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Claire C.

Miller

503 Elm St. Apt. #1, Ann Arbor, MI 48104 415.599.5598 - clairecolliver@gmail.com

Philosophy of teaching and learning I am dedicated to being a compassionate educator who cares for my students and builds a strong classroom community of respect and collaboration. I value being consistent, explicit and genuine in my interactions with students. I am constantly modeling not only good behavior, but also a good attitude and outlook on life. The relationship between student and teacher is a reciprocal one. We must earn each others respect and we must both work together to make learning happen. I believe it is important for me to help the students learn to take responsibility for their own learning, hold themselves accountable and advocate for themselves in and out of the classroom. I have high expectations for every single student in my class and the students are building their own expectations through goal monitoring and self-assessment. My students will be equipped with tools such as: a critical awareness of perspective, a willingness to take risks, and fluency in the basics so that they can perform higher cognitive functions. Hopefully, my commitment to my students education and the tools I will provide them will help them to become better learners, inspire them to reach their potential, and encourage them to be empathetic, engaged world citizens. As you walk into my class, you can hear many bursts of prompted speech and spontaneous laughter; it feels fun. I elicit my students opinions, what they are curious about, I want them to feel that it is okay to be confused and make mistakes because we are all learners. My classroom will be almost exclusively in the target language. I am aware that at times, using the students first language will be something I do in order to keep their affective filters low and provide essential information to my class, but the culture of speaking Spanish will be a constant. My job is to meet the students where they are and bring them up. In order to do this, risk-taking must be an expectation for everyone in the room. A safe space has been created within my four walls where mistakes are not penalized, but they are respectfully corrected, where the students are navigating their new ability to communicate without judgment. The use of a new language and exploration of new cultures gives students a unique opportunity to create a new Spanish-speaking identity. When the students build a positive identity in the classroom, it will help them transfer that positive energy to their lives outside of school. As a language teacher, I am also a teacher of culture. Cultural awareness is an essential part of learning a language. Not only does it allow students gain respect for diversity, but it also promotes a deeper connection with the language and makes for effective communication by building an understanding of how to function within a different context. In addition to teaching the language, I will do the fundamental work of bridging understanding between different cultures and teaching respect for all other people despite their differences. It is my job to raise students awareness of their personal responsibility to respect themselves and others both within and outside of the learning community. The essential base for my teaching of cultural diversity is a reflection on the cultures and practices represented by my students. It is their unique lens through which they will experience new ideas and it must be acknowledged.

Claire C. Miller

503 Elm St. Apt. #1, Ann Arbor, MI 48104 415.599.5598 - clairecolliver@gmail.com

As an educator, I am also a lifelong learner and constant reflection upon my practice will make it stronger. I cannot certainly know everything about teaching, especially as a new teacher. I will continue to grasp onto opportunities to learn from my peers, mentors and students every single day. I believe in the strength of community on many levels: in the classroom with my students, at school with teachers and administrators, and on a larger scale with parents and general community members. These groups have the power to serve as sources of support, inspiration, collaboration and intellectual challenge. I am committed to keeping an open mind and being flexible in my practice. Not everything will go exactly as I plan and I need to demonstrate fortitude when facing obstacles. In my classroom, I can inform my instruction through student feedback and assessments. With a dedication to fairness comes a necessity to be aware that to be equitable is not to be equal because every person and situation is different. I am dedicated to each student as an individual person and I understand that each one will face unique complications. I strive to make my class a safe space for the community, but also one where the students can feel individually supported. Throughout my career, I will constantly push myself and my students to be more curious, more open-minded, and more compassionate. I see teaching as my opportunity to quench students thirst for knowledge, as well as a means of bettering my community by sharing my love of learning. Ultimately, I hope to encourage my students to go wherever their passion might take them on the path to happiness and success.