Revising Your Teaching Philosophy for the Crisis

The COVID-19 crisis has changed education forever. Around 320 million students all over the world have been affected by this pandemic. Not only the children but also the teachers have been facing many problems due to this crisis. This CRISIS has created the worst situations for education and learning in a century. This has affected the continuity of learning and the sharing as well as the presentation of the course material too. This whole situation has resulted in panic and anxiety among the students as well as the teachers. This can seriously affect student learning and has already done a lot in wrecking the education atmosphere for both students as well as teachers.

Like many teachers across the country, I recently transitioned from an in-person class to an online class with little prep time. I first tried to imitate my daily life virtually. I thought consistency and familiarity would be an advantage, but I was wrong. While I was doing what I thought was best for my students, there was an overall lack of commitment, even with these familiar procedures.

I am so depressed at this time of crisis. Anyone would be when they know where to go but don’t know how to get there. I spent a weekend thinking about it when we received confirmation that we would not be going back to school for the rest of the school year. If I get lost during this time, of course, my students get lost too.

I try to engage my students in a similar way to what I would be in a typical situation. But the reality is that these are not typical situations. This is a crisis, and attempts to go down the same path are futile. To help me plan my way forward, I had to rethink my teaching philosophy and apply it to new situations.

The Teaching Philosophy

A teaching philosophy is a statement of one’s beliefs and ideas that are important in teaching and learning. It is usually a one to a two-page written description of how and why you teach you how to do it. It transcends any decision and guides the learning process in the classroom.

Some typical statements in teaching philosophies are “differentiation in the classroom helps each student succeed” and “teaching pacing minimizes behavioral problems in students”. These types of statements are often embedded in the larger context of explaining the rationale behind philosophy and how teachers illustrate it.

It might not be possible to remember all aspects of one’s teaching philosophy in a meaningful way during a crisis. So I shortened my philosophy in an easy-to-remember way. This helps provide clarity and allows for faster recall. 

Recreating my Philosophy of Teaching

My philosophy was originally five paragraphs long. There are a lot of general “I believe” statements in the beginning. My first point is to understand the concepts. A sentence from that section reads: “Being able to produce something is important, but understanding why it matters is critical to my students’ success.” To conclude this paragraph, I write, “Concepts matter.”

Second, I discussed the process. One sentence reads, “The path that takes you to the product is as important, if not more important, than the product itself.” I shortened that to “The process is more important than the product.”

The last paragraph deals with the relationship. I once wrote, “Despite my best efforts, students may struggle to learn when they are disconnected from the school, each other, and the teacher.” I summed it up as: “Relationship Rules.”

My revised philosophy consists of three short sentences using the mnemonic CPR:

  • The concept is the key.
  • Process the product.
  • Relationship always rules.

I have been guided by these beliefs. Now that I can remember them quickly, I find that moment helps me a lot.

Applying My Teaching Philosophy In A Crisis

As I solidified my teaching philosophy, I realized that I was doing it wrong: I was responding to the crisis instead of actively responding with my philosophy.

As you revise your teaching philosophy, you may ask yourself the following questions, outlined below using the CRISIS:

  1. Reliability: Are your plans and software reliable?
  1. Capability: What skills do you and your students have?
  1. Inability: What can’t you do in this situation?
  1. Suitability: Is your plan suitable for the current situation?
  1. Ingenuity: How can you be smart and still stay true to your philosophy?
  1. Sustainability: Is what you’re doing sustainable in the long run?

It was easy to apply this framework to my modified teaching philosophy. I used the first word ‘competency’ in my revised teaching philosophy and asked myself which concepts are critical to my students being successful in their current skills. Looking at the second part, The Process, I created assignments keeping the students’ current skills in mind and put them through the assessment process.

I continued in this fashion for every component of CRISIS.

Staying awake during a crisis can be difficult, but our beliefs can help us. Summarizing your teaching philosophy into a short statement will help you remember what’s important in those moments and will help you stay centered and clear. Moreover, applying it to your work will help find a way forward for everyone.

About the article

The COVID-19 crisis has changed education forever. Around 320 million students all over the world have been affected by this pandemic. Not only the children but also the teachers have been facing many problems due to this crisis. In this article, we discussed how to revise the teaching Philosophy that might not be applicable during the CRISIS that the whole world is facing these years.

Jack Marque

Digital Marketer with over 15 years of experience. Certified Digital Marketer and Educator by Google, HubSpot, and many other companies. An ex-employee @uber and @zomato

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.