Mrs. Finlayson's Philosophy of Education
I believe the greatest purpose of being a teacher is to make the learning of difficult subject areas attainable for students who have a hard time seeing their own potential. Latin is perceived to be a difficult subject but it’s really about learning a new way to think and approach the world. Using my enthusiasm for learning and achieving what seems impossible I build a class and club environment that appreciates hard work, peer support, and encouragement. I understand my students on a personal level and use that knowledge to share the ideas and personalities of the ancient Romans that will grab their attention because they can relate and connect to them.
Learning a foreign language doesn't need to be a complicated, slow or a painful process. Over 50 years of research in language learning has revealed that students learn best when they aren't conscious they are learning but engaged in understandable stories; much as children learn their first language from their parents by spending a lot of time listening to them tell stories. Learning a foreign language will require making mistakes and being corrected with respect, just as parents gently correct a young child's incorrect grammar by restating the incorrect statement with corrections. Students don't need to understand the language's grammar rules or how they are applied until they have received a lot of meaningful input, in level two and beyond. The individual lessons that I teach will be forgotten by my students but the underlying values, ethics, critical thinking skills and especially the stories will influence each student’s future character and life choices in ways they won’t expect.