UNIVERSITATEA DE VEST DIN
FACULTATEA DE LITERE ISTORIE SI TEOLOGIE
LUCRARE DE LICENTA
THE ENGLISH TEACHER IN BLACK AND WHITE
Being a teacher is not just a usual job. It is not something that just helps you to earn your living or to become reach. Being a teacher is a calling, is a way of living. A real teacher still remains a teacher after the classes, he is in permanent search for new ideas, new topics, new materials, doing all this for the sake of what he teaches.
A real teacher is enthusiastic, enjoys what he/she does, puts heart in every lesson that he/she prepares, is dedicated to his/her job and to his/her students. He knows how to make the students love what he teaches, makes his classes very pleasant, interesting and fun. A teacher should know how to guide the children to the subject that he teaches, has to know how to make his subject enjoyable and interesting. Of him depends the interest the students show to the subject, of him depends the atmosphere during the class, the way children feel during the class, the impression they have about the class. He has to be a friend and friendship means respect and good understanding, means being close to someone, means to want the best for him and have the courage to tell him when he is wrong but without hurting his feelings. The title of my paper is “ The English teacher in black and white”. The theme of the paper is focused on teacher’s activity, teachers characteristics and on their methods to teach in general and specifically on their methods to teach English. The purpose of my paper is to show what efforts has to make a teacher in order to build a great career and to become a good, popular teacher.
I have chosen this theme for my paper because I wish to become an English teacher. Working at this paper I have learned many important aspects that a teacher should take into consideration in his road to become a skilled teacher.
I considered to be important for me as a future teacher to get to know better how I could become a good English teacher, things that I should do and things that I shouldn’t do, to find out how a teacher should treat his students, how is regarded a teacher and what are the students expectations. Of course I also was a student and I know what I liked and what I disliked about my teachers so I have a shaped image of the future teacher that I’m going to be. I hope I will never forget the things that I hated about some teachers and try not to make the same mistakes . Of course no one is perfect but I think is important to admit your mistakes and try not to repeat them. A teacher should put on the first place the children, they are the ones who have to be formed as future people and the job of the teacher is to guide them on the correct path, to show them the way to the light, to the knowledge. A teacher should know that of him depends if a child will like English or not, that of him depends if he will learn for pleasure or only to get a satisfying grade, if he will choose to make a career from English or just consider it as a simple subject from high-school.
The paper contains 5 chapters. The fifth one is a research study that will reveal the most important features a teacher should have, to this research have responded 20 peoples, young and matures, it contains 6 questions that made the subjects think about their favorite teacher and about things they have in mind from the period when they were students.
The first chapter” How to achieve a good control of the class” presents how the class of students have to be treated, presents the attitude a teacher should have regarding his students and regarding what he teaches.
The second one ,“ The difference between a good teacher and a loved one,” presents some characteristics of a teacher, good and bad ones, presents things that pupils love or hate about their teachers and in some case we can see that a loved teacher is not certainly a good teacher and surprisingly but true a good teacher is not always loved. But this aspects will be developed at a certain moment.
The third chapter” Should the teacher be also a friend?” discusses about the fact if a teacher should be also a friend for the students and where we should put a line, where we should make the distinction between a friend and a teacher.
The fourth chapter “English as a global language” presents the English language in its context of modern and global language. This chapter treats the importance of English in schools, its role and presents few methods for teaching English.
The fifth chapter consists in a research about I have already mentioned some things above. It presents some peoples opinion about teachers they liked during their studies, about favorite subjects and also about teachers and subjects they didn’t liked so much.
All in all this paper is centered on the teaching career, discusses about the English teacher with right an wrong, with up-s and downs, presents this beautiful world of the didactic adventure and tries to underline the importance of teachers in the society. They are the ones who form the children , who prepare them as people and future citizens, is in their power to create a society formed of intellectuals, people who do a great job in the field they perform.
How to achieve a good control of the class
This chapter contains 4 subchapters which talk generally about discipline in the classroom, about classroom management and about techniques that lead to a productive learning environment. I decided to begin my paper with this theme because I consider discipline as one of the most important factors in the teaching activity. Without discipline the class would be governed by chaos and disorder, improper things for a learning activity. Discipline in the classroom means first of all respect for the teacher, respect for the subject that he teaches.
A class of pupils represents a gathering of spirits, of different types of being and thinking. Each pupil has his own individuality so we can’t treat them in the same way. The teacher has to distinguish the introvert pupils from the extrovert ones, has to protect them and try to make them feel comfortable with the others, trying to accommodate them with talking in front of the class, and helping them make friends with the others. And at the same time has to temperate the extrovert ones, taking care that they shouldn’t offend the others.
Having a good control of the class means that the teacher is the central character, is the one who leads the lesson, the activities, is the one to who the children can ask questions and permission, is the one who they must obey.
The word “discipline” refers specifically to those rules and measures that maintain “learning appropriate behavior” in the classroom and also to those rules that promote and maintain appropriate behavior in the society.
The acquisition of disciplined behavior is absolutely essential in the educational process. The discipline is the basis for development of conscience, without discipline the individual cannot develop such adult personality characteristics as self-control, persistence, self-reliance. And also very important is the fact that social order is dependent upon mutually accepted rules of social relationships. Finally but not the least important is the fact that intellectual growth cannot rise to its maximum potential in the absence of mental discipline.
Good discipline is not synonymous with “absolute quiet”. The teacher’s job is to reestablish and maintain the learning situation. In spite of what they may say students need a teacher they respect rather than an overgrown adolescent that could be their friend. He may sympathize and empathize with the students but always from his position as a teacher. Being “one of them“ destroys his image as a teacher. He has to impose respect and to demand courtesy at all times.
A teacher’s prime task is to establish the learning situations , to establish standards of work and behavior , his duty is to encourage the students to do their best at all times, to encourage them to a sincere effort to do their best. It is very important to make the rules clear to everyone in the class.
The best approach to discipline is to avoid circumstances that create discipline problems. Some behavior problems can be: failure to pay attention , failure to show interest in work or to prepare assignments, failure to become a member of the social group, failure to follow rules about attendance and promptness.
The teacher should take into consideration some things in order to prevent the occurrence of discipline problems during the class:
Start the class promptly with enthusiasm and vigor.
Get everyone’s attention before starting the recitation.
Have his plan and all teaching aids ready.
“Ride the class with his eyes”- he should be able to see all the students all the time.
Call on those students who are beginning to lose interest.
Be expressive and speak loudly and clearly.
Stand in class and move around.
Feel the pulse of the class.
State the question before calling on the student.
Variety of activities.
And of course there are things a teacher should never do:
1. Use sarcasm.
2. Play favorites.
3. Make threats.
4. Get sidetracked by irrelevant questions.
5. Talk too rapidly or nervously.
6. Punish the entire class for the misbehavior of one.
A productive learning atmosphere in the classroom requires a disciplined, responsive class. Of course we may speak of different types of discipline and the most important ones are: preventive, supportive and corrective. When developing your own classroom management plan it is important, therefore, to carefully consider the appropriate role of each type.
A teacher may choose from tree types of discipline. That depend on each one chose and adaptability to a certain type of discipline. These tree types are:
Discipline-measures taken to prevent misbehavior by keeping students engaged.
2. Supportive Discipline - measures taken to assist students with self-control by helping them get back on task.
3. Corrective Discipline - measures taken when students are not following classroom or school rules
Preventing misbehavior is obviously preferable to dealing with it after it has occurred. Most experts contend that the best way to prevent classroom misbehavior is to provide a stimulating curriculum that involves students so successfully that they spend little time thinking of misbehaving. As you plan your discipline system, emphasize preventive discipline by giving strong attention to the following:
All students may become restive and subject to temptation at times. When signs of incipient misbehavior appear, bring supportive discipline into play. This facet of discipline assists students with self-control by helping them get back on task. Often only the student involved knows it has been used. The following tactics are suggested for supportive discipline.
Even the best efforts in preventive and supportive discipline cannot eliminate all misbehavior. When students violate rules, you must deal with the misbehavior expeditiously. Corrective discipline should neither intimidate students nor prompt power struggles; but rather should proceed as follows:
Be ready to invoke an insubordination rule for students who refuse to stop misbehaving.
1.2 Productive learning environment
Group activities are more effective if they are goal oriented., if they are under the direction of a skilful leader, if the members of the group work harmoniously together and if they take place in an orderly environment. Teachers should communicate to the students those rules and procedures that are most likely to promote effective learning. For each class teacher should have specific goals, direct the activities toward the accomplishment of those goals, and maintain the learning environment.
Classroom management means to establish and maintain order in the class and to organize classroom activities. In some cases students seem to realize that they have work to do that they can complete successfully, and they are busily engaged in accomplishing the assigned tasks. These teachers have developed an environment in which students can and are expected to learn. In other classes students seem not to have anything worthwhile to do and they spend the class hour in a series of disconnected distractions trying to entertain themselves or waiting for the bell to ring. The environment for learning is absent. Even the students who want to learn can’t focus on their activity because of the others who misbehave.
Successful classroom management requires that teachers focus at the beginning of the lesson on organizing the class in an efficient manner with recognized goals. This direction requires that they establish order and maintain control, they need to develop a working base of leadership grounded in their positions as the teacher and on their personal relationship with the students. Their task include(Hawley,1982):
Establishing the necessary rules to govern classroom activities.
Clarifying the responsibilities of the students.
Directing class activities according to established procedures.
Maintaining the limits set for the students.
Encouraging students to become self-directed learners.
Effective teachers follow procedures in each class that are consistent with the academic orientation established at the beginning of the course. They begin each class promptly and purposefully. They move quickly and smoothly from one activity to another with a minimum of non-learning activities . This is very important as some studies revealed the fact that during a significant portion of the class hour students are often not involved in learning. They may take several minutes to calm down after the break between classes and to get involved in the activities of the new class. They may be slow to move from one activity to another, they may even expect a few minutes prior to the end of the period to get to their next class. The teacher’s responsibility is to minimize this delays, distractions and interruptions and to maximize the time spent on learning.
The teachers have to develop routines that promote the efficiency in the classroom and that students can easily follow. They strive to provide clear and concise explanations and directions because clarity relates directly and indirectly to tome-on-task. They limit and control the number and extent of classroom interruptions and disruptions. They move around the room to encourage all the students to be actively involved. They provide necessary feedback to all the students.( Lasley and Walker, 1986). They end the class promptly and on a positive note.
