MY FINAL REFLECTIONS…..

Teachers play an important part in a student’s life. Effective teachers always strive to motivate and engage all their students in learning rather than simply accepting that some students cannot perform well in class. Teachers believe that every student is unique and is capable of achieving great success at school. Effective teachers set a standard of expectations in terms of behavior and learning. They also expect to be as effective and learn as they go on with their career.

Effective teachers handle a diverse classroom by acknowledging individual differences. They personalize the learning for their students and understand that students develop at different rates and that students have different abilities and aptitudes. Effective teachers often accommodate the different needs of students in their class rather than pitch their teaching to the middle, letting some students be bored while others struggle or unable to do the work.

Effective teachers use different strategies and techniques that have each student working on tasks that engage and challenge them to achieve the best.  They understand that students learn best if their particular culture, background and abilities are acknowledged by the teacher in the way they teach. There are many things that students learn themselves through exploration and discovery with the teacher structuring the learning to suit. Students not only lean by being exposed or familiar to learning opportunities but they also need to be explicitly taught those things that are important for them to know.  Effective teachers help students to know learn on their own as well as with and from others. They teach in a way that encourages students to take greater responsibility for their own learning.

Effective teachers have a thorough knowledge of their subject content and skills. They also understand how students best learn concepts, content and skills. Through this they inspire their students a love of learning. They make sure that their students know what the goals of the learning program are; understand how these goals will be assessed. And know whether they are on track to achieve success; are are actively involved in evaluating their own learning.

Effective teachers continuously monitor and provide feedback on each student’s achievement. They are in the habit of constantly reflecting on how well they are getting through to their students and searching better ways of teaching those who are not responding as well as extending those who are achieving well. Effective teachers provide a safe and orderly environment both physically and emotionally so the student can achieve their potential. They also build positive relationships and get to know them and take a particular interest in their overall development and progress. They treat their students with respect and expect the same in return.  Effective teachers work collaboratively to benefit student learning.

After completing all the modules in Principles of Learning, I can say that I have really gained a lot of insights and knowledge of how teachers can be very effective. It is really a great help for me. Now, I already have a very clear understanding of how to be an effective teacher, how to properly manage the class and how do proper planning and how to reflect constantly and develop teaching skills eventually. It is but important for the teachers to know their perspectives for teaching, knowledge base of teaching, developing teaching skills, creativity and innovation, reflective teaching and metacognition, teacher professionalism and professional growth. Before I just thought that for a teacher to be considered effective, you should just be able to deliver your lesson well and for as long as your students are listening to you while teaching and they get high grades, then you can be called “effective.” I realized now that there is more to that. Being effective is not just limited on how you perform in the classroom and how you teach in front of the students. It starts from your own belief and self concept, to planning and delivering your lessons and giving feedback to students.

I have once again tried TPI after completing the course. The results actually do not have any difference from what I had before. According to my TPI results before  my dominant perspective on teaching is the apprenticeship perspective. I believe that this perspective represents a long-standing view of teaching outside classrooms. Within this perspective, teaching is the process of enculturating learners into a specific community. The content and teacher are fused as one, signifying the inseparability of teacher and content, within context. I apply this view of teaching as it is committed to learning a role and identity as well as a set of skills or body of knowledge. Through guided practice, and success on real tasks, this perspective professes that people begin to believe they have a legitimate role relation to others. Consequently, teachers try to move learners from the periphery to more central roles, from low risk to high risk procedures, and from simple to complex ways of understanding, in an attempt to have learners take on ways of thinking and problem-solving that are necessary for membership in a community of practice.

My back-up perspectives are nurturing and trasmission. I also  focus on efficient and accurate delivery of that body of knowledge to learners when I am teaching. I also believe that good teachers are expected to be knowledgeable in their subject areas and should be, first and foremost, experienced in their fields. They are expected to know their content well enough to answer most questions, provide multiple examples, give clear and detailed explanations, and specify with authority and precision just what people are expected to learn. Therefore, content credibility is of paramount importance.

