Jessica Tsu's Portfolio

My Philosophy

I envision the school and classroom as a safe place where children have a sense of belonging, are accepted for who they are, respected, challenged, and engaged.   It is my desire as an educator to make my classroom a learning environment where students feel safe and accepted, motivated, and engaged in learning.  

I believe that if a child feels safe and trusts the community and culture of the classroom, they will be able to make mistakes, and as a result learn without fear of teasing or repercussion from their peers.  Student jobs and class meetings/Crew are two ways that I promote community in the classroom.  As a teacher, I respect students and allow students to discuss their views and opinions without consequence.  In addition, I encourage students to make their own opinions, listen to others, as well as respect the views of others.  Helping students to respect themselves, others, and their surroundings results in an open communication of ideas between students and teacher, as well as a judicious approach to discipline.  When students feel listened to and important, the classroom atmosphere becomes a place where students are free to express themselves.

My role as a teacher is to set high expectations and challenge students to reach their full-potential.  Having high, obtainable expectations is important for student success.  Scaffolding student learning along the way is necessary for  making objectives obtainable for all students.  As a teacher I constantly guide, teach, assess, reteach, and reassess to ensure that each student is making progress toward grade level standards.  Using formal and informal assessments to evaluate strengths and weaknesses is necessary to ensure proper student growth.  With high expectations in place, and constant assessment, students strive for greatness.  To challenge students, I create lessons that provide opportunities for independent discovery, collaboration with peers, integration of technology,  interactivity, and allows for creativity, differentiation, and independence. I want to teach my students through the ways that are most effective for them, thus students are at the center of my lesson planning process.   Developing a curriculum with the student at the center makes learning meaningful and relevant. Furthermore, individualizing lessons and adapting them to students' interests and background fosters intrinsic motivation and stimulates their passion to learn. 

Staying flexible and open to new methods and constructive criticism is important to me as a teacher.  I value peer and independent reflection, and constantly look for ways to improve my instructional strategies. I may not always know the best way to do something, but I am willing to ask others and find a way that will work to best suit the needs of my students.

I believe that each and every child has the potential to bring something unique and remarkable to the world.  As a teacher, my desire is to help children discover their individual talents, mold them into contributing citizens, inspire them to be lifelong learners, and educate them so they will be able to intelligently express their own opinions. 

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