Classroom climate is a concept that deals with the social relationships that exist in the class. Once the learning takes place in a social situation the classroom climate that develops has an important influence on student’s attitude, interest, willingness to participate, and ultimately, achievement. Just what a desirable classroom climate consists and how to achieve it are not easily determined, and yet any knowledgeable visitor can walk into a classroom and recognize if it’s present or not. A teacher may be able to establish such a climate with one class and not another, or it may be present for a time and then disappear. It is obvious that the ideal climate varies according to age, gender and learning environment. Some students may prefer structure and cohesiveness, others may prefer competitiveness. Chavez(1984) cited one study that reported that cohesiveness, satisfaction, difficulty, democratic procedures, goal orientation and formality correlated positively with achievement, while friction, favoritism, cliqueness, disorganization and apathy correlated negatively. Seiler et al.(1984) list the following contrasts to be found in effective versus ineffective learning climates:
Openness versus defensiveness.
Confidence versus fear.
Acceptance versus rejection.
Belongingness versus alienation.
Trust versus suspicion.
High expectations versus low expectations.
Order versus chaos.
Control versus frustration.
Establishing positive relationships with students involves three tasks: affiliation, communication and support. Teacher can promote a strong affiliation by accepting each student, including everyone in all class activities, fostering a sense of belonging, and encouraging an attitude of group cohesiveness. Regarding communication, the students and teacher should seek to comprehend and cooperate in the various exchanges that take place in class. They should be open with each other and be ready to provide invading anyone’s desire for privacy. With respect to support, the classroom climate should be such that students participate actively in all class activities. Students with critical teachers may choose the easy way out of a potentially uncomfortable situation by answering in class only when forced to.
Classroom climate often reflects the teacher’s orientation toward the class. Some teachers set standards and select activities based on a subconscious desire to be popular with students. Such classes often exhibit an aimless wandering through the text in search of fun activities to entertain the students. Because they are not goal oriented, such classes can never be productive and satisfying. Only by setting academic goals teachers can establish learning situations in which students are able to achieve a sense of academic satisfaction.
Teachers should be aware that establishing a positive classroom climate does not require stressing social relationships to the exclusion of learning nor that they favor an informal, laissez-faire atmosphere over a more formal one. A teacher can be warm, concerned and flexible both in a formal atmosphere and in an informal one
“For teaching to be enjoyable, you must be able to simply relax and teach. Classroom management must be built from the ground up so that most problems do not occur.”
Dr. Freud Jones
Teachers are responsible for managing and monitoring student learning. Good teachers create, enrich, maintain and alter instructional settings to capture and sustain the interest of their students and to make the most effective use of time. They also are adept at engaging students and adults to assist their teaching and at enlisting their colleagues' knowledge and expertise to complement their own. Accomplished teachers command a range of generic instructional techniques, know when each is appropriate and can implement them as needed. They are as aware of ineffectual or damaging practice as they are devoted to elegant practice. They know how to engage groups of students to ensure a disciplined learning environment, and how to organize instruction to allow the schools' goals for students to be met. They are adept at setting norms for social interaction among students and between students and teachers. They understand how to motivate students to learn and how to maintain their interest even in the face of temporary failure. Professional teachers hold high expectations for all students and see themselves as facilitators of student learning. To fulfill these responsibilities, teachers must create, enrich and alter the organizational structures in which they work with young people. They also find ways to capture and sustain the interest of their students. Because time is a precious commodity in schools, teachers attempt to make the most efficient use of it. To accomplish these tasks, teachers seek to master the body of generic pedagogical knowledge.
Teachers know how to manage groups of students. They are responsible for setting forth the social norms by which students and teachers act and interact, helping students learn to adopt appropriate roles and responsibilities for their own learning and that of their peers. This includes teaching students to work independently without constant direct supervision by a teacher. Accomplished teachers have developed systems for overseeing their classrooms so that students and teacher alike can focus on learning, not on controlling disruptive behavior. Discipline and management techniques vary, and no one system has been proven most effective. Hence, proficient teachers consider the desired learning results, their knowledge of their students and the social context, and their own prior experience in selecting management strategies.
Teachers also know that different instructional formats often require different norms of social interaction. Accomplished teachers can alternate among organizational arrangements and understand how different structures cast students and teachers in different roles. Applying their knowledge of the relative strengths and weaknesses of different structures, they weigh these considerations when deciding which instructional strategy and organizational structure will best enhance student learning. They also continually search for new forms of organization that may expand their repertoire and prove effective.
Teachers also know about planning instruction -- identifying and elaborating educational objectives, developing activities to help them meet their goals and drawing upon resources that will serve their purposes. Experienced teachers do not all plan alike. Some do not write elaborate plans prior to teaching, having automated their planning through years of experience in classrooms. Other teachers plan in detail (e.g., creating individual educational plans for special education students). No matter what form their final plans take -scribbles on a scrap of paper or lengthy and detailed outlines accomplished teachers can clearly articulate their goals for students.
1.4.Discipline and management techniques
Classroom discipline and management causes the most fear and consternation in new teachers. However, classroom management is a skill that is not only learned but practiced daily. Here are ten tips that can lead to successful classroom management and discipline. I found this tips on the internet during my research for this paper. And I considered them very interesting and useful. These tips can become useful to cut down on discipline problems and leave with fewer interruptions and disruptions.
Many teachers make the mistake of starting the school year with a poor discipline plan. Students quickly assess the situation in each class and realize what they will be allowed to get away with. Once you set a precedent of allowing a lot of disruptions, it can be very hard to start better classroom management and discipline techniques. However, it is never tough to get easier as the year goes on. While you don't have to follow the adage, 'Never smile until Christmas,' it does have its merits.
Students have a distinct sense of what is and what is not fair. You must act fairly for all students if you expect to be respected. If you do not treat all students equitably, you will be labeled as unfair students will not be keen to follow your rules. Make sure that if your best student does something wrong, they too get punished for it.
When you have classroom disruptions, it is imperative that you deal with them immediately and with as little interruption of your class momentum as possible. If students are talking amongst themselves and you are having a classroom discussion, ask one of them a question to try to get them back on track. If you have to stop the flow of your lesson to deal with disruptions, then you are robbing students who want to learn of their precious in-class time.
4. Avoid Confrontations in Front of Students
Whenever there is a confrontation in class there is a winner and a loser. Obviously as the teacher, you need to keep order and discipline in your class. However, it is much better to deal with discipline issues privately than cause a student to 'lose face' in front of their friends. It is not a good idea to make an example out of a disciplinary issue. Even though other students might get the point, you might have lost any chance of actually teaching that student anything in your class.
5. Stop Disruptions with a Little Humor
Sometimes all it takes is for everyone to have a good laugh to get things back on track in a classroom. Many times, however, teachers confuse good humor with sarcasm. While humor can quickly diffuse a situation, sarcasm may harm your relationship with the students involved. Use your best judgment but realize that what some people think as funny others find to be offensive.
6. Keep High Expectations in Your Class
Expect that your students will behave, not that they will disrupt. Reinforce this with the way you speak to your students. When you begin the day, tell your students your expectations. For example, you might say, 'During this whole group session, I expect you to raise your hands and be recognized before you start speaking. I also expect you to respect each other's opinions and listen to what each person has to say.'
7. Over plan
Free time is something teachers should avoid. By allowing students time just to talk each day, you are setting a precedent about how you view academics and your subject. To avoid this, over plan. When you have too much to cover, you'll never run out of lessons and you will avoid free time. You can also fill up any left over time with mini-lessons as described elsewhere on this site.
8. Be Consistent
One of the worst things you can do as a teacher is to not enforce your rules consistently. If one day you ignore misbehaviors and the next day you jump on someone for the smallest infraction, your students will quickly lose respect for you. Your students have the right to expect you to basically be the same everyday. Moodiness is not allowed. Once your lose your student's respect, you also lose their attention and their desire to please you.
9. Make Rules Understandable
You need to be selective in your rules (no one can follow 180 rules consistently). You also need to make them clear. Students should understand what is and what is not acceptable. Further, you should make sure that the consequences for breaking your rules are also clear and known beforehand.
10. Start Fresh Everyday
This tip does not mean that you discount all previous infractions, i.e. if they have three tardies then today means four. However, it does mean that you should start teaching your class each day with the expectation that students will behave. Don't assume that because Julie has disrupted your class everyday for a week, she will disrupt it today. By doing this, you will not be treating Julie any differently and thereby setting her up to disrupt again (like a self-fulfilling prophecy).
Be sure you have the attention of everyone in your classroom before you start your lesson. Don’t attempt to teach over the chatter of students who are not paying attention.
Inexperienced teachers sometimes think that by beginning their lesson, the class will settle down. The children will see that things are underway now and it is time to go to work. Sometimes this works, but the children are also going to think that you are willing to compete with them, that you don’t mind talking while they talk, or that you are willing to speak louder so that they can finish their conversation even after you have started the lesson. They get the idea that you accept their inattention and that it is permissible to talk while you are presenting a lesson.
The focusing technique means that you will demand their attention before you begin. It means that you will wait and not start until everyone has settled down. Experienced teachers know that silence on their part is very effective. They will punctuate their waiting by extending it 3 to 5 seconds after the classroom is completely quiet. Then they begin their lesson using a quieter voice than normal.
A soft spoken teacher often has a calmer, quieter classroom than one with a stronger voice. Her students sit still in order to hear what she says.
2. Direct Instruction
Uncertainty increases the level of excitement in the classroom. The technique of direct instruction is to begin each class by telling the students exactly what will be happening. The teacher outlines what he and the students will be doing this period. He may set time limits for some tasks.
An effective way to marry this technique with the first one is to include time at the end of the period for students to do activities of their choosing. The teacher may finish the description of the hour’s activities with: “And I think we will have some time at the end of the period for you to chat with your friends, go to the library, or catch up on work for other classes.”
The teacher is more willing to wait for class attention when he knows there is extra time to meet his goals and objectives. The students soon realize that the more time the teacher waits for their attention, the less free time they have at the end of the hour.
The key to this principle is to circulate. Get up and get around the room. While your students are working, make the rounds. Check on their progress.
An effective teacher will make a pass through the whole room about two minutes after the students have started a written assignment. She checks that each student has started, that the children are on the correct page, and that everyone has put their names on their papers. The delay is important. She wants her students to have a problem or two finished so she can check that answers are correctly labeled or in complete sentences. She provides individualized instruction as needed.
Students who are not yet quite on task will be quick to get going as they see her approach. Those that were distracted or slow to get started can be nudged along.
The teacher does not interrupt the class or try to make general announcements unless she notices that several students have difficulty with the same thing. The teacher uses a quiet voice and her students appreciate her personal and positive attention.
4. Modeling McDaniel tells us of a saying that goes “Values are caught, not taught.” Teachers who are courteous, prompt, enthusiastic, in control, patient and organized provide examples for their students through their own behavior. The “do as I say, not as I do” teachers send mixed messages that confuse students and invite misbehavior.
If you want students to use quiet voices in your classroom while they work, you too will use a quiet voice as you move through the room helping youngsters.
