My Statement of Educational Philosophy

As a young child, I would create a classroom of stuffed animals in my living room and teach them the same things my own teachers had gone over during class that day. That was the beginning of my interest in teaching as a profession. During my undergraduate career, I studied Human Physiology and English. At that point, I loved science so much that I was considering a career in research. My senior year at the university, I had the opportunity to both work as a Teaching Assistant and a Lab Intern. During this time, I discovered that my primary passion lay in teaching. Upon graduating, I decided to return to teaching as a career as an Alternate Route teacher in New Jersey. After the severe budget cuts hit NJ in 2010, I decided to pursue my Master of Arts in Teaching.

I graduated from the MAT program at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. I am endorsed in Middle Level and High School Biology, General Science and English Language Arts, as well as Middle School Subjects in Alaska and Oregon. I hold Certificates of Eligibility in New Jersey in English, Biological Science, Middle School Science, and Elementary Education.

Currently, I am teaching high school English at Joe Redington Sr. Jr./Sr. High School in Wasilla, Alaska. Prior to this, I taught in Palmer Junior Middle School in Palmer, Alaska, teaching multiple subjects in both the 7th and 8th grade levels. In the 2012-2013 school year I was in the Salem-Keizer School District in Oregon and I taught Biology and Physical Science in the Early College High School's Teen Parent Program, an alternative ed environment for teen moms. In NJ, I taught at Urban Promise Academy, an inner city, private high school teaching Earth Science, Biology, Chemistry and Physics to grades 9-12. This was a last chance alternative ed school for students who had not been able to thrive in the district schools. I had the opportunity to teach as a long-term substitute teacher at Crockett Middle School within the Hamilton Township Public School District. I also served as a short-term maternity substitute at Trenton Central High School, West State Campus in the Trenton Public School District. I had tutored at Sylvan Learning Center for over five years with great success. During this time, I have had many chances to develop my own educational philosophy. I have decided that my main goal as an educator is to be the teacher who is inspired and also inspires her students.

"I vow to dedicate myself to the heart of the teaching profession, nurturing and encouraging my students."

The most important lesson I have learned from my experience at Sylvan Learning Center is that many students simply need encouragement and positive reinforcement. I have met many underachievers at Sylvan who simply did not care about how they performed in school. Often this has resulted from very little praise and support given in the home for good grades. Through my positive interaction with these students, providing plenty of kind words, praise and excitement for each success, I have seen these students blossom. These students have learned to care about doing well for themselves, because they have seen me become excited with them, highlighting every success no matter how small. In many classrooms, I know that it is difficult to maintain and to continue this attitude. I feel that in my long-term substitute position the past year, I was successful in presenting and fulfilling this attitude. I have had several students who simply did not care, and through my patience, caring, and working with their parents, I have seen great changes and successes in these students.

I promise to never forget the heart of the teaching profession, this nurturing of the student's mind and sense of self.

"I will never cease the cycle of learning within myself, so that through example I may be able to spark a love of learning within my students.

I believe in the importance of being enthusiastic about the subject you are to teach, as well as being enthusiastic about education in general. Unless a student is intrinsically interested in a particular subject, it is very difficult to find a reason for that student to pay attention during the lesson. I feel that an enthusiasm about the material from the teacher helps to make the topic more interesting to every student.

A teacher also has to love teaching. I have seen many teachers in schools in which I have been a substitute teacher that simply go into work every day without enjoying what they do. These teachers have told their students, "I don't care if you do your work. I still get paid." I believe this defeats the purpose of being a teacher, since their students will not get to experience a love of learning, simply because these teachers do not care in the first place.

I personally love to read and to learn about science, as well as many other subjects. I am a Jill-of-All-Trades, one who never wishes to stop learning and growing throughout her life. I am enthusiastic about education. I love to see the influence I have on a student, whether it is sparking that interest in science, math or a new book to read.

"I will value and respect my students, fortifying their self-esteem and self-worth in each interaction."

Middle school and high school are difficult times for students. At these age levels, positive reinforcement is a necessity. Since these students are developing emotionally and physically, they may be unsure of themselves and their own abilities. I promise to value and respect each and every one of my students, without showing favoritism and without excluding any student.

"As my students grow older, I would like to be the teacher who remains in their memories as the one who cared as well as the one who touched their minds."

My greatest aspiration in my teaching career is to be the teacher who is remembered as the one who challenged her students in such a way that the students have been able to take the knowledge they learned in her classroom to utilize it later in life. I promise to teach the subject material thoroughly and to prepare my students to actively participate and improve their own communities. In addition to imparting knowledge for the tests and quizzes, I would like to help my students to grow and to develop into lawful adults who make a positive difference in their own homes and neighborhoods.

my photo
~ Agnes Ann Bowers (Nogal)
Wasilla, AK