Reflections on Beliefs “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires” (William Arthur War). Teaching is more than a profession; it is about being full time parents to the students. Students spend most of their hours with teachers, thus when you are a teacher, you don’t just teach the basics; teachers are expected to go the extra mile for their students and ensure all the necessary requirements are met.
On the other hand, learning can be defined as gaining knowledge or skills that can be useful or beneficial (www. cidde. pit. edu). Beliefs about teaching and learning strategies do not always help one to become a good teacher. Beliefs can be defined as “ the mental act, condition or habit of placing trust or confidence in something or someone” (www. thefreedictionary. com), therefore as you can see if a teacher believe in using a wrong strategy for learning or teaching is the correct application this may cause devastating results for students.
Good teaching is an act of generosity, a whim of the wanton muse, a craft that may grow with practice, and always risky business (www. couragerenewal. org). I believe that teaching, if done wholeheartedly and effectively can make a profound impact on students. The impact would not just be restricted to the transfer of knowledge but understanding and guidance. Teachers should develop a bond with their students and a relationship so that students can feel safe and protected by teachers.
They should be able to have the same sense of feeling they have towards their parents or guardians. They can serve as effective caregivers — loving and respecting their students, helping them succeed at the work of school, building their self-esteem by treating each student as having worth and dignity, and enabling students to gain a first-hand appreciation of the meaning of morality by being treated in a moral way (www2. cortland. edu). After participating in this course I understood that these small factors make up the bigger picture.
I learned that by having these qualities would make you a memorable teacher and would impact on the children in a positive way. Being a patient teacher is also an essential factor that leads to good teaching. As a teacher, you encounter a variety of situations and it is your responsibility to be patient and understanding in all events. A good teacher must remain patient with his or her students at all times. However, that doesn’t mean the teacher should let the students get away with whatever they want to. Discipline and fairness must be used as well.
A teacher with these qualities is able to understand his or her students and know how to help them succeed. A teacher with little or no patience can easily give up on a troublesome student as a way to avoid the problem (sithpenguin. hubpages. com). My in class session showed me that some teachers are not patient because of troublesome children and they give up on the students to make their lives easier, but this should not be so. Meanwhile I also learnt that as teachers we should try our best with the students to help them become better people.
If their home is not stable, we should help them as much as possible in school and do not turn them down. We should give them the guidance and comfort they are not getting at home. It is our job to be affectionate with students because teachers are like the second parents/guardians for students. Different children adapt to different learning methods, therefore learning can be universal and can be accessed via multiple avenues to facilitate all learners. I believe that learning should be an engaging and rewarding experience.
When children attempt to do something instead of criticizing them, I think they should be applaud when they are right and corrected if they are wrong. When they achieve something, they should be rewarded and motivated to do better. If they do not understand something, teachers should correct them in a positive way and make it an engaging and interactive experience. According to Professor Michele Clarke of the School of Geography, learning should be fun; an engaging, challenging and rewarding experience both for student and teacher.
Of course, making complex ideas fun for all participants is a far from easy task but if you can enable students to use their own imagination and creativity in an interactive manner which develops critical thought and deep understanding, the academic achievements can be impressive, the task memorable and the benefits for the individual long-lasting (www. nottingham. ac. uk). My Practicum course showed me that learning is supposed to be an engaging and rewarding experience for students.
It must be this way in order for learning to take place, especially in primary schools because they consist of small chidden at a tender age who works well when learning is fun, rewarding, engaging and motivating. During our in class group discussions I also understood that when learning is rewarding, it actually makes the children want to come to school and be enthusiastic about doing the work. Children learn best in a secure and supportive environment where provision is made for discovery, challenge and choice.
Inviting surroundings enhance children’s positive disposition towards learning and a sense of belonging. Creating environments for learning is more than just a simple classroom arrangement (www. education. gov. sk. ca)The indoor environment receives the most attention from educators, children and other adults, therefore as teachers we should create an environment where colours, graphs, charts, pictures and arts and crafts are seen in abundance.
