My teaching philosophy is formed around three key principles:
- The learning environment should be inclusive
- The learning environment should be challenging
- The learning environment should be relevant.
As a teacher I am responsible for ensuring equality and inclusivity within the learning environment. I do not discriminate. I treat all students with respect and encourage different viewpoints to be heard. However, I will also challenge opinions which point towards intolerance and may cause people to feel uncomfortable.
Appreciating different skill sets, strengths, interests, backgrounds and cultures enhances learning opportunities and encourages greater cohesion amongst peer groups of students. When selecting media texts to study I include a range of multi-cultural themes with equal representations of age and gender.
I endeavour to remember all my students’ names at the start of the semester and will often ask them if they have a preferred name (for example a student called Thomas may prefer to be called Tom). This helps to make the individual learners feel included and welcomed into the learning environment.
Considerate of the fact students have different learning stylesand progress at different paces, I include a variety of visual, aural, written and kinaesthetic teaching methods. I ensure that content is delivered in bite size chunks with opportunities for continual formative assessment, discussions and reflection throughout.
At the beginning of my lessons, I explain the objectives and ensure that the contentand resources usedduring the lesson are accessible to all. Uploading class resources to online platforms (Moodle) at the beginning of a new topic allows students to prepare in advance. At the end of each session I upload my PowerPoint slides to ensure that learners can access the resources and revise at their own pace and time.
I believe it is important to understand individual needs and motivations as a starting point for ensuring academic goals can be achieved. As a teacher I see my role very much as an encouraging facilitator, identifying stretching and challenging targets for all. I appreciate the importance of self-direction and discovery learning but I also understand that diverse learners have different starting points and motivations and will progress at varying speeds. I am there to advise and signpost students towards opportunities and resources and provide the assistance and support required to ensure they all meet their academic objectives. I advocatepeer to peer learning and the sharing of knowledge and information as this helps to encourage learner independence and builds confidence.
As a reflective practitioner I am always willing to adapt my teaching methods to ensure they are appropriate for all students on their way to achieving their goals.
I have great enthusiasm for the subjects I teach and I share this enthusiasm with my studentsto inspire learning. I want students to experiment with ideas and be willing to challenge themselves and to make mistakes. I want them to share their own methods, reflections and findings to further enhance the overall learning experience.
I have regular discussions with other teaching staff, sharing best practice ideas and knowledge of individual learners. This further ensures I am able to experiment with techniques and reflect on outcomes which are focussed on improving teaching standards, learner outcomes and engagement.
I regularly update my core knowledge base by reading and learning about new developments in technology and often use on-line video tutorials to teach myself how to use new or unfamiliar applications and develop new skills which can then be utilised within the learning environment.
Networking partnerships with external clients presents opportunities for learners to develop professional standards and employability skills within the supportive academic environment. Working on real life client briefs (for example making a promotional film for a local company or submitting media production work to a competition) enables students to develop a portfolio of work whilst at the same time working towards achieving academic qualifications.
Encouraging students to maintain a regularly updated online learning journal further develops reflective learning skills which can be included in written evaluations. Building and maintaining an online website presence also provides a platform for building a portfolio which can be help when seeking future employment opportunities.