their classroom. If a child feels safe and comfortable in a class, he/she will have a more positive educational experience. He/she will be willing to contribute and become an active member of class. He/she will feel like the member of a team, which is an important life skill. Also, if children are accepted by others, they begin to accept themselves and develop a positive self esteem. This leads to tolerance and respect for others. Once children see that they are accepted, faults and all, they will be open to others and their differences.

Finally, education should be challenging. We should teach to the different levels of children in a classroom. Every child is on his/her own level, and these needs should be addressed. If a child cannot add and subtract, he/she should not be asked to multiply and divide. Lessons should be filled with real life examples, so children can see the purpose behind the curriculum. If a child feels there is no "real" use to what he/she is learning, he/she will not try very hard to learn it. By challenging children to be their best, we are helping them to enjoy school and find their purpose in life.

Education should be a process that lasts a lifetime, not one that ends when a student graduates high school. Every child has a fire inside himself/herself. Our job as teachers is to find that fire and nurture it. If a child’s fire is lit correctly, it will not be extinguished, and the child will be a lifelong learner. Teachers can light these fires by making school fun, accepting, and challenging. These conditions will helps to mold the next generation into a society of learners.


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