My recessive perspectives are developmental and social reform perspective. It is important to remember  that each of these perspectives holds the potential for both good and poor teaching. It then becomes critical that we as teachers reflect upon what we do, why we do it, and on what assumptions we base our practice as teachers. By doing this, we will be able to revisit and readjust, if necessary, our own assumptions and preconceived notions about teaching and learning. In other words, we will continually improve the educational climate for our students.

After the course, I can that it has turned me now to be more passionate about teaching. I want to be an inspiration to others and I also want to be a teacher who is happy with her job at all times; the teacher that every other child in school would love to have; the teacher that kids remember for the rest of their lives. I intend to always abide and keep the following habits: enjoying teaching, making a different, spreading positivity, getting personal, giving 100%, staying organized, being open-minded, having standards, finding inspiration, embracing change and creating reflections.

References:

http://www.edutopia.org/discussion/11-habits-effective-teacher

http://education.ky.gov/curriculum/docs/pages/characteristics-of-highly-effective-teaching-and-learning-(chetl).aspx

http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-professor-blog/defining-teaching-effectiveness/

http://www.ncate.org/public/researchreports/teacherpreparationresearch/whatmakesateachereffective/tabid/361/default.aspx

Professional Growth

Educators must understand the concepts in processing professional development and what it means to education. Professional development refers to the development of a person in his or her professional role. Professional workshops, trainings, seminars and other formally related meetings are a part of the professional development experience for teacher. Sometimes the division office or their district office initiate this for teachers.  Much broader in scope than career development, professional development is defined as a growth that occurs through the professional cycle of a teacher (Glattenhorn, 1987). I remember that the schools where I used to work before would always offer professional development and other organized in-service programs that are deigned to foster the growth of teachers that can be used for their further development. Sometimes we go for out of town trainings and seminars as sponsored or initiated by the the Department of Education or the Division Office of the City where the school is.

Nowadays, teaching position has already become competitive. It will be an advantage for the teacher if she or he has masteral degree. Regular opportunities and experiences for professional development over the past few years had yielded systematic growth and development in the teaching profession. Teachers aspire to develop and aim for professional growth, however there are some barriers that hinder them for achieving such goal.  In the current system of our country, financial support from schools and the government with regards to training and courses often become an issue. Even if the eacher wants to puruse a course, they are hindered due to financial problems. Some also have family and other responsibilities that even make it harder for them to carry on. Some feel awkward going back to studies becasue of tehir age. They feel that they are too old to do further studies, bt I beleive that age should not e a hindrance for development.

Just when I was doing the module discussion, I had a chat with my sister. It was kind of an intellectual discussion. She was telling to me about the situation of their school where she is working in Qatar. It has come to my knowledge that in the continuous pursuit of the Department Education for K to 12 curriculum, it is requiring teachers to do some trainings and courses for particular areas or subjects. The thing is, the teacher should will also be obliged to spend on their own. No finances will be provided by the government or school. However, if the teacher has trainings and has taken courses, this will be a big help for her to advance her career or get promoted to a higher salary grade.

All teachers and even other professionals should always hunger for professional growth and development. I believe that is advantageous and benficial. not only to herself but to the students as well. It helps the teacher to become more effective. The module has really enlighted me about the different ways of becoming effective. Hence, professional growth is one of them. SoTL and professional learning community should be futher promoted in the country, since there are still schools and institutions that do not have it yet and government support will play a big role to it.

Much of the available research on professional development involves its relationship to student achievement. Researchers differ on the degree of this relationship. Variables are the school, teacher, student level related to the level of learning within the classroom, parent and community involvement, instructional strategies, classroom management, curriculum design, student background knowledge, and student motivation (Marzano, 2003). Based upon a review of several studies, Marzano (2003) concluded that the professional development activities experienced by teachers have a similar impact on student achievement to those of the aforementioned variables.

Opportunities for active learning, content knowledge, and the overall coherence of staff development are the top three characteristics of professional development. Opportunities for active learning and content specific strategies for staff development refer to a focus on teacher application of learned material. Overall coherence refers to the staff development program perceived as an integrated whole and development activities building upon each other in a consecutive fashion.

