Sharing TPS Drafts & Feedback

Leonne's draft Philosophy of Teaching

Leonne's draft Philosophy of Teaching

by Leonne Beebe -
Number of replies: 3

Based on random yet connected thoughts about why I do what I do when I teach.

Philosophy of Teaching – Teaching Fundamental Level Upgrading English/Math

Creating a safe and supporting learning environment is critical to students at all levels, especially at the Fundamental level. Using active learning strategies such as collaborative peer review and peer mentoring helps students to become involved in their class learning community, their learning process, and their self-assessment.  Most of these students have experienced some form of learning disability or challenge, which may now affect  how they learn and perceive learning. When one method doesn’t work, another method needs to be offered, until the concept/content is learned.  This requires patience, empathy, and a variety of teaching techniques and resources to teach each student individually.

Supporting students in proceeding at their own pace allows them to maximize their learning time. Students who already know the concepts/content and only need to review (“this is easy”) are encouraged to individually fast-track through each level, so they can move up to Intermediate as soon as possible. Students who used to know how to do the concepts/content but have forgotten (“this is hard”) often just need to practice more; asking and helping each other is encouraged. Students who never learned the concepts, content, and applications (“this is confusing”) are the ones who need the most direct teaching. 

Helping students deal with subject and test anxiety is critical to student success; marking tests as soon as possible with the students helps them to learn what was “easy, hard or confusing” for them.  Re-teaching what is confusing during the marking of the test helps students to relate with their mistakes right away and helps to reduce their anxiety of waiting for their test results. Tests are used to help the students find out what they know and don't know, so they can tell the teacher what help they need to continue. Developing and including reflective and active learning activities to support ongoing self-assessment is essential.

Introducing students to the learning process and how to effectively study helps them to reduce their anxiety and achieve success. Teaching students about the “3Ms: mindset, mindfulness and metacognition" prepares and allows them to embrace change and dis-connect from past “mis-learning” behaviour, so they can pursue and re-connect with effective foundational learning habits. Also, teaching students how to use the technology needed for course work and where to find resources helps reduce “tech-stress” and prepares them for future courses.

Empowering students to become independent, self-directed and self-assessing students is the basis and goal of effective teaching.

Always open to suggestions for improvement for "Out of confusion comes clarity".


In reply to Leonne Beebe

Re: Leonne's draft Philosophy of Teaching

by Sylvia Currie -

I kept nodding as I read this draft TPS, Leonne. It's list of all the things I feel passionate about!

Then I stepped back. It's clearly a list of what you feel is important, and I'm sure you're doing all of this. But I realized that I wasn't seeing the YOU in these paragraphs -- what you do and why, and how you feel about it. I found myself wanting to see "I introduce students to the learning process and how to effectively study"..... and so on. 

These are my first reactions. As I read more draft TPSs I'm sure I will begin to separate my gut feelings from good practices! 

In reply to Leonne Beebe

Re: Leonne's draft Philosophy of Teaching

by Gina Bennett -

hi Leonne,

Like Sylvia, I was nodding the whole time I read your TPS draft. I couldn't agree more with your recommendations for how to work with ABE learners.  I think this draft could be worked into an 'orientation to teaching ABE level Math' & could be offered to anybody who's been hired for this kind of work. Heck, I think it should be mandatory for anybody who has never taught ABE math before!

I don't think it quite captures your philosophy though. I'm thinking about when I was hired last year to teach a section of ABE Math for UFV. Working off by myself in Hope, I wasn't sure about the UFV culture or the way ABE math had been taught there in the past. I was starting out with the directions I could find in the various assessment materials (marking guides, Chapter tests etc.) which seemed (to me) to be a bit strict for ABE students.

You were an immeasurable help to me! You explained (patiently & sometimes more than once) how YOU interpreted the assessment directions, "bent the rules" or even ignored them when the situation required it. Based on my interactions with you, I'd say a big part of your underlying philosophy was COMPASSION for the students & their struggles. You obviously liked the math & understood its importance & its potential for your students but it was clear to me that compassion for your students underlined everything you did. 

You were very compassionate to me, too, as a newbie in the UFV system! :)

Anyway... I hope that's not too personal ... I'm glad for an opportunity to thank you once again for your past help.

In reply to Gina Bennett

Re: Leonne's draft Philosophy of Teaching

by Leonne Beebe -


You are welcome. You received what you have given to others. You and Sylvia have raised interesting points about me not showing up in my statement.  When I respond to student posts, I deliberately write to the student about their content, and I don't put in what I think because it's about them and not me. Now you both have me rethinking. Along with compassion, I would add valuing and validating  your students for who they are and what can do now  and for what their potential can be.

Oh, for more time before tomorrow comes.

Out of confusion comes clarity.