It is one thing to choose your path, and another to have that path chosen for you through a lack of option, opportunity, and exposure. It is this philosophy that pushes me to provide the academic excellence, creative freedom, and life skills necessary for our students to make their own optimal, post-graduation, individual choice.
Dr. Erin Flynn, Lead Instructor
MY EDUCATION PHILOSOPHY
My Education philosophy centers around enabling choice. I believe that there are many legitimate avenues a student can take after high school graduation. When a student has actively chosen to pursue an advanced degree in Higher Education, to become a car mechanic, or to travel the world creating art, then we have done our jobs as educators. Our job is to make available multiple options for students, within a viable instructional framework, to make their own life choices. It is one thing to choose your path, and another to have that path chosen for you through a lack of option, opportunity, and exposure. It is this philosophy that pushes me to provide the academic excellence, creative freedom, and life skills necessary for our students to make their own optimal, post-graduation, individual choice.
My philosophy for classroom management for students is also simple. Using restorative practice, treat each and every student with respect. Restorative practice allows for a “pulling in” rather than a “pushing out.” Talk to your students, find out what their needs are and meet them where they are. Whether this is providing snacks in the classroom or letting them take a five minute walk to wake-up or cool-off, listen and respond to their needs. It is important to build relationships in the classroom, minute by minute, day by day. All students need a place that is safe, stable, and educational; we should strive to provide that for each of our students.
THE THREE C'S
Ultimately, I believe in three C’s – Critical Thinking, Creativity, and Compassion. Educators should make a conscious effort not to balk at a student’s push back. Questions and doubt are what lead to the development of Critical thinking skills. Education should foster and keep the wonder of learning alive throughout and beyond K-12. Answer the whys! Creativity is at the heart of who we are as humans. So I say yes to Art, Music, Drama, and Literature, but also yes to the creativity in Math, Science, Language, History, and Physical Education. Compassion should be as the air we breathe. Every person – student, staff, parent, self – deserves compassion. Too often we make assumptions about others motivations and it leads us to make decisions based on falsehoods. We need to take that extra beat in Education and remember that we are in charge of developing human beings. The best teacher models for their students in every way. For, students will do what you do, and not always what you say.
Math & Science Instructor
Michelle LeBlanc is a corporate accounting graduate of North Central College in Naperville, Illinois where she raised 3 children and two dogs. Michelle has worked in corporate taxation, governmental auditing, small business accounting and nonprofit accounting. Her current residence is in Austin, Texas where she enjoys BBQ with friends, nature hikes, biking and now has three dogs! Always passionate about education and learning, in 1997 she began teaching Kindermusik for the School of Performing Arts. Then in 2005 opened her own family studio where she along with 20 or so other teachers taught language, culture, art, and yoga classes for all ages and held regular educational events such as Martinitsa, Hinamatsuri, a Filipino cultural fair, powwows, and children’s art contests. She has always been an avid nature lover and has climbed, hiked and ridden in several states around the country including California, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Washington, Oregon, New Mexico and Arizona as well as internationally.
Philosophy is written in the grand book, the universe, which stands continually open to our gaze. But the book cannot be understood unless one first learns to comprehend the language and read the letters in which it is composed. It is written in the language of mathematics, and its characters are triangles, circles and other geometric figures without which it is humanly impossible to understand a single word of it; without these, one waders about in a dark labyrinth.