My name is Leslie Harrison and I am so excited to welcome you to second grade! I grew up in Biloxi and graduated from Biloxi High School in 1991. I graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. I began my teaching career at Lopez Elementary as the technology teacher. I taught technology for nine years before coming to Gorenflo Elementary. I taught technology for one year and them began teaching second grade. For the last four years, my second grade team has received a Biloxi First Grant.
My Philosophy of Education
I know that my philosophy will constantly change and evolve as I grow as a teacher. I will never claim to know everything. I will continue to learn, along with my students, and I will always try to remain open-minded and willing to grow in my beliefs and practices as a teacher. Since society is constantly evolving, so must I.
I believe that students should be taught about the importance of different perspectives. Seeing new points of view can be truly eye-opening. I will strive to make the environment of my classroom mirror a community, with students being productive members. Therefore, when a problem arises, I will guide students in solving it as diplomatically and democratically as possible. I would like to see my students possess self-respect, respect of others, and a strong will for what they believe in—yet they must be able to compromise. These traits can be accomplished through group discussions, one-on-one talks with students, and the learning of different perspectives within my classroom.
I will take into account the individuality of all students. Students have diverse needs and I will try to accommodate each one as successfully as possible by incorporating learner-centered experiences as well as narrative and pragmatic modes of thinking. Both modes should be utilized for all subject areas. Teachers are not only present to help students through state and school curricula, but also to help guide students through the good and bad of growing up. I believe that sharing personal stories should be valued in a learning community and students who are making life connections to the lessons we teach are far more likely to understand and remember the material being taught.
I will always remember that when students are also rewarded for effort, rather than quality of work, they will in turn keep trying to do their best. Bad grades for strong effort are discouraging. One of my main goals as a teacher is to produce life-long learners with strong core values. Every person learns at a different speed and in a different way, and this fact should be respected in the classroom as much as possible.
I am looking forward to growing as a teacher and as a student of education each year. I believe that learning along with the students is the greatest benefit of all.