My Philosophy Of Life Assignment

There are many different ways to differentiate the requirements of a Personal Philosophy Statement.  I have assigned this essay in a few different ways, and I have required that students integrate literature someway/somehow at different points in time.  Eventually, I ended up dropping the literature component because it ended up stifling the students' organic and authentic philosophy statements.  In some cases, it felt as though students "stuck in" a literary quote because it was required and not because it somehow informed their personal philosophies. You can experiment with this and see what works best for your students.

I have also experimented with various lengths of the essay, finally settling in on 500-800 words, which forces students to really focus their ideas down in scope to one or two specific beliefs.  For a couple of years, I had no length requirement for the essay because I wanted to give students absolute freedom of expression.  However, that changed quickly when I had one student turn in a haiku and another turn in 50 pages.  I knew that I needed to level the length requirement so that I could assess my students fairly.  I also have my students submit their essays single-spaced in order to be bound in a classroom anthology as a part of my classroom library.  Students enjoy being able to share their work and read the personal philosophies of students from prior years.  

I have attached the assignment rubric that I use as a FREE DOWNLOAD.  Click on the image above to get your free copy!


Some of the most poignant memories I have of teaching high school seniors is of students sharing their Personal Philosophy Statements.  Some have cried; some have laughed; some have been nervous; some have been excited.  To this day, I still have former students send me notes about how this one assignment has stuck with them, or how reflecting back on this essay as an adult made them realize things about how they had matured.  

So, I encourage you try this assignment, to give your seniors a chance to explore their beliefs before they step out into the world as "adults."  I guarantee that this is one assignment they will remember more than any literary analysis essay they have ever written.

MY PHILOSOPHY 2 My Personal Teaching Philosophy Learning is a lifelong journey. Philosophies about teaching and learning are based on life experiences that shape current beliefs. Each teacher has a philosophy about learning that guides their curriculum and instruction. For me, this is no different. I have formed a philosophy for teaching and learning based on my experiences that helps me create goals for the children in my program and future classrooms and helps me decide where to focus my trainings and learning to work on my professional growth. Over the years I have participated in many different styles of teaching and learning. I have gone through preschool, elementary school, high school, two years of classroom based state college, certification programs, distance learning trainings, teaching my own children and daycare children and even the online college here at Ashford University. Each of these experiences in my life has influenced my current teaching philosophy. Out of these experiences there are two teaching/learning styles that had an impact on me. The first, is when I was taking my Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification class. The class was largely hands on with a lot of tactile and visual learning. The second, is my time here at Ashford University and my online learning. Ashford put me in charge of my own learning and made me responsible to and for myself. These types of learning allowed me to learn and retain the information presented. The educational philosophies that are most aligned with experiences and have helped shape my views of teaching and learning is a combination of Progressivism and Existentialism. Like Progressivism I believe it is important to teach the whole child. Using each child’s interests and abilities when planning the curriculum and instruction methods to prepare each child for an independent life. (Krogh, Fielstein, Phelps, & Newman, 2015) Existentialism and I share the beliefs that you are responsible for yourself and consequences for actions are your own.


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