I believe that cooperation is imperative in education and life. This belief of mine is grounded in the social constructivist approach to education. The social constructivist approach is credited to theorist Lev Vygotsky. This theory emphasizes the social contexts of learning and the construction of knowledge through social interaction. So, the much-dreaded group work is beneficial to growing the understanding of knowledge by the help of those who are more skilled in the knowledge. This process is known as scaffolding. When you think about the way that most students grow up, they are given guidance from individuals as they get older in terms of behavior and educational knowledge. This assistance until mastery is known as the zone of proximal development. Once they have mastered these abilities, they are better equipped to share their success with others. For this reason, I realize social constructivism is a benefit to education because it allows for students to grow in their own personal lives by growing in relationships and cooperation.
The focus of my classroom will be to have students work collaboratively and progressively. In the term progressively, I want my students to grow in their own terms. It will be imperative for me to stress to my students that their success and improvements do not go unseen. When my students show improvements in their learning and assessments, I will celebrate with them. I make this a mission because there is a certain degree of respect students display when they realize that the teacher cares about their gains inside and outside of the classroom. Also, I will make sure that my students feel safe and are actively engaged in the learning experience. Students respond positively to the activities that allow them to form their own understanding. From this, I will be sure to include all students including those who may need accommodations. It is imperative for all teachers to be inclusive because everyone needs to be treated fairly. Also, a major role is to keep the parents involved and aware of their student(s). I will do this by offering weekly emails, texts, phone calls and/or letters regarding student performance in the classroom.
When it comes to engaging my students, I will start most classes with videos when possible. Videos gain the students attention prior to the start of the lesson, which allows for a glimpse of what the class session would be about. From this, I will have a reward system in place that allow the students to shop at a class store. The idea of a class store was used in my second-grade class, and it kept everyone motivated to do well on tests because good grades would lead to a better trip to the class store. Additionally, I will allow my students to express the ways their life relates to the content we are studying. For example, if we are learning about the way plants grow, I will have the students bring in their favorite flower or lead and explain why they like it. This increased level of engagement motivates students to be a part of the classroom environment leading to success in their academic knowledge and understanding.