Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Dude?? I'm a =P

Over the past several years, I have learned various activities, learning theories, teaching styles and strategies that can be used in language classrooms to be an effective teacher. However, in my humble opinion, a good teacher is someone who can engage with her students, rivet their attention and fire their interest and enthusiasm into the lesson. Teaching is a work of heart. Being a teacher is not being up on a pedestal and simply disseminating information to the students. It is an adventure where a teacher presents the opportunity for pupils to learn and grow. In my perspective, the teacher is the most powerful person in the classroom in order to motivate the language learners. The teachers must organize, provide security, motivate, instruct, model, guide, inform, give feedback, encourage and evaluate the language learners. The solution to the problem is that the teachers understand and apply the concepts of classroom techniques and be able to make the learners feel motivated and interested in learning English by using scaffolding strategies and establishing a student-centred classroom.
My philosophy on teaching centres on an active approach as I engage my students in discussions, activities, and higher order thinking skills. I believe all students are capable of learning, thus, I always have high expectations on them. Students’ active and fun roles as learners in my class help them enjoy learning and get excited about English. I believe learning takes place in a positive and safe environment filled with laughter. I believe students will be motivated to learn if teachers employ engaging and fun activities. I hope I can always engage my students by introducing fresh and interesting ideas, by creating opportunities where they take active role in the class activities, and by maximizing each student’s participation and contribution.
I also feel that an effective teacher should be aware that students in a classroom has multiple intelligences and do not learn in the same way. I am not surprised that more often than not, teachers choose just one style of teaching since it saves a lot of their preparation time. However, my goal is to conduct my lessons using a few styles, for example, direct instruction, collaborative learning and inquiry learning. Obviously, a teacher cannot reach every student on the same level during one lesson, but implementing a variety of learning styles and teaching aids throughout the lesson allows all the students to have the chance to learn in at least one way that matches their learning style.
According to the Constructivist Learning Theory, learning is an active process of creating meaning from different experiences. In other words, students will learn best by trying to make sense of something on their own with the teacher as a guide to help them along the way. This means that a teacher cannot “pour” information into a pupil’s brain and always expect them to process it and apply it correctly later. It is in fact important to encourage students’ critical thinking and inquiry by asking them thoughtful, open-ended questions, and even get them to ask questions to each other. I believe that teachers who advocate the Constructivist Learning Theory in their teaching are designers of students’ abilities.
In terms of classroom management, I establish appropriate steps to enhance positive behaviour in the classroom. In actual fact, a classroom is a mini-community and this community cannot function well without a set of rules to guide it. To some, all this may seem trivial and they have the tendency to neglect the rule-setting right from the beginning. Rules can be classified around three main types: class-running rules, lesson-running rules and interaction rules (Leinhardt, Weidman & Hammond, 1987). In my classroom, I take the initiative to design a set of rules and routines for students’ good conduct in the classroom. The class control is good even without imposing rigid and inflexible rules.
I believe that education is a lifelong process. To educate is to be better educated; it is a circular process that improves with time. I know that there is no learning better than through personal experience, and I do expect to learn a lot from the classes I have taken and am yet to take. In short, I could say that my goal in the teaching field is to give my students all I can in the classroom and become their inspiration to learn English.