5. Non-Verbal Cuing
A standard item in the classroom of the 1950’s was the clerk’s bell. A shiny nickel bell sat on the teacher’s desk. With one tap of the button on top he had everyone’s attention. Teachers have shown a lot of ingenuity over the years in making use of non-verbal cues in the classroom. Some flip light switches. Others keep clickers in their pockets.
cues can also be facial expressions, body posture and hand signals. Care should
be given in choosing the types of cues you use in your classroom. Take time to
explain what you want the students to do when you use your cues.
6. Environmental Control
A classroom can be a warm cheery place. Students enjoy an environment that changes periodically. Study centers with pictures and color invite enthusiasm for your subject.
Young people like to know about you and your interests. Include personal items in your classroom. A family picture or a few items from a hobby or collection on your desk will trigger personal conversations with your students. As they get to know you better, you will see fewer problems with discipline.
Just as you may want to enrich your classroom, there are times when you may want to impoverish it as well. You may need a quiet corner with few distractions. Some students will get caught up in visual exploration. For them, the splash and the color is a siren that pulls them off task. They may need more “vanilla” and less “rocky-road.” Have a quiet place where you can steer these youngsters. Let them get their work done first and then come back to explore and enjoy the rest of the room.
7. Low-Profile Intervention
Most students are sent to the principal’s office as a result of confrontational escalation. The teacher has called them on a lesser offense, but in the moments that follow, the student and the teacher are swept up in a verbal maelstrom. Much of this can be avoided when the teacher’s intervention is quiet and calm.
An effective teacher will take care that the student is not rewarded for misbehavior by becoming the focus of attention. She monitors the activity in her classroom, moving around the room. She anticipates problems before they occur. Her approach to a misbehaving student is inconspicuous. Others in the class are not distracted.
While lecturing to her class this teacher makes effective use of name-dropping. If she sees a student talking or off task, she simply drops the youngster’s name into her dialogue in a natural way. “And you see, David, we carry the one to the tens column.” David hears his name and is drawn back on task. The rest of the class doesn’t seem to notice.
8. Assertive Discipline
This is traditional limit setting authoritarianism. When executed as presented by Lee Canter (who has made this form a discipline one of the most widely known and practiced) it will include a good mix of praise. This is high profile discipline. The teacher is the boss and no child has the right to interfere with the learning of any student. Clear rules are laid out and consistently enforced.
9. Assertive I-Messages A component of Assertive Discipline, these I-Messages are statements that the teacher uses when confronting a student who is misbehaving. They are intended to be clear descriptions of what the student is suppose to do. The teacher who makes good use of this technique will focus the child’s attention first and foremost on the behavior he wants, not on the misbehavior. “I want you to” or “I need you to” or “I expect you to”
The inexperienced teacher may incorrectly try “I want you to stop” only to discover that this usually triggers confrontation and denial. The focus is on the misbehavior and the student is quick to retort: “I wasn’t doing anything!” or “It wasn’t my fault” or “Since when is there a rule against” and escalation has begun.
10. Humanistic I-Messages These I-messages are expressions of our feelings. Thomas Gordon, creator of Teacher Effectiveness Training (TET), tells us to structure these messages in three parts. First, include a description of the child’s behavior. “When you talk while I talk” Second, relate the effect this behavior has on the teacher. “I have to stop my teaching” And third, let the student know the feeling that it generates in the teacher. “which frustrates me.”
A teacher, distracted by a student who was constantly talking while he tried to teach, once made this powerful expression of feelings: “I cannot imagine what I have done to you that I do not deserve the respect from you that I get from the others in this class. If I have been rude to you or inconsiderate in any way, please let me know. I feel as though I have somehow offended you and now you are unwilling to show me respect.” The student did not talk during his lectures again for many weeks.
11. Positive Discipline Use classroom rules that describe the behaviors you want instead of listing things the students cannot do. Instead of “no-running in the room,” use “move through the building in an orderly manner.” Instead of “no fighting,“ use “settle conflicts appropriately.” Instead of “no gum chewing,” use “leave gum at home.” Refer to your rules as expectations. Let your students know this is how you expect them to behave in your classroom. Make ample use of praise. When you see good behavior, acknowledge it. This can be done verbally, of course, but it doesn’t have to be. A nod, a smile or a “thumbs up” will reinforce the behavior.
This chapter offered me the possibility to talk about one of the most important aspects of teaching which is discipline. And not only this, but also about classroom management and about the learning environment. This factors are those who can make the process of teaching and learning a pleasant one. This are the conditions needed for learning in a productive way. Discipline and management of the class are some fields in which a teacher has to demonstrate his abilities and skillfulness and he has to make a great job if he wants to be respected and take control over the classroom. As a conclusion a teacher has to make himself respected and has to know how to lead his class.
The difference between a good a teacher and a loved one
In this chapter I will talk about the things a teacher should know, about the necessary things that a teacher must do for becoming a great teacher. The things presented in what follows are basically expectations that I had during the years of school from the part of my teachers. So anyone else could have the same expectations, could have the same robot portrait of a good teacher. In this chapter I describe the way a teacher has to treat the subject he teaches, what kind of attitude he has to have in what concerns his subject and his students. I will also talk about ways of giving tasks, ways of teaching, ways of giving instructions.
2.1What teachers should know and be able to do
The fundamental requirements for a proficient teacher are clear: knowledge of subjects to be taught, of the skills to be developed, and of the curricular arrangements and materials that organize and embody that content; knowledge of general and subject-specific methods for teaching and for evaluating student learning; knowledge of students
and human development; skills in effectively teaching students from racially, ethnically, and socio economically diverse backgrounds; and the skills, capacities and dispositions to employ such knowledge wisely in the interest of students.
Teaching ultimately requires judgment, improvisation and conversation about means and ends. Human qualities, expert knowledge and skill, and professional commitment together compose excellence in this craft. Teachers are committed to students and their learning. Accomplished teachers are dedicated to making knowledge accessible to all students. They act on the belief that all students can learn. They treat students equitably, recognizing the individual differences that distinguish one student from another and taking account of these differences in their practice. They adjust their practice based on observation and knowledge of their students' interests, abilities, skills, knowledge, family circumstances and peer relationships.
Accomplished teachers understand how students develop and learn. They incorporate the prevailing theories of cognition and intelligence in their practice. They are aware of the influence of context and culture on behavior. They develop students' cognitive capacity and their respect for learning. Equally important, they foster students' self-esteem, motivation, character, civic responsibility and their respect for individual, cultural, religious and racial differences.
Teachers know the subjects they teach and how to teach those subjects to students.
Accomplished teachers have a rich understanding of the subject(s) they teach and appreciate how knowledge in their subject is created, organized, linked to other disciplines and applied to real-world settings. While faithfully representing the collective wisdom of our culture and upholding the value of disciplinary knowledge, they also develop the critical and analytical capacities of their students.
Accomplished teachers command specialized knowledge of how to convey and reveal subject matter to students. They are aware of the preconceptions and background knowledge that students typically bring to each subject and of strategies and instructional materials that can be of assistance. They understand where difficulties are likely to arise and modify their practice accordingly. Their instructional repertoire allows them to create multiple paths to the subjects they teach, and they are adept at teaching students how to pose and solve their own problems. Teachers think systematically about their practice and learn from experience.
Accomplished teachers are models of educated persons, exemplifying the virtues they seek to inspire in students : curiosity, tolerance, honesty, fairness, respect for diversity and appreciation of cultural differences and the capacities that are prerequisites for intellectual growth: the ability to reason and take multiple perspectives to be creative and take risks, and to adopt an experimental and problem-solving orientation.
Accomplished teachers draw on their knowledge of human development, subject matter and instruction, and their understanding of their students to make principled judgments about sound practice.
Their decisions are not only grounded in the literature, but also in their experience. They engage in lifelong learning which they seek to encourage in their students.
Striving to strengthen their teaching, accomplished teachers critically examine their practice, seek to expand their repertoire, deepen their knowledge, sharpen their judgment and adapt their teaching to new findings, ideas and theories.
Fundamental to the teacher's credo is the belief that all students can learn. Furthermore, they act on that belief. Accomplished teachers like young people and are dedicated to and skilled at making knowledge accessible to all students, even as they acknowledge their distinctive traits and talents. Success depends on teachers' belief in the dignity and worth of all human beings and in the potential that exists within each child. Teachers typically do not work one-on-one with students for extended periods of time because they are responsible for groups. But within this constraint, they are attentive to human variability and its influence on learning.
Teachers Recognize Individual Differences in their students and adjust their practice accordingly. To respond effectively to individual differences, teachers must know many things about the particular students they teach: Alex has a stutter, Maria loves science fiction, Toby is anxious about mathematics, Marco is captivated by jazz. But accomplished teachers know much more- whom their students go home to at night, how they have previously performed on standardized tests, what sparks their interest. This kind of specific understanding is not trivial, for teachers use it constantly to decide how best to tailor instruction.
As diagnosticians of students' interests, abilities and prior knowledge, skillful teachers learn to 'read' their students. When planning a unit on aging, for example, they will anticipate what concepts and activities certain students may find problematic. Watching a student work on a computer, they will look for signs of progress. By keeping a finger on the pulse of the class, teachers decide when to alter plans, work with individual students, or enrich instruction with additional examples, explanations or activities.
Proficient teachers learn from their experiences. They learn from listening to their students, from watching them interact with peers, and from reading what they write. The information they acquire about students in the course of instruction subsequently becomes part of their general knowledge of education. Such monitoring and learning is no easy feat. What teachers are able to see, hear and learn is colored by their own prior knowledge and experience. Thus teachers must, in their efforts to work with children different than themselves, monitor both what they see and hear, and what is not so close to the surface. They must strive to acquire a deep understanding of their students and the communities from which they come that shape students' outlooks, values and orientations toward schooling.
Teachers have an understanding of how students develop and learn.
In addition to particular knowledge of their students, teachers use their understanding of individual and social learning theory, and of child and adolescent development theory, to form their decisions about how to teach. They are familiar with the concepts generated by social and cognitive scientists that apply to teaching and learning. Moreover, they integrate such knowledge with their personal theories of learning and development generated from their own practice. For example, accomplished teachers know that old theories of a monolithic intelligence have given way to more complex theories of multiple intelligences. Current thinking no longer casts 'intelligence' as a context-free, one-dimensional trait. Instead, it recognizes different kinds of intelligence- linguistic, musical, mathematical, spatial, kinesthetic, personal. This perspective also holds that there are variations in the sources of intelligence (e.g., practical experience versus formal
study) and the forms of intelligence (e.g., procedural skills versus propositional knowledge).
Both their knowledge of these theories and their experiences in classrooms have taught teachers that each student has different strengths, perhaps even gifts. Teachers think about how to capitalize on these assets as they consider how best to nurture additional abilities and aptitudes.
Moreover, teachers recognize that behavior always takes place within a particular setting that, to some extent, defines the behavior. They know, for instance, that students who cannot flawlessly recite multiplication tables may still be able to multiply in other contexts (e.g., in calculating whether they have enough money for items at the grocery store). Accomplished teachers are aware that school settings sometimes obscure a clear vision of students' aptitudes and intelligences. Therefore, they strive to provide multiple contexts in which to promote and evaluate those abilities.
