Jefferson-Morgan Middle/High School

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Katrina Caffrey » Teaching Philosophy

Teaching Philosophy

The best thing for being sad is to learn something.  That is the only thing that never fails.  You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins,…you may see the world around you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honor trampled in the sewers of baser minds.  There is only one thing for it then – to learn.  Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting.  Learning is the thing for you.


~ T. H. White, The Once and Future King


In a time when education appears to be merely a means to an end, it is imperative that children learn the importance of a true education. Education does not exist simply to create another laborer for the workforce, although importance exists in this realm; education exists most purely for education’s sake. It is a tool for appreciating the world and all that makes it “wag” on a greater scale.

As a teacher, I have been asked too many times questions like, “Why do I have to learn about King Arthur? I will never need this information in the field I plan on working.” My response to this question involves taking a deep breath and venturing into a conversation about the value of the Language Arts.

The Language Arts involve writing, speaking, reading and listening. At some point in every individual’s career, she/he will be expected to write a resume, speak to clients and employers, read an instruction manual, or listen intently at a staff meeting. The beauty of literature embodies its capacity to provide a vessel of escape from everyday life, whether it be through a novel, short story, play, poem, magazine, newspaper, or website. Reading provides an opportunity to explore vicariously and safely. For students to gain educational insight into reading, writing, speaking and listening, a teacher must provide certain schema for students.

To further the understanding of the proposed question, it is necessary to understand students. To teach, one must realize the importance of background, interest, and understanding. A variety of instructional techniques must be utilized to decrease the “humdrum” of everyday schooling for the children.

For example, if I want students to appreciate the act of learning, I must suggest to the students that learning is a quest for knowledge, which will render a better-rounded individual. The quest quotient will allow students to realize that learning remains to be a fundamental constant in everyday life, regardless of age or position. As Merlin said to Arthur, “That {learning} is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting.”