Reference:

http://www.evolllution.com/opinions/why-professional-development-for-teachers-is-critical/

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/why-quality-professional-development-teachers-matters-ben-johnson

http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/teacher-blog/2013/oct/22/teacher-professional-development-school-advice

SELF REFLECTION and METACOGNITION

In my school, we always have a regular meeting about lesson planning and the different strategies to be used for our class. Our principal always expects us to give feedback and reflect on the lesson after each class has been delivered and performed. I know that teacher reflection and metacognition is very important because through this you can make proper planning and choose the appropriate strategies to use for your students.

The appeal of the use of reflective practice for teachers is that as teaching and learning are complex, and there is not one right approach, reflecting on different versions of teaching, and reshaping past and current experiences will lead to improvement in teaching practices. Schön’s reflection-in-action assists teachers in making the professional knowledge that they will gain from their experience in the classroom an explicit part of their decision-making.  Metacognition refers to higher order thinking which involves active control over the cognitive processes engaged in learning. Activities such as planning how to approach a given learning task, monitoring comprehension, and evaluating progress toward the completion of a task are metacognitive in nature. Because metacognition plays a critical role in successful learning, it is important to study metacognitive activity and development to determine how students can be taught to better apply their cognitive resources through metacognitive control.

This module for me is very advantageous and helpful since it gives me an insight of how to properly reflect and perform metacognition. Everyday I always assess myself on how I perform as a teacher and ask myself the following questions: have I been an effective teacher for the day? or did I meet my students need or did I deliver the lesson properly? I am confident enough teaching my students, but sometimes when I see that they struggle I try to question myself and my strategies. I can say that I know myself very well and I know that I am doing my best to give my best performance as a    teacher. I believe that seeing how your students progress and develop is a reflection of how effective you are as a teacher.

Last week, my principal visited my Numeracy class and did his assessment for me. He stayed in my class for at least an hour.  It has been quite a pressure for me, but I just thought that its better if  I will just be as natural and do like the way I teach and deliver my lessons everyday. In that way, my principal could assess me properly and give me the right feedback.  He has not called me yet for post conference but I am looking forward to hearing from him. It is kind of exciting to know his comments and recommendations. I am sure that I will accept  his comments as constructive criticism and try to defend myself if there is any need to do it. When he went out of the class room he told me that I did very well in my class and that he enjoyed being with us. That very word really uplifted me and encouraged me to maintain my teaching strategies at the moment. Somehow, his comment has been some sort of confirmation that I am doing quite well in handling my class.

In my belief, feedback and comments from our colleagues or superior is helpful for our self reflection. It will push you to do self-assessment and analysis well enough. I also believe in the concept of Johari Window. I have actually always believed that ever since I was taking my “group dynamics” course in college. I believe that there are things about ourselves that we know that others do not know and sometimes we just keep it to ourselves and even hinder ourselves to show it because we are thinking that it might have positive or negative effect on us. There are also things that we do not know about ourselves that other people see in us and sometimes we need their confirmation to know that we are really like that. I am always keen to know and discover myself well. I want to explore my skills and know what else are the things that I can do and what talents do I have left. Discovering them is challenging but there is actually no harm in trying.

Accepting comments and feedback from other people is okay but living to meet their expectations all the time and losing our own identity is dangerous. Self reflection should be balance between other’s feedback and your own personal reflection. For me reflection should be constantly done when teaching. When you know yourself enough, you also know the things that you can do and your limitations. The teachers’ self-concept has a direct effect on how she is teaching and handling the class…I can also say that your self concept is projected and reflected by the way you teach.