They also recognize the ways in which intelligence is culturally defined. That is, what is considered intelligent behavior is largely determined by the values and beliefs of the culture in which that behavior is being judged.
Teachers Treat Students Equitably. As stewards for the interests of students, accomplished teachers are vigilant in ensuring that all pupils receive their fair share of attention, and that biases based on real or perceived ability differences, handicaps or disabilities, social or cultural background, language, race, religion, or gender do not distort relationships between themselves and their students. This, however, is not a simple proposition. Accomplished teachers do not treat all students alike, for similar treatment is not necessarily equivalent to equitable education. In responding to differences among students, teachers are careful to counter potential inequities and avoid favoritism. This requires a well tuned alertness to such matters and is difficult, as we have only modest knowledge of human differences and how best to respond to them. Hence, accomplished teachers employ what is known about ineffectual and effective practice with diverse groups of students, while striving to learn more about how best to accommodate those differences.
Teachers' mission extends beyond developing the cognitive capacity of their students.
Teachers are concerned with their students' self-concept, with their motivation, with the effects of learning on peer relationships, and with the development of character, aspiration and civic virtues. These aspects of the student - important as they are in their own right - are also essential to intellectual development. Proficient teachers consider students' potential in this broader sense when making decisions about what and how to teach.
They are dedicated to exposing their students to different modes of critical thinking
and to teaching students to think analytically about content. Teachers represent the collective wisdom of our culture and insist on maintaining the integrity of the methods, substance and structures of disciplinary knowledge. In the face of pressures to portray knowledge in weak and diluted forms, they remain firm. Their role, however, is not just to reinforce the status quo. Rather, appreciative of the fact that there are multiple perspectives and interpretations in each discipline, accomplished teachers encourage students to question prevailing canons and assumptions to help them think for themselves. It is sometimes assumed that elementary school teachers need not be equipped to approach their subjects critically. But all accomplished teachers, regardless of the ages of their students, are charged with teaching students about something, and in order to do so, they must appreciate its complexity and richness. Teachers must possess such knowledge if they are to help their students develop higher-order thinking skills -the hallmark of accomplished teaching at any level. Being able to engage elementary school children in the broad array of subjects they can profitably come to appreciate makes elementary school practice especially challenging. This does not imply that fourth-grade teachers should have the same command of biology as high school biology teachers. However, it does mean that they have an understanding of science that allows them to present basic precepts to their students and introduce them to the joy of discovering -and thinking about - the natural world of which they are a part.
Teachers command specialized knowledge of how to convey a subject to students.
Knowledge of subject matter is not synonymous with knowledge of how to reveal content to students so they might build it into their systems of thinking. Accomplished teachers possess what is sometimes called 'pedagogical content knowledge.' Such understanding is the joint product of wisdom about teaching, learning, students and content. It includes knowledge of the most appropriate ways to present the subject matter to students through analogies, metaphors, experiments, demonstrations and illustrations. Subject-specific knowledge also includes an awareness of the most common misconceptions held by students, the aspects that they will find most difficult, and the kinds of prior knowledge, experience and skills that students of different ages typically bring to the learning of particular topics. Proficient science teachers, for example, know that some students
have misconceptions about gravity that can influence their learning, while proficient art
and music teachers know that young children arrive at school at various stages of maturity with respect to eye-hand coordination. Teachers use this knowledge of their students to structure instruction that facilitates further development.
Thus, subject-specific pedagogical knowledge is not a bag of tricks, but a repertoire of representations that combines instructional techniques with subject matter in ways that take into account the mix of students and school contexts that confront the teacher. Such subject-specific teaching knowledge embodies a way of reasoning through and solving the problems that arise in the daily work of teachers - decisions ranging from what aspects of the subject matter to emphasize to decisions about how to pace instruction. In making these choices, teachers bring to bear their knowledge of students and learning and teaching and subject matter.
Professional teachers' instructional repertoires also include knowledge of available curricular resources such as primary sources, models, reproductions, textbook series, teachers' guides, videotapes, computer software and musical recordings. Their commitment to learning about new materials includes keeping abreast of technological developments that have implications for teaching; for example, how to engage students in the rapidly expanding field of computer technology, as well as how to use the computer to enhance their own teaching. Thus, able teachers keep current with the growing body of curricular materials - including literature available through their professional organizations - and constantly evaluate the usefulness of those materials based on their understanding of curriculum theory, of students, of subject matter, and of the school's and their own educational aims.
Teachers generate multiple paths to knowledge.
Knowledgeable teachers are aware there is value in both structured and inductive learning. That is, while it is useful to teach students about the concepts and principles that scholars have generated in the various disciplines, it is also valuable to engage students in learning by discovery, where they themselves search for problems, patterns and solutions. Proficient teachers help students learn to pose problems and work through alternative solutions, in addition to teaching them about the answers that others have found to similar problems. The posing and solving of problems on their own is central to the development of true understanding by students -- moving far beyond the rote memorization of facts, the easy manipulation of formulas or the facile playing of a musical scale. Teaching for understanding requires students to integrate aspects of knowledge into their habits of thinking, rather than simply store fragmented knowledge bits. It also means learning to think in a nonlinear way, approaching issues from different angles, weighing multiple criteria and considering multiple solutions. Thus, in the eyes of the proficient teacher, 'knowledge' is not conceived narrowly as a lower-level form of understanding. Rather, knowledge is cast in the richest light - as a combination of skills, dispositions, propositions and beliefs - integrated and flexible, elaborate and deep. Furthermore, understanding involves the ability to apply such knowledge to problems never before encountered by teacher or student. Accomplished teachers appreciate that this is the kind of knowledge and understanding that counts, and that this type of learning cannot be rushed. Accomplished teachers know and can employ a variety of generic instructional skills - how to conduct Socratic dialogues, how to lecture, how to oversee small cooperative learning groups. Although much of instruction is determined by the content to be taught, there are some commonalities about teaching methods that guide their practice. They are aware of what can reasonably be covered in a 45-minute roundtable discussion, when to hold back and let students figure out their own solutions, and what types of questions provoke the most thoughtful conversation. But it is not sufficient that teachers know about different modes of instruction; they must also know how to implement those strategies. Traditional distinctions between knowing and doing have obscured the fact that thought and action interpenetrate in teaching- knowing about something and knowing how to do something are both forms of understanding central to teaching.
Because students vary in learning styles and because different settings afford differing learning opportunities, accomplished teachers know when and how to alter the social and physical organizational structure of the learning environment. It is not enough to be a master lecturer, for there are many times when lecturing is not an effective way to teach. An outdoor experiment, a mock trial or an economic simulation, for example, may be more appropriate. Alternatively, a debate might be a more effective way to engage students in thinking and learning. Teachers know about the breadth of options available to them, such as innovative instructional formats that involve discovery learning, conceptual mapping, brainstorming, working with computers, as well as more traditional tried-and-true methods.
Teachers not only have the opportunity to vary instructional settings and to employ a range of instructional materials, they also have the opportunity to call on various human resources to custom- tailor the working environment for students. Accomplished teachers know how to mobilize students to tutor their peers and how to engage aides and volunteers as teaching assistants. In schools where staffing arrangements are not fixed and inflexible, teachers also have a good appreciation of their colleagues' skills and the circumstances in which their colleagues' talents can best complement their own. Professional teachers wisely enlist the knowledge and expertise of their fellow faculty members in a variety of ways as they seek to provide their students with as rewarding a learning experience as possible. Accomplished teachers also know the strengths and weaknesses of these options, and their suitability or incompatibility for certain students and groups. The settings that a teacher chooses are not just matters of personal preference, but are grounded in the literature of teaching. Teaching, to the accomplished teacher, is an elegant web of alternative activities in which students are engaged with the content; sometimes with the teacher, sometimes with each other, sometimes alone.
Facilitating student learning is not simply a matter of placing young people in educative environments, for teachers must also motivate them, capturing their minds and hearts and engaging them actively in learning. The teacher's role in building upon student interests and in sparking new passions is central to building bridges between what students know and can do and what they are capable of learning. Proficient teachers also know that motivating students is not always equivalent to making learning fun, for learning can be difficult work. Developing an acute sense of one's body in dance, for example, requires intense intellectual and physical concentration. Writing a short story requires drafting and re-drafting, editing and re-editing, occasionally submitting oneself to the critiques of peers and teachers. To practice effectively, teachers need to know how to encourage students even in the face of temporary failure and the inevitable doubts that students meet as they push themselves to new affective, intellectual and physical planes. With such learning comes the real joy in education, the satisfaction of accomplishment.
Teachers Regularly Assess Student Progress.
While teachers are not always the central actors in their students' educational experiences, they are ultimately responsible for the creation and maintenance of those experiences and bear a considerable responsibility for what students learn at school. Proficient teachers, therefore, can judge the relative success of the activities they design. They can track what students are learning (or not learning), as well as what they, as teachers, are learning.
Assessment in teaching is not a simple task; teachers must monitor the successes and failures of individual students and evaluate their classes as collectives of learners. Additionally, they make judgments about themselves as teachers in relation to those students and classes. Although these judgments are interdependent of one another, they are not necessarily synonymous. One of the essential tensions of teaching is that teachers teach individual students, while managing groups.
Accomplished teachers do not treat a class as a monolith. They know that a class does not learn-individual students do. But individuals neither learn the same things, nor learn at the same pace. Accomplished teachers use information about how the students in their classes are doing 'on average' as a guide to making judgments about the relative success or failure of an instructional strategy. But they do not forget that there are few average students. They know that some students have moved far beyond that 'average' evaluation, while others trail. And while they have to make decisions about what to do with the class as a whole, proficient teachers find ways to accommodate what they know about individual students and what they are learning in their plans for the whole group.
Accomplished teachers understand that the purposes, timing and focus of an evaluation affect its form. They are astute observers of students -- their movements, their words and their minds. Teachers track student progress with a variety of evaluation methods, each with its own set of purposes, strengths and weaknesses. Their knowledge extends to creating their own, sometimes innovative, tools for evaluation, including portfolios, videotapes, demonstrations and exhibitions. In addition, they may use more traditional measures such as quizzes or exams. Sometimes teachers ask questions in the middle of a group discussion in order to assess how well students are following the presentation of information; or they may talk individually with students while they are engaged in independent work. At other times they watch their students' behavior as they read to each other or work in the laboratory. Teachers frequently do not assign grades, for evaluation is not always for the purpose of recording grades; rather, it allows students and teachers to assess where they stand. Teachers also assess students to determine how much they have learned from a unit of instruction, be it a week on seeds, a semester of photography, or a year of athletic training. Student responses then contribute to teachers' decisions about whether to reteach, review or move on. By continually adding to their repertoire of methods for assessing what students have learned, as well as constantly monitoring student progress, accomplished teachers are able to provide constructive feedback to
students, parents and themselves. Finally, such teachers help their students to engage in self assessment, instilling in them a sense of responsibility for monitoring their own learning.
