Philosophy statement- classroom management

Tips for writing a focused philosophy statement: classroom management and applied behavioral analysis.

The following are some suggestions for you to consider as you develop and write your own.

It is important to be aware of your philosophy towards managing a classroom and behaviors of students. It helps you focus on why you make decisions which you will make on a daily basis in your role as a teacher. Through writing your own philosophy, you will more clearly your own values and goals for your classroom. Your philosophy essay is a description of your beliefs and goals as a teacher. There is really no such thing as “the” philosophy; our philosophies are a reflection of our own beliefs, experiences and training.

This philosophy essay on classroom management and applied behavior analysis is not a theoretical essay on these topics but an action plan for you. This is about your personal beliefs and how these will be put into action in your classroom. As you gain experience and mature you philosophy will change – it is sometimes a good idea to save copies of your earlier philosophy essays and compare them as the years go by – these gives you a clearer understanding of how your approaches may change over time.

As you develop your philosophy some of the items you may wish to think about and include may be:

·         Purpose of classroom management

·         Purpose of ABA

·         The role of the student

·         The role of the teacher

You may wish to approach the development of your philosophy by also considering the following:

What are your beliefs about children and their behaviors? (consider some of the theories you have read about and discussed today in class)

Why and how do you want to manage your classroom and behaviors?

How will you reach and manage the wide diversity of children that you will have in your classroom?

What are the needs of individual learners?

How will you organize your classroom?

What are the goals of your classroom?

 

 

As you write this philosophy essay, keep the following in mind:

 
  1. This philosophy should be based on your personal beliefs, which in turn should show an influence of college work, readings, and thinkers.  Consequently, when appropriate, “drop names” in your philosophy.  For example, “As Erikson, I believe that children go through a series of mini-crisis as they mature and it will be part of my task is to assist young people in making these transitions.” However, be sure you understand the philosophy of the person being quoted since you may be asked questions.
  2. Appropriate grammar is mandatory; among other things, be careful with the following:
    1. Watch agreement – for example, “The student should do all of their work.”
    2. Be sure to write using COMPLETE sentences.
    3. Use only one idea for each paragraph and be sure to provide a transition between paragraphs.  Use topic sentences.
    4. Be aware of you change voice in the paper, i.e., “As teachers, we should treat the parents with respect; they need to understand that parents must be part of the solution.” or “It is important for everyone to … thus you should not be critical of …”
    5. Alternate the use of “she” and “he” to avoid the clumsy phrasing or “she or he”.
  3. The following are some of the things that you can address in your philosophy
    1. use of cooperative learning
    2. management techniques
    3. parent involvement
    4. technology
    5. diversity
  4. A philosophy does not have a cover page; be sure your name and title is on the first page of your philosophy.
  5. You cannot write this philosophy essay in one paragraph!
  6. Your philosophy should have an introduction and a conclusion; your conclusion should provide a “logical” ending to your philosophy.
  7. Avoid using the same phrase over and over in your philosophy.  For example, avoid using the word “teacher” several times in the same paragraph or near each other – check your thesaurus for alternative choices of words.
  8. Your philosophy should be positive.  While there may well be problems with our educational system, I am  interested in what you are going to do to make the classroom experience a better one for the students.  You are writing a personal philosophy, not a critique of the educational system.
  9. Avoid the use of jargon.  If you do use “educational jargon”, explain how you are going to impact the student.  For example, rather than writing “I strongly belief in inclusion.” write “I believe that inclusion is a key ingredient in the makeup of the classroom and I will support inclusion through practices such as using alternative assessments and preparing lessons which appeal to different learning styles.”
  10. The appearance of this document is important.  Your word processor may have some pre-formatted documents, such as resumes) that you can use as a starting point.
  11. Avoid the use of different fonts on a page; use the most “readable” font available – you may have to experiment a bit to get the possible font – remember, what looks good on a screen may look different when printed.
  12. Use a font that is easy to read and of an appropriate size – avoid any fonts under 12 cpi.
  13. Avoid broad generalizations – while you may want to say “I believe that all children can learn” – the statement is relatively meaningless without examples of how you will put that into action.
  14. Avoid overly complex sentences, vague or which offer sweeping generalizations.
  15. Your philosophy should be POSITIVE – we know there are problems in education – we do not want to read about those in your own philosophy – rather we want to read how you will make a difference!
  16. Use some of the information in in your book
  17. Some suggestions on word usage:
    1. “I believe…” is more forceful than, “My belief is …”
    2. Instead of “Education should …” or “I will try …” be more positive and use “I believe that …” or “I will …”
    3. Avoid the use of “I hope…” or “Hopefully …” for something more positive, such as “I will …”
    4. Rather than writing “In school students should experience ….” use “In my classroom, students will experience …”
    5. Instead of writing “Teachers will … ” use “I will …”
  18. Have someone review your philosophy for accuracy and eye catching appearance.
  19. Finally, less is more (aim for clarity above all)

 

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