This way the children would be excited about learning and they would find themselves enjoying their class sessions while, using graphs, pictures and charts as references when the teacher is teaching. Apart from the indoor environment, the outdoor environment is important. The indoor environment communicates the values and beliefs that underpin the living and learning that takes place in that space (www. education. gov. sk. ca). Learning should felicitate guide play, exploration and discovery also. Outdoor activities also lead to effective learning.
Doing this course, I got a further understanding of how the environment impacts on a child’s learning. I understood as a teacher it is my job to ensure that I develop a proper learning environment for my students. During our Practicum Seminar when one of our speakers; a teacher from San Fernando Boys RC school came and introduced us to her classroom, I was amazed with the environment she provided for her students. Her classroom was like a resource centre with millions of materials to enhance learning in the classroom.
My beliefs on teaching changed in that the traditional method of teaching by role does not do the job anymore and guarantees that any teacher using methods of lecture, copy what’s on the board and memorization will lose the student’s attention and kill the desire of students to learn (www. themommydaddy. com). Teachers must now evaluate themselves and move forward from these “old school” ways and norms and bring new and innovative ways of bringing across the lecturers/ lessons across to the class in a more interesting and interacting way.
They should develop new and innovative learning strategies for the students. Groups are composed of individuals who may share some of the same knowledge and skills, however, oftentimes, members come from different educational backgrounds and have different work and volunteer experiences, which uncovers strengths that one group member may have, while others are lacking. (ehow. com) During my form three days at school, my Technology Education teacher would often divide us into groups of four to five to do projects. These projects would not be just any plain portfolio hand up.
Mr Awesome would instruct us to actually brainstorm, think critically and creative and build innovative objects and/or create our own piece of work. By doing this our teacher encouraged us to exchange ideas and know how creative our peers could be. Group work along with brain storming also taught me to look at a problem from different angles and understand that it could be solved via a wide range of solutions by my peers. This would encourage effective learning by students. During the Practicum course, I even further understood the importance of group work among students, because as a student myself, I do not like group work.
My teacher went on to explain that group work also helps students look at how their friends look at problems and how it encourages the child to feel comfortable if he/she does not understand something, so they can ask for help as a group and not individually. Working in a group can help individuals build long-lasting relationships based on trust and loyalty. As group members, people learn about the commonalities they share and differences, which lead them to seek group members they can build relationships with even outside of the group (ehow. com; Esquith, R. 2007).
As a teacher, you should do your homework also. I learned this from my lower six teacher who was always prepared for a class. She would never reach to class and question the class where in the syllabus she are supposed to teach or she would never come to class and start organizing her lesson for the day, she would always come prepared and she would always make the extra time to go the extra mile for the class. For effective teaching to take place teachers should always be organized and their class must always be well planned. Lesson plans is always the best method to be organized.
When using lesson plans, teachers do not have to think on their feet, they are clear on the procedure to follow and they build on previous teaching and prepare for coming lessons (myenglishpages. com). I always admire my teacher for always including activities in her lesson plan rather than just reading and writing. Including activities in your lesson plan develop strategies to obtain feedback on student learning. A successful lesson plan addresses and integrates these three key components: Objectives for student learning, teaching/learning activities, strategies to check student understanding(www. rlt. umich. edu) With the Practicum course, ,my views on lesson planning did not change , because during class, I would often remember my teacher stressing on doing a lesson plans accurately and do it for all areas of teaching. She also explained the importance and benefits of lesson planning so I held my beliefs on lesson planning to a high standard. Without students teaching is nothing and without teachers learning is nothing. All students have had hundreds of teachers in their lifetimes. A very few of these teachers they remember as being exceptionally good.
Good teaching is as much about passion as it is about reason. It’s about motivating students not only to learn, but teaching them how to learn, and doing so in a manner that is relevant, meaningful and memorable. It’s about caring for your craft, having a passion for it and conveying that passion to everyone, but mostly importantly to your students (www. facultyfocus. com) “Demonstrating that you know it. Teaching is reminding others that they know just as well as you. You are all learners, doers and teachers”-Richard Bach.
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