As with most professions, teaching requires an open-ended capacity that is not acquired once and for all. Because they work in a field marked by many unsolved puzzles and an expanding research base, teachers have a professional obligation to be lifelong students of their craft, seeking to expand their repertoire, deepen their knowledge and skill, and become wiser in rendering judgments. Accomplished teachers are inventive in their teaching and, recognizing the need to admit new findings and continue learning, stand ready to incorporate ideas and methods developed by others that fit their aims and their students. What exemplifies excellence, then, is a reverence for the craft, a recognition of its complexities, and a commitment to lifelong professional development.
2.2Characterstics of a good teacher
The personal qualities of successful primary teachers vary, but they do need to be of good character, ready to apply themselves in an enthusiastic and dedicated fashion and ready to work hard. To be a good teacher you must be able to relate well to young children and enjoy working with others. You need to be enthusiastic and creative. Patience, tact and a sense of humor will help you through the harder times. You should be willing to learn and ‘have a go’. Principals will look for a range of skills as well as expertise when they are selecting staff. If you have outside interests, for example in sport or drama, you may be able to use these to advantage in the school. All teachers also need to be confident users of computer technology. Good teachers are guides for students exploring and learning from the vast knowledge available not only in their local area, but also worldwide.
An ideal teacher is one we respect
from our heart. He/she acts, as a guide to the students, but at the same times
does not pushes them too much. A perfect teacher motivates the students and
boosts their morale. He/she tries to encourage the students and refrains from
criticizing them. Such a teacher prefers to give positive motivation to
The perfect teacher is our friend, guide, educator, confidante, all rolled into one. One such teacher builds the whole life of the students. Everyone in this world should get an ideal teacher. They wont have to look back in their lives ever.
The types of teachers in this world are many. Some teachers are strict, some are lenient and some others are in the middle way, neither lenient nor strict.
We can talk about:
All the classifications for teachers are based on some typical personality traits of the teachers. For example - some teachers constantly criticize the students, some act like friends, some are fun to be with and so on.
Many people have had some type of education, whether it was
grade school, high school, college, tutoring, formal or informal. Many people
remember a special teacher because of
how he or she presented him or herself to students. Anyone can be a teacher,
but a good teacher
displays certain characteristics that are found both in and outside the
A good teacher displays self confidence. She has control of the classroom and the students know who is in charge. The teacher takes pride in her work and strives for excellence. She knows what to teach and how to teach it.
A good teacher is a consumer of knowledge. He knows the subject material and is always searching for new methods and ideas to use. He shares his knowledge with his students
and colleagues. A good teacher is also
looking for ideas to develop himself professionally and personally.
A good teacher is prepared. She prepares her lessons and materials in advance. She follows a regular routing, is organized and has activities readily available. She is also prepared for lessons that do not go as planned. She has backup plans and is willing to change her plans if needed.
A good teacher listens. She listens to her students engage in conversations with one another and encourages her students to engage in conversation with her as well. She is tuned in when a student is having difficulty understanding subject material or when a student is having personal issues. She knows when to step in and when to back off.
A good teacher motivates. He motivates his students to learn and to take on projects independently. He has an enthusiasm that is contagious to his students and colleagues.
A good teacher is fair. She gives all of her students a chance to succeed in her classroom even when the conditions at home are not favorable for the student. She allows students to do their best and recognizes those that try.
A good teacher has a sense of humor. He knows when to laugh at himself and when to laugh with the class. Humor within the classroom can ease any frustration that the teacher and/or student may be experiencing at that moment.
A good teacher
has a passion for teaching. Teaching is her number one priority. She talks,
writes, and breathes teaching. She wants to make a difference in the lives of
even if it is just one and gives her best in her classroom.
Anyone can be a teacher, but only few can become good teachers. The development of a good teacher is a slow, ongoing process. It requires dedication and discipline to the profession. They should make their lessons interesting so that you don’t fall asleep. A teacher should love her job. If she really enjoys it, that’ll make the lessons more interesting. Students like the teacher who has his own personality and don’t hide it from the students so that he is not only a teacher but a person as well- and it comes through the lessons. They like teachers who have lots of knowledge, not only of their subject. A good teacher is an entertainer and I mean that in a positive sense, not a negative one.
Good teachers care more about their students learning than they do about their own teaching. It is important that you can talk to the teacher when you have problems and you don not get along with the subject. A good teacher is … somebody who has an affinity with the students they are teaching. A good teacher should try and draw out the quiet and control the more talkative ones. She should be able to correct people without offending them. A good teacher is … someone who helps rather than shouts. A good teacher is … someone who knows students names.
A teacher should speak very slowly and clearly to their foreign-language students. Teachers should always use well-constructed sentences when they speak to their students. Teachers should speak to their students like parents talk to their young children. Teachers should speak normally to their students-as if they were talking to their own friends. Teachers should only say things to students which the students will understand totally. Experienced teachers adapt their language to the level of the students. They use physical movement. They naturally show their happiness and sadness. The new teachers should do as the experienced teachers do. New teacher should concentrate their focus on their students’ comprehension . How the teachers talk to their students is one of the teaching skill, so it is crucial for the new English teachers to train it, practice it. It helps when the new teachers use the written dialogues instead of the oral ones after class.
2.3 How should teacher give instructions
Before giving instructions, a teacher should ask himself the followings:
a) What is the information I am trying to convey?
b) What must the students know if they are to complete the activity successfully?
c) Which information do they need first?
d) Which should come next?
While giving instructions a teacher must check if they are understood or not.
2. Who should talk in the classroom?
a) The students should talk in class:
(1)It is important to get the students to talk, by using the language they have learned.
(2)Students are the people who need practice.
b) The teacher should talk in class:
(1)Students should be exposed to the language.
(2)Comprehensible input is an important feature in language acquisition.
Good teachers keep the students guessing what they are going to do next. The worst kind of teachers is the one who does the same thing every class. Good teachers always look smart. Good teachers are always interesting. A good teacher explains clearly to the students what they have to do during the activity, he makes sure they understood the tasks and helps them, gives them clues, ideas, suggestions, tells them if what they are going to do suites what he had in mind for that activity, if they are right or wrong.
A good teachers allows the students some freedom to choose their own way to solve a task, lets them use their imagination and their creativity.He is just an objective observer of what they do, he shouldn’t influence them.
In conclusion good teachers maximizes students and minimizes teachers. The best lessons are ones where student is maximized ,where teachers talk at the appropriate time. Good teacher use their common sense and experience to get the balance between teachers and students.
2.4.Tasks and teaching
Nunan (1989: 10) defines task as 'a piece of classroom work which involves learners in comprehending, manipulating, producing or interacting in the target language while their attention is principally focused on meaning rather than on form'. Task provides a purpose for the use and learning of language other than simply learning language items for their own sake.
Within the varying definitions of task found in the literature (Kumaravadivelu 1993) three recurrent features stand out:
Tasks have been classified on pedagogic grounds, i.e. in terms of their potential to effectively structure classroom interaction processes and generate negotiation, and on psycholinguistic grounds, i.e. in terms of their potential to stimulate internal processes of acquisition. A distinction is also made between target or real-world tasks and classroom learning tasks. One type of pedagogic task that has found a wide variety of uses in language teaching is the information gap task. An information gap is created when each participant holds information that the other does not already know, and must exchange it in order to complete a task. 'Spot the difference' is an example of this kind of task, in which participants are given similar but slightly different pictures, and without looking at each other's pictures are asked to come to a consensus about the differences between them.
Another communicatively productive task is the problem-solving task, as, for example, when participants are given clues and asked to interpret them to solve a murder. Decision-making tasks are those in which participants are expected to work towards one outcome from a number of possible outcomes available to them. Other tasks include jigsaw, role-plays and simulations, oral discussions, and project work.
A problematic area in task design is finding clear criteria for the selection and grading of tasks. This is because several factors come into play in determining task difficulty, including the cognitive difficulty of the task, the amount of the language which the learner is required to process and produce, the psychological stress involved in carrying out the task, time pressure, and the amount and type of background knowledge involved.
For example, a 'spot the difference' task which only requires students to establish the presence or absence of an (undescribed) object will clearly be linguistically less demanding than one which requires greater precision of description. Similarly, a passage which contains headings and sub-headings, photographs, drawings, tables, graphs, and so on should be easier to process than one in which there is no contextual support.
Two-way tasks, where each participant in an interaction has information to transmit, are considered more effective than one-way tasks, where one participant has information to give, and the other simply responds to that information. Convergent tasks (where one answer must be agreed upon) are found to generate more language than divergent tasks (where different viewpoints from participants are accepted). Task-based teaching has been particularly influential in generating quantities of stimulating instructional material, and has radically changed conceptions of what good teaching practice involves from what it was twenty-five years ago.
The task-based approach to language teaching has evolved in response to a better understanding of the way languages are learnt. Traditionally, language learning has been regarded as a process of mastering a succession of steps, each one building on the one before. Teachers present the target language in ready-to-assimilate pieces, starting with the easy parts and gradually moving towards the harder parts. Learners must master each part and incorporate it into their knowledge of the target language
The danger in a task-based approach to teaching is that learners might be encouraged to prioritize a focus on meaning over a focus on form, and thus be led to use fluent but unchallenging or inaccurate language. Because language does not have to be well-formed in order to be meaningful, it is easy to see how learners could successfully complete a task using ill-formed or undemanding language, supplemented by gesture and intonation, rather than trying out their 'cutting edge' interlanguage.
The challenge for a task-based pedagogy, therefore, is to choose, sequence, and implement tasks in ways that will combine a focus on meaning with a focus on form.
Giving tasks is important for students because in this way they work together in the classroom, they use their imagination, they focus on solving the task and learn what it means to have a deadline, to respect the deadline, to be disciplined.
This chapter presented many of the important features a teacher should have and should develop in his career, many important aspects of his way of teaching, his way of making the students like what he teaches.
To conclude a teacher must have a strong culture and good knowledge of his subject. He should never be in unpleasant situation in front of his students. He is the one who has to master very well what he presents in front of the class.
Motto: “Give me a fish and I eat for a day.
Teach me to fish and I eat for a lifetime.”
Should the teacher be also a friend?
This chapter will talk about the relation of the teacher with his students. In what way he should treat them, how close he should be with them and where is the limit of his friendly attitude to them. Of course that friendly teachers are very nice but they have to pay attention not to risk to loose the respect of the students by being too friendly. A teacher has to know where he should put the line between warm attitude and friendship. I will present some things I consider a teacher should do and I will try to explain the role of the teacher and his implication is students life. Not in the last I will expose my opinion regarding why anyone should want to become a teacher.
