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Jordan Heisler

Jordan Heislers Teaching Philosophy

My philosophy regarding teaching and education are firmly ingrained around my own
experiences as a high school student. I attended a private institution in South Dakota that was
well known for its incredibly high graduation rate and matching achievement standards that saw
many of its students placed in some of the most prestigious universities across the country. I,
however, often struggled to grasp and comprehend challenging materials with the speed and
precision of many of my peers. As a result, I found myself falling behind in many of my courses.
This, in turn, lead to feelings unintelligence and even apathy. While I have since found my
worth as a student, I have not forgotten the inadequacy that I once felt. I intend to use these
feelings to drive my conduct within my classroom as a way to create an environment where the
input and expertise of diverse learners are valued. Additionally, reflection on my experiences has
led me to develop three philosophical principles that will remain present throughout my career as
an educator. They are as follows:
1. All students have the capability to succeed in the right system with the proper instruction.
2. Education should cater to the individual rather than the majority.
3. Educators should take an active part in ensuring the successes of all of their students.
As can be deduced from these fundamental principles, I feel that it is my duty to ensure
that my students develop confidence and self worth that I, personally, view as crucial to their
success. Within my personal content area of literature, I feel that this can be, perhaps, best
achieved through consistent development of reading strategies and confidence building tools that
have a focus on individualized need. This, for example, may take the form of reading response
journals or blogs along with individual and small group conferences as a means to be heard and
take an active role in the discussion of required texts. Furthermore, I acknowledge that all
students will have different likes and dislikes in regards to literature selection. Therefore, I

Jordan Heisler
intend to allow students to take an active role in developing a portion of their yearly reading
schedule. This may be done in a number of ways including the use of required independent
reading assignments to be completed alongside more canonical texts or, possibly, a unit based on
popular contemporary literature.
I also believe that I, as an instructor, need to take an active role in ensuring that my
students understand the subject matter being taught. Most of this, I realize, will be based around
developing personal and professional connections with my students so that they feel comfortable
to contact me if they are struggling. In addition to this, I plan to use conferences and formative
assessment strategies with my students on a regular basis as outlets for classroom concerns and
as means to identify classroom difficulties, questions and areas of interest. I will also provide
feedback on reading journals or blogs as a means to formulate class discussion, improve writing,
and promote critical thinking in regards to class required reading.
By placing individualized need as the foremost important component in structuring my
classroom strategies and activities, I will help my students avoid feelings of inadequacy that
proved demotivational in my own experience. Additionally, it will institute a setting and
situation that will provide all students the best possible opportunity for success. As an educator,
accomplishment in this endeavor would prove to make for a fulfilling and rewarding career.