The Teaching Philosophy of Edward Mooney, Jr.
The teacher must remain a student at heart, and show compassion for those he or she leads. These are leaders who build relationships in the classroom. Here are my “Ten Characteristics of Educational Leadership”:
1. A passion for learning. An educational leader loves to learn. This spills over and creates lifelong learners. He can keep a class’s attention through the power of his love of learning.
2. A passion for the subject. Love for the material shows through. My fifth grade teacher read the “Little House” books to us. Mrs. Benson blurted, “Imagine writing a story that is loved years later!” I now have three novels published.
3. A passion for people. Ours is a people profession, NOT an information business. We are the bridge between the student and the information. No reliable bridge is built without the engineer understanding the foundation of canyon walls, yet some teachers have no desire to understand adolescents.
4. Communication skills. Using the bridge analogy, my job is to get understanding across the chasm to my students, no matter what their age or cultural background might be.
5. Trustworthiness. Educators are in a position of power. As we shut down trust, we shut down learning – often for life. I believe we are modeling what we are teaching; I remember that I am building future citizens of this great country.
6. Flexibility, yet direction. I’ve seen behavioral disruptions, curriculum changes and power outages. I cope, and then continue on a new course using my academic “compass”. My course stays on the path, no matter what.
7. Reflective teaching. I constantly assess everything from the effectiveness of instruction to my attitude. No factor is too minor.
8. Understanding and respect. If an educator is approachable, another “learning bridge” is opened. Giving respect reaps respect; do not confuse fear with respect.
9. Creativity. Creativity makes things fresh and new, even the eighth time.
10. Caring and humor. Kids don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Laughter reduces tension and creates lifetime memories.
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"The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled. " - Plutarch