3.1.Things to consider before becoming a teacher.
Teaching is truly a noble profession. It is also a very time consuming one, requiring a commitment on the part of the teacher. Teaching can be very demanding but can also be extremely rewarding. Here are five things to consider before taking up teaching as the chosen career.
1. Time Commitment
In order to be an effective teacher, you need to realize that the time you are at work - those 7 1/2 to 8 hours - really must be spent with the kids. This means that creating lesson plans and grading assignments will probably take place on 'your own time.' Further, to truly relate to your students you will probably be involved in their activities - attending sporting activities and school plays, sponsoring a club or a class, or going on trips with your students for various reasons.
2. Respect or Lack Thereof
Teaching is an odd profession, both revered and pitied at the same time. You will probably find that when you tell others you are a teacher they will in fact offer you their condolences. They might even say they couldn't do your job. However, don't be surprised if they then go on to tell you a horror story about their own teachers or their child's education. It is an odd situation and you should face it with your eyes wide open.
3. Community Expectations
Everyone has an opinion of what a teacher should be doing. As a teacher you will have a lot of people pulling you in different directions. The modern teacher wears many hats. They act as educator, coach, activity sponsor, nurse, career advisor, parent, friend, and innovator. Realize that in any one class, you will have students of varying levels and abilities and you will be judged on how well you can reach each student by individualizing their education. This is the challenge of education but at the same time can make it a truly rewarding experience.
4. Emotional Commitment
Teaching is not a desk job. It requires you to 'put yourself out there' and be on each day. Great teachers emotionally commit to their subject matter and their students. Realize that students seem to feel a sense of 'ownership' over their teachers. They assume that you are their for them. They assume that your life revolves around them. It is not uncommon for a student to be surprised to see you behaving normally in everyday society. Further, depending on the size of the town where you will be teaching, you need to understand that you will be running into your students pretty much everywhere you go. Thus, expect somewhat of a lack of anonymity in the community.
Teaching is a special calling. It is not a job well-suited to everyone. In fact, many new teachers leave within the first 3-5 years of teaching. However, there are many rewards that come with this oft maligned career. Here are my top ten reasons why teaching can be a great profession:
1. Student Potential
Unfortunately, not every student will succeed in your class. However, this fact should not keep you from believing that every student has the potential for success. This potential is so exciting - each new year presents new challenges and new potential successes.
2. Student Successes
Closely related to the previous pick, student success is what drives teachers to continue. Each student who didn't understand a concept and then learned it through your help can be exhilarating. And when you actually reach that student that others have written off as being impossible to teach, this can truly be worth all the headaches that do come with the job.
3. Teaching a Subject Helps You Learn a Subject
You will never learn a topic better than when you start teaching it. I remember my first year teaching AP Government. I had taken Political Science courses in college and thought I knew what I was doing. However, the student questions just made me dig deeper and learn more. There is an old adage that it takes three years of teaching to truly master a subject and in my experience this is the truth.
4. Daily Humor
If you have a positive attitude and a sense of humor, you will find things to laugh about each day. Sometimes it will be silly jokes you will make up as you teach that might get a laugh from your students. Sometimes it will be jokes that kids share with you. And sometimes students will come out with the funniest statements without realizing what they've said. Find the fun and enjoy it!
5. Affecting the Future
Yes it might be trite, but it is true. Teachers mold the future each day in class. In fact, it is a sad fact that you will see some of these students more consistently day-to-day than their parents will.
6. Staying Younger
Being around young people everyday will help you remain knowledgeable about current trends and ideas. It also helps break down barriers.
7. Autonomy in the Classroom
Once a teacher closes that door each day and begins teaching, they really are the ones who decide what's going to happen. Not many jobs provide an individual with so much room to be creative and autonomous each day.
8. Conducive to Family Life
If you have children, the school calendar will typically allow you to have the same days off as your kids. Further, while you might bring work home with you to grade, you will probably be getting home close to the same time as your children.
9. Job Security
In many communities, teachers are a scarce commodity. It is fairly certain that you will be able to find a job as a teacher, though you might have to wait until the start of a new school year and be willing to travel within your county/school district. While requirements might be different from state to state, once you have proven yourself a successful teacher, it is relatively easy to move around and find a new job.
10. Summers Off
You will have a couple of months off in the summer where you can choose to get another job, teach summer school, or just relax and vacation. Further, you typically get two weeks off during Christmas/Winter Holidays and one week for Spring Break which can really be a huge benefit and provide much needed rest time.
3.2. Tips for being a successful teacher
For becoming a good and loved teacher you should take into consideration some aspects of what a teacher should put the accent on: sense of humor, positive attitude, high expectations, consistency, fairness, flexibility. The most successful teachers share some common characteristics. Success in teaching, as in most areas of life, depends almost entirely on your attitude and your approach.
1. Sense of Humor
A sense of humor can help you become a successful teacher. Your sense of humor can relieve tense classroom situations before they become disruptions. A sense of humor will also make class more enjoyable for your students and possibly make students look forward to attending and paying attention. Most importantly, a sense of humor will allow you to see the joy in life and make you a happier person as you progress through this sometimes stressful career.
2. A Positive Attitutude
A positive attitude is a great asset in life. You will be thrown many curve balls in life and especially in the teaching profession. A positive attitude will help you cope with these in the best way. For example, you may find out the first day of school that you are teaching Algebra 2 instead of Algebra 1. This would not be an ideal situation, but a teacher with the right attitude would try to focus on getting through the first day without negatively impacting the students.
3. High Expectations
An effective teacher must have high expectations. You should strive to raise the bar for your students. If you expect less effort you will receive less effort. You should work on an attitude that says that you know students can achieve to your level of expectations, thereby giving them a sense of confidence too. This is not to say that you should create unrealistic expectations. However, your expectations will be one of the key factors in helping students learn and achieve.
In order to create a positive learning environment your students should know what to expect from you each day. You need to be consistent. This will create a safe learning environment for the students and they will be more likely to succeed. It is amazing that students can adapt to teachers throughout the day that range from strict to easy. However, they will dislike an environment in which the rules are constantly changing.
Many people confuse fairness and consistency. A consistent teacher is the same person from day to day. A fair teacher treats students equally in the same situation. For example, students complain of unfairness when teachers treat one gender or group of students differently. It would be terribly unfair to go easier on the football players in a class than on the cheerleaders. Students pick up on this so quickly, so be careful of being labelled unfair.
One of the tenets of teaching should be that everything is in a constant state of change. Interruptions and disruptions are the norm and very few days are 'typical'. Therefore, a flexible attitude is important not only for your stress level but also for your students who expect you to be in charge and take control of any situation.
Every teacher should have some rules that need to be obeyed if he wants to win the respect and the love of his students. One of this rules is coming to class on time. Standing outside the door and rushing in after the bell has begun to ring will constitute a tardy. Students must be INSIDE the door when it begins ringing to be counted on time. Also he should begin the start up activity within 1 minute after the tardy bell. Directions will be on the projection screen or the board. Please do not wait for me to remind you to begin since I need to take roll and attend to other duties for the first few minutes of the period. When I begin class, directions for the start up may be taken down, so don't delay. Attend to personal needs before coming to class. I have been instructed not to give passes to lockers and to limit passes, so please do not ask for a pass unless you have a true emergency. Remain in your assigned seat unless you have permission to get up Throw scraps away at the end of the period on your way out. Do not eat candy or other food in class unless you have been given special permission. School sponsored sales will be permitted during the last 5 minutes of class IF we are finished with the lesson and permission is granted. Be sure to ask first. Bring required materials every day unless you are otherwise directed. Talk only when permitted. Be aware of the situation since quiet talking is allowed in some situations and speaking to the entire group without raising your hand may be allowed in others. I will remind you once and expect compliance. Use polite speech and body language. Unkind teasing and impolite behavior is unacceptable. Please do not ask to step outside to spit. Do not cheat. Students caught cheating will receive a zero and a phone call home. Both the student who shares his work for an independent assignment AND the person who copies it will suffer the same consequences. I expect you to do your own work and to be sure no one can copy it. Follow the teacher's directions immediately. Keep me happy and I'll do a better job for you!
3.3. What a teacher should never do!
In what follows I will present a list of items that you should avoid as a new or veteran teacher. However, any of these can create problems for you as a teacher and if you combine two or more than just expect to really have a hard time gaining student respect and finding your profession enjoyable.
1. Avoid smiling and being friendly with your students.
While you should start each year with a tough stance and the idea that it is easier to let up than to get harder, this does not mean that you shouldn’t have students believe that you aren’t happy to be there.
2. Becoming friends with students while they are in class.
You should be friendly but not become friends. Friendship implies give and take. This can put you in a tough situation with all the students in the class. Teaching is not a popularity contest and you are not just one of the guys or girls. Always remember that.
3. Stop your lessons and confront students for minor infractions in class
When you confront students over minor infractions in class, there is no possible way to create a win-win situation. The offending student will have no way out and this can lead to even greater problems. It is much better to pull them aside and talk to them one-on-one.
4. Humiliate students to try and get them to behave.
Humiliation is a terrible technique to use as a teacher. Students will either be so cowed that they will never feel confident in your classroom, so hurt that they will not trust you ever again, or so upset that they can turn to disruptive methods of retaliation.
Once you've yelled you've lost the battle. This doesn't mean you won't have to raise your voice every once in awhile but teachers who yell all the time are often those with the worst classes.
6. Give your control over to the students.
Any decisions that are made in class should be made by you for good reasons. Just because students are trying to get out of a quiz or test does not mean that you should allow that to happen unless there is a good and viable reason. You can easily become a doormat if you give in to all demands.
7. Treat students differently based on personal likes and dislikes.
Face it. You are human and there will be kids you will like more than others. However, you must try your hardest never to let this show in class. Call on all students equally. Do not lessen punishments for students you really like.
8. Create rules that are essentially unfair.
Sometimes the rules themselves can put you in bad situations. For example, if a teacher has a rule that allows for no work to be turned in after the bell rings then this could set up a difficult situation. What if a student has a valid excuse? What makes a valid excuse? These are situations it would be best to just avoid.
9. Gossip and complain about other teachers.
There will be days when you hear things from students about other teachers that you just think are terrible. However, you should be noncommittal to the students and take your concerns to the teacher themselves or to administration. What you say to your students is not private and will be shared.
10. Be inconsistent with grading and/or accepting late work.
Make sure that you have consistent rules on this. Do not allow students to turn in late work for full points at any time because this takes away the incentive to turn in work on time. Further, use rubrics when you are grading assignments that require subjectivity. This helps protect you and explain the reason for the students' grades.
People enter the teaching profession because they want to make a positive difference in society. Even teachers with the purest intentions can inadvertently complicate their mission if they're not careful. However, new teachers (and even veterans sometimes!) will have to work hard to conscientiously avoid common pitfalls that can make the job even harder than it inherently is.