References:

http://www.aare.edu.au/publications-database.php/7320/Relations-of-teacher-self-concept-and-values-with-teaching-approaches-

http://www.sagepub.com/upm-data/49808_02_Dymoke_Ch_01.pdf

http://fid.medicine.arizona.edu/ed-framework/metacognition/references/metamedhttp://fid.medicine.arizona.edu/ed-framework/metacognition/references/metamed

EFFECTIVE TEACHING: CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION

Creativity as defined means inventiveness, being imaginative and being able to use original ideas to create something else while innovativeness means cleverness or having the skill to create new things. Both are essential to Effective teaching. Teachers should be creative and innovative when planning and making instructions. We are in control of the class and therefore, we need to think of new ideas and things to help promote learning of diverse learners. Teachers also need to think deeply and concentrate on the targeted goals so as to creatively design the plan for the class. Creative Teaching is teaching that warrants pride, acceptance and commendation. Beyond being just novel, creative teaching is valuable and goes beyond being just a traditional or conventional teacher. The value  needs to be asked, and so is its nature. We should also ask whose interests does it serve. In other words creative teaching  is an innovative effort that results in student learning that is equal to or greater than what standard methods achieve.

I can say that through the course of my career in teaching I have learned and developed creativity. I have taken so much risks and tried to convince the superiors to approve my ideas and accept the changes that I so long desired. It may require much effort to create new things or ideas but it is truly fulfilling if the goal is achieved and met.  Being creative for me means you are open to other suggestions or ideas as well and determined to pursue it no matter what it takes. You should be so sure of what you want to happen and motivated to continue if challenges are encountered. Being creative is also about motivation, personality and knowledge. It is also like experimenting and trying to do a trial and error as you test what works best and helps you best to be effective.

This module is very timely since I just had a meeting with my principal who is suggesting a revision and redesigning of our curriculum for the class that I am currently handling. This lesson truly encourages me to carry on and do more research, studies and evaluation as to which will be best applicable to my students with special needs. I am pretty much convinced that this time I really need to be creative and innovative as it will really challenge me to create new ideas and inputs. I have the personality, motivation, knowledge of what I am supposed to do, and most of all support from my environment so I believe that I can make a difference.

As a person gain experience, he enhances his knowledge on how to handle things in his work. Eventually new things will be discovered along the way, new techniques for creativity will be learned and innovativeness will develop. Sometimes people are afraid to get out of their comfort zone and try new things. They are afraid of the consequences or possible failures. But without trying we will not be able to discover new things that could work best for us. Without facing changes, we will not know of the things that are better for us we will always be stuck in the old ways and traditional practices. For someone who dreams and aspire to be the best in his craft, he should be willing and determined to move forward and face every new things in life and explore it to the fullest. Creativity in teaching is a continuous effort and exploration. It also requires confidence and motivation. If a teacher is stuck in traditional and conventional ways then there is a tendency for her to get bored so as the students, which could also affect the learning  outcome.

Many times I have tested myself of my own creative skills. There are times that you need to change your plan in the class for a certain or unexpected circumstance and right there and then, you should be able to come up with new ideas so you could keep the lesson going. If creativity is innate in you then i believe that you could also make use of it instantly. Teaching in accordance to different learning styles also requires creativity. Teaching students in different levels like me also needs creativity. It would take much time and effort but its rewarding if you happen to see the outcome. ..I am constantly working out on my creative teaching though for I believe that this will help me meet a higher level of teaching style and effectiveness.

TEACHING SKILLS….

Teaching is not a joke. It can certainly be a challenge but it is also one of the most rewarding careers out there. Teachers need to always remember that, aside from parents, they are one of the most consistent mentors in a child’s life. That means setting a good example, at all times. Teachers may also have students that they spend extra time with being a mentor, which means that being a good role model is even more important. Teachers constantly try to find and discover different ways to be effective. Teaching skills are very important to be an effective teacher.

