Krystal Poloka's Philosophy of Teaching

As a teacher I see my role in the classroom as the facilitator of learning. My main goal is to teach students how to learn. In order for a student to learn they must always feel that they can ask me a question, but they also must know how and what to ask. Since all students learn differently (including English language learners, disabled and gifted students), their questions help develop individual learning relationships with their peers and me.

Science should be exciting for everybody. As a scientist I love to hear about new discoveries and ideas, and I want to be able to instill that same excitement in my students. I love to see the light turn on in their eyes when I show them new things or tell them new ideas. In order for my students to become interested in science they must first learn that it does and will pertain to their everyday life, even if they don't find themselves working in the science field, we are all scientists!

Organization is key to learning new vocabulary and ideas. I often employ the use of composition books in my classroom to help in this organization. This gives the students and parents a place to look when questions arise during homework, and will greatly contribute to the students note taking skills. This will lead to independent thought and creativity.

As for classroom management, there are only two rules in my room. A student must have respect for oneself and everyone else in the classroom. Also a student must be prepared to learn once they have entered the classroom.

I measure my students success in the classroom not only by tests but also daily classroom assessment techniques. One that I have found very useful is the 'muddiest point', which allows the student to tell me (anonymously) what they didn't understand for that lesson. I have also used the 'one sentence summary' which is given at the end of the class period and each student will summarize the entire lesson in one sentence. Both of these allow me to change and improve the following day's lesson. Science is a factual based subject, however, my tests incorporate both lower and higher Bloom's levels. Seeing if the student is able to relate the definitions of key terms with the main ideas correctly is crucial to accessing whether the student has understood what he/she has learned.

At the end when students leave my class I want them to feel that they have grown intellectually and academically. My class should not only get them ready for the next science class, but also give them a new found interest in everything around them. I always ask myself, would I want to be in my classroom?