1. Aiming To Be Buddies With Their Students
Inexperienced teachers often fall into the trap of wanting their students to like them above all else. However, if you do this, you are damaging your ability to control the classroom, which in turn compromises the children's education.
This is the last thing you want to do, right? Instead, focus on earning your students' respect, admiration, and appreciation. Once you realize that your students will like you more when you are tough and fair with them, you'll be on the right track.
2. Being Too Easy On Discipline
This mistake is a corollary to the last one. For various reasons, teachers often start out the year with a lax discipline plan or, even worse, no plan at all! Have you ever heard the saying, 'Don't let them see you smile until Christmas'? That may be extreme, but the sentiment is correct: start out tough because you can always relax your rules as time progresses if it is appropriate. But it is next to impossible to become more tough once you've shown your pliant side.
3. Not Setting Up Proper Organization From The Start
Until you've completed a full year of teaching, you are unable to comprehend how much paper accumulates in an elementary school classroom. Even after the first week of school, you'll look around at the piles with astonishment! And all these papers must be dealt with by YOU!
You can avoid some of these paper-induced headaches by setting up a sensible organization system from day one and, most importantly, using it every day! Labeled files, folders, and cubbies are your friend. Be disciplined and toss or sort all papers immediately. Remember, a tidy desk contributes to a focused mind.
4. Minimizing Parental Communication and Involvement
At first, it can feel intimidating to deal with your students' parents. You might be tempted to 'fly under the radar' with them, in order to avoid confrontations and questions. However with this approach, you are squandering a precious resource. The parents associated with your classroom can help make your job easier, by volunteering in your class or supporting behavior programs at home.
Communicate clearly with these parents from the start and you'll have a band of allies to make your entire school year flow more smoothly.
5. Working Too Hard And Burning Out
It's understandable why teaching has the highest turnover rate of any profession. Most people can't hack it for long.
And if you keep burning the candles at both ends, the next teacher to quit might be you! Work smart, be effective, take care of your responsibilities, but go home at a decent hour. Enjoy time with your family and set aside time to relax and rejuvenate. And here's the most difficult advice to follow: don't let classroom problems affect your emotional wellbeing and your ability to enjoy life away from school. Make a real effort to be happy. Your students need a joyful teacher each day!
6. Not Asking For Help
Teachers can be a proud bunch. Our job requires superhuman skills, so we often strive to appear as superheroes who can handle any problem that comes our way.
But that simply can't be the case. Don't be afraid to appear vulnerable, admit mistakes, and ask your colleagues or administrators for assistance. Look around your school and you will see centuries of teaching experience represented by your fellow teachers. More often than not, these professionals are generous with their time and advice. Ask for help and you just might discover that you're not as alone as you thought you were.
7. Being Overly Optimistic And Too Easily Crushed
This pitfall is one that new teachers should be especially careful to avoid. New teachers often join the profession because they are idealistic, optimistic, and ready to change the world! This is great because your students (and veteran teachers) need your fresh energy and innovative ideas.
But don't venture into Pollyanna land. You'll only end up frustrated and disappointed. Recognize that there will be tough days where you want to throw in the towel. There will be times when your best efforts aren't enough. Know that the tough times will pass, and they are a small price to pay for teaching's joys.
8. Being Too Hard On Yourself
Teaching is hard enough without the additional challenge of mental anguish over slip-ups, mistakes, and imperfections.
Nobody's perfect. Even the most decorated and experience teachers make poor decisions every so often. Forgive yourself for the day's blemishes, erase the slate, and gather your mental strength for the next time it's needed. Don't be your own worst enemy. Practice the same compassion that you show your students by turning that understanding on yourself.
4.4.What makes a good teacher?
teacher acts like a friend for his/her students. Teacher friend combines both
the guidance of a teacher and the understanding of a friend. We all, at some
point of time, aspire for an understanding teacher. Such a teacher acts like
our friend, philosopher and guide. If we have our teacher as our friend, we
will never wander from the true path of our life. Every teacher should have
some friendly traits in him/her. Such a teacher is more close to the students
and a better educator. An ideal teacher is one we respect from our heart.
He/she acts, as a guide to the students, but at the same times does not pushes
them too much. A perfect teacher motivates the students and boosts their
morale. He/she tries to encourage the students and refrains from criticizing
them. Such a teacher prefers to give positive motivation to students. His/her
comments are always constructive.
The perfect teacher is our friend, guide, educator, confidante, all rolled into one. One such teacher builds the whole life of the students. Everyone in this world should get an ideal teacher. They wont have to look back in their lives ever.
Teachers are important and make a difference. The quality of teaching is a crucial factor in promoting effective learning in schools. Effective teaching requires individuals who are academically able and who care about the well-being of children and youth.
The most powerful single factor that enhances achievement is feedback – positive, encouraging, clearly targeted. The setting of appropriate, specific and challenging goals is critical. Effective teachers make purpose and content explicit, plan carefully, use systematic assessment and feedback, make connections, encourage children to think about thinking and model what they want the children to do
-subject matter knowledge - highly knowledgeable and up to date in their subject area, but do not pretend to know it all, willing to learn from pupils .
-teachers’ repertoires of best practices-provide learner with clear tasks, goals, and requirement and inform them of progress made. A key skill in teaching is the Encourage pupils to think, to make connections, to practice and reinforce, to learn from other learners and to feel that if they make mistakes they will not be ridiculed or treated negatively ability to explain and describe things clearly
-encourage pupils to think, to make connections, to practice and reinforce, to learn from other learners and to feel that if they make mistakes they will not be ridiculed or treated negatively.
-promote pupil participation through problem solving, questioning, discussion and “ buzz group” activities.
- treat all pupil questions seriously and do not intimidate or ridicule.
-use regular informal assessment strategies including a range of types of questioning, observation and listening in.
-understand that, since individuals learn at different rates and in different ways, we need to provide a variety of activities, tasks and pace of work, and monitor and evaluate children’s progress.
-use breaks and activities to engage pupils’ thinking and interest.
-turn to reading and research for fresh insights and relating these to their classroom and school.
-work in a shared and collegial way with other staff.
Like all good recipes, the ingredients for a teacher's success in the classroom are simple, easy to follow, and allow for personal interpretation to enhance the result. Primarily, a teacher's goal is to motivate her students to reach beyond their grasp. Many children are keenly aware of their weaknesses and special education students are particularly sensitive to being 'different'. A good teacher helps the child realize her strengths and encourages and challenges the student to learn through those strengths. It is in the day to day process of reaching this goal that the ingredients for making a good teacher come into play.
The best teachers are the ones who teach to the whole child. Their vision of education is not limited to the tangibles of academic achievement but encompasses daily doses of compassion, flexibility, communication, humor, imagination, and the willingness to be open minded. Most importantly, a good teacher is someone who uses both his head and her heart in equal measure throughout the school day. Compassion is in understanding that a student may be frustrated, angry or just unable to focus on the academics at hand. A little extra attention, a hug, a query as to how he is feeling today or the simple expression that the teacher values that student and was glad he was there today is all it takes to make a potentially negative situation into a positive, personal learning experience for the child. Bad days happen to everyone. Deal with the misbehavior, and move on, but be fair and consistent in your discipline.
Good teachers don't speak negatively about their students to anyone. Flexibility allows the learning environment to be fluid and creative. Be upbeat and positive and ready to adapt to students moods and needs. Maybe the lesson plan can be more effectively learned if the students stand and move about, play a game with the information or talk about something else that is important to them at that moment. Communicate with the student and his parents on a regular basis. The more open and direct the dialogue is among all the parties, the more involved parents and children become in the educational process.
A good teacher is not threatened by parent advocacy. Remember no one knows the child as well as her parents and they can become wonderful allies in developing a strong 24/7 educational plan for the child. Listen as well as talk. Humor. Learn to laugh at yourself, smile and be free to admit mistakes. It is important to learn to reduce their level of frustration, and be more accepting of mistakes, allow the students to relax and be more receptive to trying new things. Imagination is all about thinking outside the box. Good teachers are always willing to try new approaches for delivering the information. The unconventional might just be the ticket for helping the student pay attention or process the information. The end certainly justifies the means in this case. Along with this is the need to be open minded and receptive to new methodology, research, and the acknowledgement that we can all learn new things everyday. Question the curriculum if it does not benefit your students. Everything is open to change.
Good teaching isn't about technique.. Some of the pupils love teachers who lecture all the time, some of them love teachers who do little other than facilitate group process, and others love everything in between. But all of them love teachers who have some sort of connective capacity, who connect themselves to their students, their students to each other, and everyone to the subject being studied.
When we talk about the quality of someone's teaching, we address issues of technique, content, and presentation. But we all know people who have tremendous knowledge but fail to communicate it: people who have, on paper, a great lesson, but whose students are bored or frustrated. We have to admit that good teaching often has less to do with teacher’s knowledge and skills than with teacher’s attitude towards the students, to their subject and their work.
Many excellent teachers may possess only some of the following traits presented, and consider others not mentioned to be just as valuable. The characteristics detailed here may be viewed simply as a selection of tools that allow teachers to create and sustain connectivity in their classrooms.
Good teachers have a sense of
You can't be good in a generic sense; you have to be good for something. As a teacher, this means that you know what your students expect, and you make plans to meet those expectations. You, too, have expectations about what happens in your classroom, based on the goals you're trying to achieve. If you want to prepare your students for employment, you expect punctuality and good attendance. And if you want your students to become better, more involved readers, you allow time for reading and provide access to books.
Good teachers have expectations of success for all students.
This is the great paradox of teaching. If we base our self-evaluation purely on the success of our students, we'll be disappointed. At all levels, but especially in adult education, there are simply too many factors in students’ lives for a teacher to be able to guarantee success to all. At the same time, if we give up on our students, adopting a fatalistic, 'it's out of my hands' attitude, students will sense our lack of commitment and tune out. The happy medium can be achieved with a simple question: Did I do everything that I could in this class, this time, to meet the needs of all my students, assuming that complete success was possible? As long as you can answer in the affirmative, you're creating a climate for success.
teachers know how to live with ambiguity.
One of the greatest challenges of teaching stems from the lack of immediate, accurate feedback. The student who walks out of your classroom tonight shaking his head and muttering under his breath about algebra may burst into class tomorrow proclaiming his triumph over math, and thanking you for the previous lesson. There is no way to predict precisely what the long-term results of our work will be. But if we have a sense of purpose informing our choice of strategies and materials, and we try to cultivate expectations of success for all our students, we will be less likely to dwell on that unpredictability, choosing instead to focus on what we can control, and trusting that thoughtful preparation makes good outcomes more likely than bad ones
Good teachers adapt and change to meet children needs.
