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Lydia Hammersley


My Personal Philosophy Statement

My philosophy as a teacher is to create an inclusive classroom where all children feel valued; to

create an environment where children are able to learn to the best of their ability and where we

can scaffold each other into achieving great things. Relationships are central to my teaching

philosophy and I believe in learning with and from the children. I also believe that home and school

partnerships play a significant role in the childrens learning. As a teacher I have a growth mindset

and always encourage the children to have one too, always reinforcing the high expectations that I

have of them.

An inclusive classroom to me is where, when children walk through the door, they immediately feel

safe, valued, and a part of something special. But inclusive classrooms do not just happen. They are

the result of mutual recognition, understanding, empathy, and dedication. Something integral to

inclusion is valuing your own and others cultures, their identities. In order for a classroom to

become an inclusive, safe, culturally responsive learning environment I believe that teachers need

to: learn about their students, who they are and where they come from; establish positive,

respectful and honest relationships with the students and their whnau; and have high

expectations of all learners.

Relationships will always play the most vital role in my teacher identity. I will always ensure that I

build and maintain positive relationships with my students so that we can both have the best

experiences and opportunities to learn in the classroom. I want to create a fun, safe and purposeful
learning environment and believe that building positive relationships with students will be a key to

achieving this. By developing successful student-teacher relationships it will enable me, as the

teacher, to help the students reach their full potential. From personal experience, I can say that the

relationship the student has with the teacher will definitely effect how they learn. My favourite

teachers were always the ones that made me feel included and listened to; the ones that really

went the extra mile to help me reach my full potential. That is the kind of teacher I hope to be.

The first thing that I will do in my future classroom is build these relationships with the children.

This will start by learning each childs name, how to spell it and more importantly how to

pronounce it. I will then learn about their backgrounds, where they have come from and what

culture they identify with. This reflects the principle of tangata whenuatanga which is all about

knowing Mori learners as Mori. Even though it is specifically a Mori principle, it can still apply to

all learners. It is about providing contexts to learn where the childrens identities, language and

cultures are all valued (Ministry of Education, 2011). By creating this culturally inclusive

environment it will also reflect the principle of manaakitanga, which is, a welcoming, caring and

creative learning environment that treats everyone with respect and dignity (Ministry of

Education, 2011, p. 2).

The Graduating Teacher Standards expect that teachers will not only build positive relationships

with the students but also with the wider learning community. The people that I believe play just as

a significant role as the teachers, in the childrens learning, are the parents and whnau. From the

very first day in my future classroom I will make a conscious effort that I am always welcoming and

kind to the whnau of my students. I will have an open-door policy with all of the people in our
learning community. I will ensure honest, productive relationships that put the needs of the child

first. We are trusted professionals in society and I want to honour this by providing the best

teaching that I possibly can.

My professional responsibility is to ensure that the children receive a quality education; to ensure

that every child is safe; and that every child succeeds. It is my duty to uphold the Code of Ethics.

This means having: a commitment to learners; a commitment to the families and whnau; a

commitment to the profession; and a commitment to society.

In my future classroom I will always support the children, let their strengths shine, and guide them

into new learning. I will have high expectations of all of my learners and I will always encourage

them to be the best that they can be. My future classroom will celebrate each and every individual,

their culture, their knowledge, and most importantly their identities.


Education Council. (2015). Graduating teacher standards: Aotearoa New Zealand. Wellington:
Education Council.

Education Council. (2017) Our codes, our standards. Wellington: Education Council.

New Zealand Ministry of Education. (2011). Tataiako. Wellington: Learning Media.