My Teaching Philosophy
Developing relationships give children, parents, and the teacher a sense of belonging to a group and place. Trust, affection, and collaboration make for successful and creative relationships. My desire to foster these aspects of social relationships lies behind the choices I make, what I offer, and directions I take in creating an inclusive nurturing play environment.
I organize routines, materials, activities, and the surroundings to encourage a child’s self-awareness in relation to others in the group, to encourage safe risk-taking and self-direction, and to encourage dynamic peer interactions and trial-and-error learning.
In my teaching role, I coach and encourage children to express their feelings and resolve conflicts so they can explain their reasons, solve problems, make plans, have conversations, and share stories.
I offer children many types of natural and found objects and open-ended materials such as driftwood, pebbles, sticks, rocks, sand, water, mud, paint, paper, string, wire, fabric, boxes, translucent objects, and clay. Their use of these materials not only helps them to understand their characteristics, it opens up possibilities for shared exploration with others.
When setting up the environment for play, I try to make use of natural phenomena—gravity, wind, color, light, and shadow—which intensify the sensory experience of things and elicits wonder. A shared sense of wonder also heightens cooperative play and encourages further exploration.
In a secure yet challenging play environment, I give children time and space to persistently engage their curiosity, imaginative thinking, and creativity. This enables them to develop and test their theories about what they observe and experience, about relationships between cause and effect, and about what they can’t see or know but can imagine. I ask questions, accept their hypotheses, encourage discussions, and offer useful scaffolding, materials, and reference resources as they seek to find out more and satisfy their desires.
Furthermore, I support children’s efforts in developing their play investigation and social relationships by documenting their conversations, observations, play with materials, dramatic play scenarios, and storytelling, which I use with them and their parents to extend and build upon their exploration, reflect on their process, and develop their cooperation and collaboration with each other.