Teaching Philosophy

My Teaching Philosophy and Objective

 

Pete2011WatercolorEarly in life, I lived and worked as a laborer.  For over a decade I struggled to survive and I felt that life was dreary and meaningless.  My difficulties made me ponder a better life and a means to attain it.  My pondering led me back to school.  The positive results of my education, in contrast to my previous circumstances, caused me to fully appreciate how valuable a fine education is in opening new avenues of living, creating opportunities, and making life exciting, happy, and fulfilling.

As my education progressed, learning became less about tests and deadlines and more about breakthrough and enlightenment.  It became less about paychecks and employment and more a quest for fulfillment, empowerment, and betterment. My educational endeavors lent credence to Socrates’ claim that “the unexamined life is not worth living.” I became certain that education is the key to making the world a better place.  While each degree did tend to improve my circumstances a bit, it improved every aspect of my life: in relationships, spiritually, and intellectually.  The impact learning had on me and the belief that it held importance for the future survival of mankind on this planet, instilled the desire to pass my discoveries on to others, to inspire others to love and enjoy discovery in the same way.

If viewed in this manner, education is a perpetual, dynamic process and is applicable to all people regardless of age, socio-economic level, or lot in life, even if one chooses to remain an average laborer. There's no shame in that. That's not what I meant to imply. What I want to clearly state is that learning, knowledge, and true understanding improve everything, in every domain where we live, even by making toiling at labor more fruitful and meaningful. Then, learning becomes an adventure that promises to improve quality of life, which makes it relevant and gives it real world impact and application. If approached in this way, test scores are automatically raised, because one has achieved true understanding. That's the true purpose of learning. Tests then merely become a means of measuring for the true goal.

In sight of all these things, it has therefore become my objective, irrespective of the race, age, culture, religion, lifestyle, or financial bracket of my students, to instill the love of learning in them, teaching them that learning is an adventurous, enjoyable, lifelong hands-on affair.  Accordingly, it has been my practice to teach in out of the way places, where students have difficulty finding teachers.  It's my greatest desire to help students enjoy their education as the adventure it has been for me and should be for them, while helping them lay hold of the knowledge needed to uncover their own unique form of happiness and fulfillment in a life of learning.

 

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