In Module 3B, there were several teaching skills that were discussed. Instructional planning skills, could be the key to successful teaching and motivating the students’ academic growth. Successful teachers say it matters how a lesson is introduced, how meaningful the content appears to students, the pace at which information is imparted, the amount of variety introduced, and the amount of student involvement. Planning and preparing for instruction is the best way to ensure that a lesson is implemented smoothly.  This is particularly true for student and beginning teachers. Adequately planning and preparing allows one to anticipate challenges, estimate timing, and improve delivery quality. In order to properly plan and prepare for instruction, a teacher must consider some, if not all, of the following:  significant content, challenging learning goals, prior knowledge, range of abilities, experience and interest of students, diverse perspectives, motivation and self-directed learning, developmental differences, suitable resources, technology, variety of instructional strategies, and coherence. Classroom management skills, refers to how the teacher delivers the curriculum, as well as the environment in which students will learn. There are a lot of strategies that a middle school or high school teacher can use in order to create an optimal learning environment. Teachers with the best classroom management usually have their class working and learning seamlessly. There are few management rules to be observed: Student engagement strategies keep students on task; Use classroom procedures to create consistency; Always check for understanding; Create a safe classroom environmentusing respect; Use classroom consequences to correct wrong student behavior; Use the tone of your voice and body language to communicate information; Academically challenge every student; Get your students’ attention; Use a classroom seating chart; and Increase participation by   learning and group projects.

The most important classroom management strategy is keeping every student on task. How do you keep students on task? The answer is good curriculum.  How many great teachers have you had in your life? Ask this question to other adults. Most people will say that they have had one to five great teachers in their life, when they have probably had over thirty teachers during the course of their schooling. That is a big gap. A great teacher needs great curriculum. But writing great curriculum is both difficult and time consuming.Procedures are the second most important rule to establish in your classroom. Most discipline problems arise when procedures are not in place. Every classroom should have very few rules but many procedures and routines.

Motivational skills in my mind is being able to encourage the students to  listen, participate, study and learn. it is a skill to make them interested to the lesson. One of the most difficult aspects of becoming a teacher is learning how to motivate your students. It is also one of the most important. Students who are not motivated will not learn effectively. They won’t retain information, they won’t participate and some of them may even become disruptive. A student may be unmotivated for a variety of reasons: They may feel that they have no interest in the subject, find the teacher’s methods un-engaging or be distracted by external forces. It may even come to light that a student who appeared unmotivated actually has difficulty learning and is need of special attention.

There are effective ways to get your students excited about learning: Encourage Students– Students look to teachers for approval and positive reinforcement, and are more likely to be enthusiastic about learning if they feel their work is recognized and valued. You should encourage open communication and free thinking with your students to make them feel important. Be enthusiastic. Praise your students often. Recognize them for their contributions. If your classroom is a friendly place where students feel heard and respected, they will be more eager to learn. A “good job” or “nice work” can go a long way. Get them Involved– One way to encourage students — and teach them responsibility — is to get them involved in the classroom. Make participating fun by giving each student a job to do. Give students the responsibility of tidying up or decorating the classroom. Assign a student to erase the blackboard or pass out materials. If you are going over a reading in class, ask students to take turns reading sections out loud. Make students work in groups and assign each a task or role. Giving students a sense of ownership allows them to feel accomplished and encourages active participation in class.Offer Incentives- Setting expectations and making reasonable demands encourages students to participate, but sometimes students need an extra push in the right direction. Offering students small incentives makes learning fun and motivates students to push themselves. Incentives can range from small to large — giving a special privilege to an exemplary student, to a class pizza party if the average test score rises. Rewards give students a sense of accomplishment and encourage them to work with a goal in mind. Get Creative- Avoid monotony by changing around the structure of your class. Teach through games and discussions instead of lectures, encourage students to debate and enrich the subject matter with visual aids, like colorful charts, diagrams and videos. You can even show a movie that effectively illustrates a topic or theme. Your physical classroom should never be boring: use posters, models, student projects and seasonal themes to decorate your classroom, and create a warm, stimulating environment. Draw Connections to Real Life-Showing them that a subject is used everyday by “real” people gives it new importance. They may never be excited about geometry but if they see how it applies to them, they may be motivated to learn attentively.

