Teaching Philosophy

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Every single human being has “a spark”, whether or not it has been ignited in them.  My main motivation for serving as an educator in a public school is helping each student locate that spark.  When a student discovers his or her true passions and strengths, there is a fire that burns inside of them.  It serves as the motivation, the driving factor for performance.  Far too often, the humbling process of realizing one's own limitations becomes the extinguisher of the spark, rather than assisting in the process.

As an elementary school teacher, I have an imperative part of this process.  I work with students when they are very young, very impressionable, and still figuring out their likes and dislikes.  What a challenging, exciting time!  I spend more time with a child than his or her parents throughout the week.  In unfortunate cases, I may be the only individual to speak a kind work to a student in a day.  While that reality creates a great deal of pressure, it can also be viewed as a rewarding (and life-changing) opportunity.  My job as an educator for the age groups is to help students see that limitations are not failures and that everyone has something that truly opens them to the world.  Finding his or her own individual motivation first will allow that student to cultivate a true sense of purpose.

Albeit challenging, the true success in this narrative is to hold consistently high expectations for every single student, regardless of ability.  As Paul Wellstone once said, “I saw as a teacher how, if you take that spark of learning that those children have, and you ignite it, you can take a child from any background to a lifetime of creativity and accomplishment.”
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Nikki L. Kemp
Email: jarv1683@mail.plattsburgh.edu
Date Modified: 8 December 2011
Sponsored By: SUNY College at Plattsburgh
2011 Nikki Kemp