I believe that life is meant to be a series of discoveries. The journey of life is unique for us all because of our varied beliefs, experiences, wants and needs. It is this uniqueness that provides the opportunities for growth. The destination of our journey lies within our hearts, our goals and our dreams. For each achievement is merely a discovery along the path of life. When we can enjoy the path toward these discoveries, life has been lived to its fullest! My discoveries are focused on learning all I can so that I may share and help others along their life’s paths. I intend to acknowledge the coincidences, persevere through the challenges and accept opportunities that will enrich myself and those around me while fully enjoying the journey.
Ilene S. Benz
My Personal Teaching Philosophy
Learning is a lifelong journey. The resources that help us succeed include an open mind, inspiring environment, inquisitive and engaged approach and methods general enough to challenge, yet specific enough to reach all.
The relationship between teacher and student is the key to success. It is dependent upon openness, trust, accessibility and commitment, all which must be initiated and earned by the facilitator. Student excellence is the result of high expectations, nurturing and mutual responsibility.
The learning environment must be inspiring and challenging, yet safe. Within this atmosphere ideas can be explored, facts tried and opinions defended and challenged. This sets the stage for continued growth and success.
We are more likely to learn if we are part of the process. The environment and opportunity to engage are just half of what enables learning to take place. The relationship between student and teacher and the experimentation and successful application of skills and concepts must also be initiated by the student.
With the diversity of our community reflected in our classrooms, it is critical that we identify ways to reach each individual. Understanding the needs of our students (including their learning styles) and adapting efforts to reach each person is a challenge and a necessity. For learning to occur, our learners must be reached and our teachers must be informed of needs.
The opportunity to facilitate learning is as much a gift as learning itself. Those who can appreciate the responsibility with which it comes will enjoy the benefits all the same. This is the beauty of lifelong learning.