Interpersonal skills, is the key to develop a positive teacher-student relationship. Interpersonal skills are the tools people use to interact and communicate with individuals in an organizational environment. There are seven main areas of interpersonal communication: Verbal communication, Non-verbal communication, Listening skills, Negotiation, Problem-solving, Decision-making. Rapport, arises when the teacher has good relationship with the student and it is defined as “the ability to maintain harmonious relationships based on affinity.”   Good interpersonal skills of teachers often lead to the following:

  • Higher motivation—When students feel rapport with their teachers and feel that their teacher’s personalities are something like their own, motivation is higher.
  • Increased comfort—When there is rapport, students tend to answer more freely and with a greater degree of frankness.
  • Increased quality—In a degree program, when students feel rapport with faculty, their perceptions of the quality of that program increase.
  • Satisfaction—Rapport leads to satisfaction—supported by much research, including research done in classrooms. When students report having rapport with the instructor, their satisfaction with the course increases.
  • Enhanced communication—As rapport grows, so does understanding and comprehension. Teachers and students understand each other better when there is rapport between them.
  • Trust—Sometimes trust is necessary for rapport to develop. But trust can also be an outcome. Once rapport has been established, trust between parties grows.

Aside from being competent in the subject or subjects they teach, teachers must possess extraordinary interpersonal skills. They have to be a good listener and speaker and sometimes at the same time. A teacher that is confident in the subject matter they teach will inspire confidence in the student and provide a vehicle to better learning.

Working effectively with Diverse learners is one skill that a teacher should possess. As a special needs teacher I manage students with individualized education plans, but general classroom teachers may wonder how to modify curriculum to adapt to the needs of all of their learners. Whether or not students are on IEPs, they deserve individualized attention that helps them achieve the best possible learning. Teachers know how the personalities, challenges, and strengths of their students can fundamentally change the flow of a classroom. Adapting to this diverse body of learners is both challenging and rewarding. Content, process, and product are what teachers address all the time during lesson planning and instruction. These are the areas where teachers have tremendous experience in everything from lesson planning to assessment. Once the curtain is removed for how these three areas can be differentiated, meeting diverse needs of students becomes obvious and easy to do — because it’s always been present.  Teacher should maintain good behavior towards diversity:

Teachers should appreciate and accommodate the similarities and differences among the students’ cultures. Effective teachers of culturally diverse students acknowledge both individual and cultural differences enthusiastically and identify these differences in a positive manner. This positive identification creates a basis for the development of effective communication and instructional strategies. Social skills such as respect and cross-cultural understanding can be modeled, taught, prompted, and reinforced by the teacher. Teachers should build relationships with students. Interviews with African-American high school students who presented behavior challenges for staff revealed that they wanted their teachers to discover what their lives were like outside of school and that they wanted an opportunity to partake in the school’s reward systems. Developing an understanding of students’ lives also enables the teacher to increase the relevance of lessons and make examples more meaningful. Teachers should focus on the ways students learn and observe students to identify their task orientations. Once students’ orientations are known, the teacher can structure tasks to take them into account. For example, before some students can begin a task, they need time to prepare or attend to details. In this case, the teacher can allow time for students to prepare, provide them with advance organizers, and announce how much time will be given for preparation and when the task will begin. This is a positive way to honor their need for preparation, rituals, or customs. Teachers should teach students to match their behaviors to the setting. We all behave differently in different settings. For example, we behave more formally at official ceremonies. Teaching students the differences between their home, school, and community settings can help them switch to appropriate behavior for each context. For example, a teacher may talk about the differences between conversations with friends in the community and conversations with adults at school and discuss how each behavior is valued and useful in that setting. While some students adjust their behavior automatically, others must be taught and provided ample opportunities to practice. Involving families and the community can help students learn to adjust their behavior in each of the settings in which they interact.

Through the module I have come to realize that teachers should possess almost all the skills to be effective.  As you teach, you gain experiences and gradually learn. In my mind, for a modern teacher to be called competent, he or she should be committed, organized, prepared, innovative, patient, confident, social, open-minded, technology enthusiast and willing to learn not only the above mentioned skills but as well as any other skills.  This module has truly enlightened me and inspired me to never give up whenever I feel frustrated  because of my students’ misbehavior. I am more challenged now to search for different strategies and approaches and develop and enhance important skills that could help me become a  more effective and better teacher to my students. I would continuously search and read  to find solutions to my classroom management issues and instructional planning. ..

