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My name is William Hodge. I am an Adolescent History Education (BA/MST) student at SUNY Plattsburgh. I am 21 years old and from a tiny farm in central
New York. I have been interested in teaching since 4 years old. One of my values is helping others and teaching others to enjoy history as much as I do.
Attended Cobleskill-Richmondville Central School since Kindergarten, with proficiency in Math, Science, History, and Agriculture. Some topics that I specialize
in are American Colonial History, Elizabethian England, New York State History, Epidemeology, etc.

 

 

Teaching Philosophy

 

How do children learn?
                  One third of a child’s day between the ages of four to eighteen are spent in a brick-and-mortar school. Learning, what schools hope to accomplish,
is not only limited to this third but continues throughout with our interactions with family and friends. Adolescence is a critical period of development in areas that range
from emotional, physical, cognitive, and social. With this in mind, it is important to fully immerse the adolescent in the area you plan to teach,
while also recognizing that life happens and that students might not be able to concentrate on a certain subject. At this stage in life, adolescents need
to practice the skills they are learning; no longer will they accept fact as fact when introduced to something new. According to Caskey and Ruben (2003), “Just as adults readily
accept the learning curve which is involved as young children learn to speak, read, or ride a bike, educators have to recognize that adolescents need to have
occasions upon which to rehearse and practice decision-making, planning, judgment, and impulse control.” (p. 38) This is readily seen in social studies
with document based learning that focuses on the student coming to the conclusions and forming their own opinion from provided documents. This practice based learning
is also used a lot in science to allow students to find the information themselves, while also engaging them in fun activities such as dissecting a worm. The evidence of this learning
is found in synaptic pruning, “. Evidence of this process occurring may explain the old adage, "Use it or lose it." Sets of connections that are used repeatedly become strengthened
and stabilized into functional circuits, while those which are rarely used are pruned and cleared out of the way (Caskey et. al., 2003, p. 37) .”

Role of the teacher in learning
The role of the teacher is to guide students towards learning and help them thrive with their own style of learning. The teacher should be the facilitator for the students learning.
This student centered learning allows for learning to be easier According to McGraw (1998), “For years now, my teaching philosophy has moved in the direction of producing a
stress-free environment for my students. In this environment, they grow to be interested, interesting, well-informed people who respect my ideas and their own. They leave me at the
end of the school year with a little better self-image and the ability to approach just about every problem they encounter in a reasonable, more methodical fashion. Best of all, they
want to learn new things (p.44).” The main role of the teacher is to be an advocate for student’s learning, especially with students with special needs and make sure that all students have equal access.

How Lesson & Classroom Design Support Learning
                  Every object in the classroom should support the child’s growth. Artwork or projects from past year should be lying
around to inspire students and to help gain base knowledge on quality of work expected in the classroom. All lessons should be flexible,
as to promote differential learning; not all students are visual learners, some can be audio learners, etc.. Barrett, Zhang, Moffat, and Kobbacy (2013 p. 2)
in their study of the effect of outside influences on the classroom produced figure one that shows what students come in with and
what factors come from the actual building of a school and set-up of a classroom.


How Teachers Serve as Advocates for Students
                  Today our children are growing up in a world full of dominance such as racism, misogyny, xenophobia, gender bias.
Our children have to deal with a wide range of external factors that are working to lessen their status in the world
through harsh words. Our job as teachers is not just to advocate for our students, but to help them grow in a world
that will not always accept and appreciate them for who they are. The New York Teaching Standards (2011) states,
“Teachers create a mutually respectful, safe, and supportive learning environment that is inclusive of every student (p. 8).”

 

 

References –
Barrett, P., Zhang, Y., Moffat, J., & Kobbacy, K. (2013). A holistic, multi-level analysis identifying the impact of classroom design on pupils’ learning. Building and Environment59, 678-689.
Caskey, M. M., & Ruben, B. (2003). Research for awakening adolescent learning. The Education Digest, 69(4), 36-38.
From EngageNY.org of the New York State Education Department. [New York State Teaching Standards IV. Element IV.1.]
McGraw, C. (1998). Teaching teenagers?" Think, do, learn!". The Education Digest63(6), 44.

 

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William A. Hodge
Email: whodg001@plattsburgh.edu
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Last Updated: April 23, 2018
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