My teaching philosophy is ‘To nurture and provide guidance towards a child’s interest without judging or restricting their development.’ I have always wanted to be in a career where I am not forced to do things that are not of my interest, instead I will love and enjoy executing it for a longer period. As a child, I have a lot of ambitions such as a businesswoman, a chef or a teacher. However, throughout my learning journey, I realised I could not be a businesswoman due to my bad results in Mathematics. I believe I can do well in the cooking industry but I would have to have a stable income in order to start a small bakery/stall to kick-start my dream of becoming a chef. I was hoping to at least achieve my ambition of becoming a teacher and the golden opportunity knocked at my door at the right time when I found this apprentice program. It was a personal experience of handling my two youngest nieces that sparks off my interest of working with young children.
I took care of my nieces aged two and three respectively for a certain period of time as both of their parents had to go to work. I was not sure on how to assist them in their development as all I knew was to ensure they have had their meal times and shower times accordingly and to look after them while they were playing with wooden blocks and balls. Throughout my experience taking care of them, I was interested how a child thinks and develops certain skills. I was curious on what children are capable of and how I could help them to develop their cognitive skills at such a young age. I was certain that there are many approaches to early childhood learning development which I have not figure out yet. Thus, I was inspired to learn the essence of being an early childhood educator ever since.
Being an early childhood educator is more than just being a teacher to a child. People have always assumed that an educator is someone who passes their academic knowledge to another person when in real truth it is more than that. An early childhood educator holds the responsibility of nurturing a child’s welfare holistically. It involves shaping the child's development in both academic and character. The method an educator uses to develop or teach a child can have a significant impact on his/her way of progressing in life. Therefore, in this 215‘ century, early childhood educators carry a more distinct role, such as bridging relationships with children, parents and community, creating a learning environment that is conducive for the children to undergo cognitive development, encouraging and building on a child’s interest and review and reflect on the child’s performance.
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As an educator, we have a set of beliefs which guides us in our role to ensure the effectiveness in delivering our objectives and quality programs to the children. Personally, my teaching framework is inspired mostly by Jean Piaget. Jean Piaget, a developmental psychologist and philosopher, introduced an approach that I find beneficial to practice with children of different age and stages. The approach that I am referring to is the four stages of development which develop definite cognitive skills. These four stages include sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operations and formal operations. The stages that influence my beliefs about how young children learn would be sensorimotor and preoperational.
Through sensorimotor, I learnt that children learn when they touch and experience certain objects around them such as tossing it, shaking it and nibbling it. They learn effectively through sensorial learning thus it will help to create the foundation of the object. I am able to apply this concept during teaching by allowing children to learn through play. I should let them discover the objects that are given to them to experience and refrain from interrupting their authentic learning. Secondly would be preoperational, where children began to discover numeric models and start to arrange their ideas from texts and characters. This is also a stage where the children think from their own view and not able to accept other‘s perception. From this approach, I would be able to apply it in class by incorporating materials like numeric models and alphabet symbols to conduct lesson that are beneficial and cater to their age.
Identifying the factors that contribute to their learning experience accordingly to their age and cognitive stage would allow me to conduct an effective class thus being able to observe and record their progress better. Subsequently, I am able to advise the parents of the child‘s progress in the areas that they have improved and areas that need to be improve. I would also welcome suggestions from them to ensure good rapport is built for smooth communications in the future. I believe to be a valuable teacher, I need to constantly upgrade myself and learn the various ways that will benefit a child’s learning experience. My philosophy will not only help to remind me of what type of teacher I should be but likewise, it helps to influence my actions in teaching the children authentically without restricting their development.
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