Why Schools?

Posted: November 28, 2010 in Uncategorized

In endeavouring to answer the question: why schools? I had a look at the Provincial Ministry goals, my School District’s vision and my school’s mission statement. In these documents I found key terms and expressions that help me to put my own philosophy into words: high-quality learning experiences, unique needs, life-long learning, rich diversity, engaging, every student, assist the student in the ongoing process of becoming an educated person by providing a nurturing environment.

These may seem like “motherhood” statements that no one would disagree with, that seem obvious. But that is the whole point. The mission statements, goals, and visions that direct our profession are our North Star guiding us as we make decisions about how we will deliver our programmes.

In my practice I tend to put a great amount of focus on trying to make my learning activities engaging. My students perform and behave with much more enthusiasm if they see a point in what they’re doing. Ideally I wouldn’t have to answer the question: why do we have to learn this?, a question that Grade 11 students are prone to ask frequently.

But sometimes I do have to answer that question and if I can ensure that the learning experiences are high-quality ones then hopefully I can inspire the student to see this will make them a better person, in the long run, in the big picture as it where. If my goal is to make my students educated, thoughtful and capable of making independent and informed decisions, then I have to spark the curiosity in my students.

So, why schools? As a Social Studies teacher I am used to the whole idea of producing responsible citizens as a guiding principle. With this as my ultimate goal I hope my teaching will contribute to producing life long learners, curious and caring of the World they live in, and able to make sound decisions and choices based on informed points of view.

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