References:

https://www.examtime.com/blog/teaching-skills/

https://www.teachingchannel.org/blog/2014/06/16/video-playlist-new-teachers/

http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/mar02/vol59/num06/Essential-Skills-for-New-Teachers.aspx

https://www1.imperial.ac.uk/resources/D75EBC61-625E-4865-88AF-BE45D9E96236/

EFFECTIVE TEACHING: The Knowledge Base of Teaching

In my opinion, effective teaching happens when  the teacher is able to create an environment for learning where students are  participating actively as individuals and as members of collaborative groups and when students are motivated and  nurtured to learn in a supportive, healthy and safe environment that develops mutual respect. The teacher should respect and take into consideration individual differences and diversity, cultivate cross cultural backgrounds  and encourage students to accept responsibility for their own learning. An effective and proper classroom management that includes classroom routines should also be evident.  For teaching to become effective, there should be  access to technology, proper resources,  space, tools and time and students should also be given time to engage in hands-on experiences, discuss and process content and make meaningful connections to the outside world. An effective teacher should also design lessons through proper instructional planning that allow students to participate in empowering activities in which they understand that learning is a process and mistakes are a natural part of learning. An environment where student work is valued, appreciated and used as a learning tool should also be created.
All these lie on the knowledge base of teaching. I believe that teachers should always be equipped with a wide range of knowledge, may it be the content or educational context, environment, students, strategies and skills, and setting of instructional goals….
I have always wanted to know if I am being an effective teacher to my students. I sometimes look at the results of their tests to know if I am being effective or not and sometimes it could be frustrating handling a class  when you thought all the while that you are being effective and yet in the end you are not. Do I lack the knowledge of context? Do I know my learners well? Am I knowledgeable of the curriculum? Maybe I lack experience or maybe I need enhance my strategies and methods of teaching?
I have come to realize through this module that there is more to just knowing your subject matter. Effective teaching requires a lot of factors which should actually be applied on the the teaching and learning process. It may take sometime to be an effective teacher but with the passion and commitment to quality education and developing well achieved students– knowledge would be easier to acquire to become a more effective educator.

Learning the basic skills necessary  to become an effective educator can be especially difficult for the first year of teaching. Becoming an effective teacher takes a lot of practice and special guidance from mentors and administrators. Effective teaching does not involve presenting your exciting lessons or activities to the class, it is a craft learned over time and not over night. Effective teaching is a teaching philosophy that can distinctly change given the situation. One of the most important skills for an effective teacher to master is how to design and deliver the lessons in the classroom. Designing lessons involves how to cater the needed curriculum into discussions, activities and assignments. In addition, an effective teacher should also be able to evaluate whether or not their students mastered the lesson. We should always reflect on our lesson, and right after it is delivered. We need to check if the student completely understood the lesson or there is a need to revise it.

An effective teacher should always establish  interpersonal relationships with students as it is crucial to form a trusting bond and rapport with each student. Effective teachers should be available outside of class to answer questions and provide additional help to students. Feedback should always be given to students after every assessment, may it be formative or summative assessment, at least to let them know where they need to improve and in which area they are performing well.

All the above mentioned aspects of effective teaching  greatly rely on the knowledge base of teaching…….

References:

http://www.psy.cmu.edu/edbag/Hiebert,Gallimore,Stigler2002.pdf

http://edr.sagepub.com/content/31/5/3.abstract

http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/mar02/vol59/num06/Creating-a-Knowledge-Base-for-Teaching@-A-Conversation-with-James-Stigler.aspx

https://teachingcommons.stanford.edu/resources/teaching/planning-your-approach/characteristics-effective-teachers

http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/teacher-blog/2014/oct/31/effective-teaching-10-tips

Teacher Professionalism

Teaching professionalization has always been a long standing goal in any countries. They continue to work to advance teaching as a profession. Professionalism is a complex and dynamic concept. Six generally accepted criteria are used to define a profession and I believe that nowadays, teaching continuously achieves and fulfills the following criteria:

1) Teachers are equipped with knowledge  having an extensive background  and a set of teaching methods derived through continuous research. Anywhere in the world I believe that before you can be called a teacher you should have a qualification, at least a degree or masteral in the continuous setting of educational standards.

