Effective teaching relies on what one believes are the ultimate purposes of learning and of teaching. We all have an inherent spark of curiosity and love for knowledge, which is either fanned into flame or doused at an early age. Learning is self-empowerment; it is the intrinsic joy of discovery and mastery that leads to a positive cycle of learning for learning. My personal purpose as a teacher is best described by a quote from W.B. Yeats: "Education is not the filling of buckets, but the lighting of a fire.”

As a learner-centered educator, I view learning as an organic process. I see my students as dynamic individuals with unique experiences, strengths, and capabilities. My teaching approach and functions in the classroom center on facilitation, differentiated instruction, and student autonomy. My curriculum design, instruction, and assessments are greatly influenced by social constructivism, experiential learning, and the integration of art, literacy, and technology. There is no one best methodology, but I have learned that I can provide students with a wide variety of teaching strategies that best meet their learning needs and preferences by listening to them and by being flexible.

In addition to the purposes, I believe effective learning and teaching also occurs when the following factors are in place:
  • Strong connections and partnerships
  • Engaged active learning
  • Continuous self-reflection

Learning takes place when students feel safe and confident in the classroom. My responsibilities as a teacher are to provide them with a physical, emotional, and social environment conducive to learning; to encourage professional communication and partnerships with families, the school staff, and the local community; and to provide everyone with multiple opportunities for leadership. Through a hands-on and hands-joined approach, students learn and develop their character. They will fully realize their great potential, and expand their perspective of their surroundings with the help of a large supportive network invested in their growth and success.

Through facilitation and technology-assisted instruction, students are encouraged to take ownership of their learning. When students are engaged and are provided opportunities where they can take initiative, they come to understand that it is not about the subject but the learning process itself. In this way, learning becomes viral and students develop vital skill-sets that they can use for the rest of their lives, regardless of economical changes and demands. As literate and critically thinking students, they can adapt and rise to the challenges of society and the global world.

Learning and teaching are processes that are never finished. They are both evolutionary practices, which require both teacher and students to continually seek new knowledge and apply what they have learned in innovative ways in a variety of situations. Frequent formative and summative evaluations, daily reflection and feedback, and personal development help us grow in our love for learning. Together we constantly evolve to adapt to changes, to become better individuals with meaningful purposes in life, and to help instill a passionate love of life-long learning in others.