My Teaching Philosophy
Ralph Waldo Emerson, commenting on education in his essay "Self-Reliance," says that "there comes a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that [....] he must take himself for better, for worse that though the wider universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given him to till."
Emerson's remarks may be a bit idealistic and more than a little lofty, but I find myself agreeing with him more and more. Furthermore, I have come to realize that his insights apply not only to learning, but also to teaching.
As Emerson suggests, learning is often based on self-reliance. When recalling my own experiences as a student, I can see that toiling on that "plot of ground" often meant relying upon myself. What has become even more obvious, however, is that the successful cultivation of that ground was due largely to the presence of dedicated and caring teachers. This is the philosophy that guides my work.