（Contributed by Sylwia）
My teaching philosophy is based on collaboration, skills development and inquiry based learning. I believe that these three aspects will allow students to become independent life-long learners and leaders in their communities. Creating a classroom where students feel free to express themselves, make mistakes and bring their own prior knowledge and cultural background into the classroom is essential in developing the above three aspects. I would like to address these three aspects below; however, my growth portfolio will show instances where I have made my teaching philosophy a reality in all of my classrooms.
I believe that this is an important skill that students need to be developing in their educational careers. Working well with others is a life skill that will constantly be reinforced outside of school. It is reinforced with good reason. Working collaboratively with others allows students to gain a different perspective on the subject at hand. It also builds on their articulation and the way they express themselves. Finally, it allows them to consolidate their learning by having to teach it to other people. In my classroom, I attempt to create many collaborative activities, where students must work together, delegate tasks and organize themselves to achieve a task.
The idea of collaboration also extends to my own professional practice. I work with students in the classroom to create units and lessons based on their interests, needs, and learning styles. I want my students to feel that the classroom is just as much theirs, as it is mine. By removing myself from the center of learning environment, students feel comfortable taking leadership roles and developing their unique skills. I also work collaboratively with my colleagues and other school figures to develop my professional understanding of my vocation and attend to student success.
I believe that developing the life and learning skills is essential to the success of our students. I believe that the learning skills, rather than content, should be the central focus of our classrooms. In my classroom, I like to focus on all of the learning skills, including collaboration, self-regulation, independence, organization, and responsibility. I explicitly teach them and try to design learning activities that are built around these skills. These skills are essential as they are central to the current and future success of our students. Ultimately, it is more important that they know how to learn instead of what to learn. Once they have a firm grasp on these skills, they will be able to continue learning without a teacher presence. Ultimately, this creates life-long learners.
I believe that inquiry-based learning creates passionate learners. By giving students opportunities to research what they are interested in, their investigative abilities are sparked. Inquiry-based learning allows students to take action and take responsibility in finding their own solutions and answers to their questions. Inquiry-based learning creates independent learners, who value the research process. They learn the skills of discerning sources and critically thinking about the answer at hand. As a teacher, I always try to remove myself from the center of the classroom and put the student and the subject at the center.