2) There is cooperation achieved through a professional organization; Cooperation plays an important role in the development of the teaching profession because it represents a banding together to achieve commonly desired purposes. In Philippines or any other countries, teachers have their own organization, which adheres to the needs or current issues in teaching or to socially expose the profession and bring together those who sincerely pursue and promote high quality education.

3) The teaching profession has won its well-deserved place in the social order through continuous cooperation in research, professional preparation and strict adherence to the Code of Professional Conduct, which obligates every teacher to treat each student within a sacred trust. Teachers have control or influence over their own governance, socialization into teaching and research connected with their profession. Teachers carry responsibilities weighted with social purpose. Through a rigid and self-imposed adherence to the Code of Professional Conduct, which sets out their duties and responsibilities, teachers pass on their accumulated culture and assist each student under their care in achieving self-realization.

4) There is a formal period of preparation and a requirement for continuous growth and development. Teachers are required to complete a defined teacher preparation program followed by a period of induction or internship prior to being granted permanent certification. This period includes support for the formative growth of teachers and judgments about their competence. Teachers are devoted to continuous development of their ability to deliver their service.

5) The profession has control or influence over education standards, admissions, licensing, professional development, ethical and performance standards, and professional discipline. As professionals, teachers are governed in their professional relationships with other members, school boards, students and the general public by rules of conduct set out in the Association’s Code of Professional Conduct. The code stipulates minimum standards of professional conduct for teachers, but it is not an exhaustive list of such standards. Unless exempted by legislation, any member of the Association who is alleged to have violated the standards of the profession, including the provisions of the code, may be subject to a charge of unprofessional conduct under the Discipline Bylaws of the Association.

6)  There is a degree of autonomy accorded the professional. Teachers have opportunities to make decisions about important aspects of their work. Teachers apply reasoned judgment and professional decision making daily in diagnosing educational needs, prescribing and implementing instructional programs, and evaluating the progress of students. Teacher judgment unleashes learning and creates the basis for experience.

I grew up having a family of educators and teachers. My mother was a teacher back then (she died in 2005), my 2 sisters, and my brother, together with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law are teachers, plus extended family such as my aunts being teachers and principal in a school too. I remember when my mom would usually tell me that teaching is a noble profession and without teachers there would be no doctors, lawyers or engineers and other professions. I will just listen to her whenever she says that, but then never cared at all since i didn’t want to become like them. I had other plans for myself. I wanted to be a lawyer, but here I am ending up as a teacher….and I realize that mom was right…Teaching is a noble…not just a noble but a very noble profession. It is not just a profession but it is a way to touch the lives of those who are setting up their future and dreams. A teacher can build or break a student, inspire them and mold them, guide them and nurture them, lead them and direct them…In my mind, a teacher should always be professional serving as good role model not just to students but to the society. Teachers need to have moral standards and social obligations as well.

This module about teacher professionalism has truly enlightened me about a lot of things that I didn’t know before. Reflective practice, collective autonomy, theorizing practices, quality and performance..what are those? Until I read the resources which has opened up my mind and deep understanding of what is really meant being called a professional teacher. I am teaching now when I do not actually have a degree in education or a license to teach, other than my degree in Psychology and my masters in Clinical Psychology…I am teaching special kids now, though its related to psychology, I still feel the need for additional knowledge and qualification because even though I hold those qualifications, I still sometimes feel that I am not as in qualified to teach because in my belief being a professional teacher is having a license to teach. This is also the very reason why I decided to enroll in UPOU Program in Teaching. This would really mean so much to me and add up to my confidence in teaching. For the past three weeks I have been learning so much and I intend to really apply everything to my actual career as I rethink  and evaluate my teaching strategies and methods, and quality of my performance…Someday mom would be happy to know that her daughter who used to say before “that she doesn’t want to be a teacher like her” actually ended up being a “professional teacher.” 🙂