My Teaching Philosophy
I believe that there needs to be a strong balance between skill acquisition and content knowledge. Content knowledge without practical application in the 21st Century is impractical outside of an academic context, but skills acquisition should take place within the context of the content being discussed in a specific class. As a biology teacher, this presents a specific set of opportunities to bridge what is commonly thought of as a “memorization-based” topic and the real-world applicable skills students will need to succeed in the workforce and in their personal lives.
Building Block Spotlight: Verbal Communication
When students are demonstrating effective verbal communication, they are primarily listening to each other with an intention to learn and build their own opinions about the matter, speaking mostly to clarify and shaping their communications styles to their audience and context. To get students to reach their potential in verbal communication, I plan to implement a very slow gradual release of the cascading verbal communication skills, using a great deal of modeling and metacognition so that students can learn the specific language to tag their skills to the framework. The big change from last year in this will be slowing down the gradual release of verbal communication - because the different components build on each other so much, it is critical to have the class master one skill component before moving forward.
What I'm Working on
- Teaching verbal communication skills to my students
- Creating scaffolding worksheets to aid in the gradual release and to help students see the skills more concretely.
- Designing engaging topics that catches the students attention and increase student engagement
- Getting better at verbalizing the targeted skills, giving feedback to students as they practice these skills, and getting students to discuss their own skills development