Can we really claim to have taught a class in geography if no one learned any of the concepts in the lesson from our presentation? If none of our students ever pick up a book outside of the classroom, have we really taught them to be better readers? We don't always think about these issues, but they are at the heart of effective teaching. A great lesson plan and a great lesson are two entirely different things; it's nice when one follows the other, but we all know that it doesn't always work out that way. We teach so that students will learn, and when learning doesn't happen, we need to be willing to devise new strategies, think in new ways, and generally do anything possible to revive the learning process. It's wonderful to have a good methodology, but it's better to have students engaged in good learning.
Good teachers are reflective.
This may be the only infallible, absolute characteristic of all good teachers, because without it, none of the other traits we've discussed can fully mature. Good teachers routinely think about and reflect on their classes, their students, their methods, and their materials. They compare and contrast, draw parallels and distinctions, review, remove and restore. Failing to observe what happens in our classes on a daily basis disconnects us from the teaching and learning process, because it's impossible to create connectivity if you've disconnected yourself.
Good teachers are comfortable with
If we reflect honestly and thoughtfully on what happens in our classes, we will often find dilemmas we cannot immediately resolve, questions we cannot answer. In his Letters to a Young Poet, Rainer Maria Rilke suggests that his correspondent, 'try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language…. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer. In the same way, our teaching benefits if we can live for a little while with a question, think and observe, and let an answer develop in response to the specific situation we face.
Good teachers had good role models.
Think back to your three best teachers. How has your own teaching been shaped by their practices, consciously or unconsciously? Think also of the worst teacher you ever had. Are there things you absolutely will not do because you remember how devastating they were to you or your classmates? We learn to teach gradually, and absorb ideas and practices from a variety of sources. How many movies have you seen that include a teacher as a character, and how might those films have contributed to your practice? We are not always aware of the influences on our teaching, good and bad; reflecting on the different models of teaching we've acquired, and looking at how we acquired them, makes us better able to adapt and change to suit new challenges.
Good teachers enjoy their work and
This may seem obvious, but it's easy to lose sight of its importance. Teachers who enjoy their work and their students are motivated, energized, and creative. The opposite of enjoyment is burnout-the state where no one and nothing can spark any interest. Notice, too, that enjoying your work and enjoying your students may be two different things. Focusing too much on content may make students feel extraneous, misunderstood, or left out. Focusing exclusively on students, without an eye to content, may make students feel understood and appreciated, but may not help them to achieve their educational goals as quickly as they'd like. Achieving a balance between the two extremes takes time and attention; it demands that we observe closely, evaluate carefully, and act on our findings.. Good teaching is not a static state, but a constant process. We have new opportunities to become better teachers every day; good teachers are the ones who seize more opportunities than they miss.
In the teacher-student relationship it is important to find a balance. You don’t have to be his best friend but you shouldn’t also be his enemy. The student has to find in you confidence, knowledge, help and motivation. You as a teacher have to be the one who shows him when he is wrong or to appreciate him when he deserves.
Teachers pass on knowledge and values to students, prepare them for working life and are main contributors to good education.
Teachers are the main pillars of a sound and progressive society. They bear the weight and responsibility of teaching , and, apart from parents, are the main source of knowledge and values for children.
Knowledge received without a teacher's guidance can be compared to a blind man walking without his stick. Because of this, teachers need to have a high level of commitment towards their duties and responsibilities which have been entrusted to them. The teacher is a judge who gives marks and ratings. He differentiates children on the basis of their intellectual, and often social skills in preparation for the social and occupational roles which they eventually play. He does this by recommending promotions and demotions within the school, nominating children to take certain examinations and counseling children and their parents with regard to appropriate school courses, and employment possibilities.
Without teachers, both knowledge and morals would suffer.
The role of the
teacher is a multi-faceted one comprising academic, pedagogical and social
roles. Academic roles comprise teaching, counseling and supervisory roles while
pedagogical roles include in situational, evaluation and facilitating roles. As a facilitator of
learning, the teacher is involved in motivating pupils to learn, maintaining
control in the classroom and the school in general, and creating a conducive
environment for learning to take place. Social roles of the teacher includes
among others socializing roles which is preparing pupils to participate in the
way of life of the society; others include reference roles, detective roles,
parent surrogate (or substitute parent), confidants and affectionate roles.
No other personality can have an influence more profound than that of a teacher. Students are deeply affected by the teacher's love and affection, his character, his competence, and his moral commitment. A popular teacher becomes a model for his students. The students try to follow their teacher in his manners, customs, etiquette, style of conversation and his get up. He is their ideal. He can lead them anywhere. During their early education, the students tend to determine their aims in life and their future plans, in consultation with their teachers. Therefore, a corrupt and decadent class of teachers can harm a nation more seriously than a class of corrupt and perverted judiciary, army, police, bureaucracy, politicians or technocrats. A corrupt and incompetent teacher is not only a bad individual, but also the harbinger of a corrupt and incompetent generation. A nation with corrupt teachers is a nation at risk; every coming day announces the advent of its approaching destruction.
Teachers therefore, have to play a cardinal role in the building up of the character of the next generation. It is a fact that a civilization cannot rise out of a skeleton of mere ideas and abstract concepts. Civilization finds a concrete shape in the practical behaviour of a nation, based on these principles and concepts. Once the practical aspect is gone, the civilization also disappears and can only be studied through its remnants preserved in museums and chronicles. This necessitates the provision of a learning atmosphere throbbing with life in our educational institutions through the presence of the teacher, with a view to infuse confidence in our students and to enable them to be proud of their culture, to respect their national character and national emblems, and to ornament themselves with societal conduct and morals. They should stand firm on the centuries old foundations of their cultural tradition and at the same time should establish standards of excellence in their academic performance.
Good teachers need to be themselves constantly seeking knowledge, be of good character, have high motivation and be creative, innovative and effective in their teaching strategies. The good deeds of teachers are great; because of them, we will grow to become knowledgeable people who will be of use to society, religion and our nation and country.
English as a global language
This chapter has the purpose of presenting English in the context of global language. I wish to underline the importance of English in nowadays, its importance in schools, in students life, culture and possibility of developing their career. This chapter wants to emphasize why English is so important and so spread in the whole world. The information given in this chapter presents English in different circumstances, and offers a few details about it and how it became the English we know today. I will also speak about the role of English in schools and about methods of teaching English.
I considered important for my paper to talk about English because is the topic that strictly connects to the subject of my paper which revolves around the English teacher.
“Global English” in a sociolinguistic context refers almost literally to the use of English as a global language. It means a common language for the world.
A language achieves a genuinely global status when it develops a special role that is recognized in every country. Having such a status, the global language has to be of a great importance, influencing all the domains of the human activity in the world.
For example English dominates such fields as the media, foreign language teaching, business etc.
But still, it should be quite
uncontroversial to state that English definitely plays an enormously important
role in all the countries all over the world. Even though the enormous
importance of English for communication in
English isn’t suitable for an international language.
Some people have the opinion that English isn’t suitable for use as an international language. The reasons are, firstly, that English is a national language. They think no national language is suitable for international use. Why? Because if we accept a national language as international, that gives enormous political and cultural advantages to the country or countries for which the chosen language is the native tongue. Secondly, they find, English is very difficult for most Asian people. They say that if we take English as the international language, 90% of people of the world who don’t know English will be discriminated and they find it unreasonable.
English is present on every continent. In over 60 countries it is used officially or without the sanction of government and is prominent in 20 more.
There are three kinds of English speakers, those who speak it as their first language, those who speak it as a second language and those who learn it as foreign language.
Today about 400 million people speak English as their mother tongue or first language. Over 50 million children study English as an additional language at primary level and over 80 million study it at secondary level.
English we know is derived from the language
of the Angles, Saxons and Jutes. Until the early 1600s only a few million
people spoke English. They lived on a small island in the
Today, we will acknowledge that English
is sweeping the planet’s physical, economic, cultural and cyber space.
Even though in
In the UNO English is used as a working-language since 1945 and this mean it is used on all levels of running the organization as well as on all official occasions. As well, English is used as an official language of the Council of Europe that is used for daily work and official statements.
still, English doesn’t dominate daily business in the EU institutions, but
French, for two obvious reasons, namely their French-speaking surrounding and
the historic fact of the
Surveys among the citizens of the European Union underline the fact that English is seen as an enormously important language but at the same time not seen as the only language that should or could even be used for communication on a official EU-level.
When trying to assess what English means for both the countries that already constitute the EU and the countries that are most likely going to join the organization, it is extremely important to examine the existing educational systems. Since it would be simply impossible to find out about the real knowledge of foreign languages, this seems to be the closest one can get in exploring possible future choices of language in a more global society. In this matter we can use a table that shows figures for the school year 1994-1995, dashes indicate missing numbers or cases where a given language is the mother tongue.
Only English and French are important foreign languages in the time-tables of schoolchildren in primary schools in the EU and selected countries aspiring membership.
Today English is
spread and used largely in the mass media. The BBC and news channels like CNN are watched by a relatively small
group of viewers, but channels showing music videos and popular films, such as
NBC Super Channel and Sky Television are hugely popular. In
English continues to be the chief lingua franca of the Internet. More than 80% of the data stored on Internet are in English.
linguistic legacy of the British Empire and the indisputable excellence of the
Job offers for a number of branches will expect applicants to speak English without even mentioning this fact, so an even greater need of English in business is to be expected
The situation of English is peculiar in that perhaps no other language has ever been so important on a global scale and at the same time met with outright hostility. Many languages are undergoing a process of massive lexical transformation due to loans from English. For decades now the German-speaking countries have had heated debates about the necessity and use of Anglicism. Interestingly enough protests against English becoming dominant in certain areas are especially strong in countries with so-called major languages, whose speakers are not used to not being able to use their own language.
International organizations use English in their communication. Scientists write their reports in English. It is used by pilots and at sea. English is the favorite language of a lot of pop-artists and lyrics writers. It is used for television productions, films and video games. In recent years computer technology has helped to give the English language even more importance.
At present there is no sign that any other language will replace English as a world language.
The main feature of the English language that has made it so popular globally, is the language’s adaptability. The English language has taken on words from many other languages and cultures, giving it its great diversity. There are many German, Greek, Latin and French words that have been assimilated by the English language – from avatar, bazaar, bungalow to bandanna and cummerbund.
No matter where you are in the world, English is a global language and once you should really consider mastering. By learning English, you can get a better job, have a better career but more importantly, keep up-to-date with world events and developments. Remember too, that 85% of all written material in the world is written in English – as a good a reason as any to learn it.
English is well on its way to becoming the dominant global language. Is this a good thing? Yes, in fields such as science where a common language brings efficiency gains. But the global dominance of the English language is bad news for world literature, according to CEPR researcher Jacques Mélitz (Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique, Paris and CEPR). Why? Because if the English language dominates world publishing, very few translations except those from English to other languages will be commercially viable. As a result, virtually only those writing in English will have a chance of reaching a world audience and achieving ‘classic status’. The outcome is clear, Mélitz argues: just as in the sciences, those who wish to reach a world audience will write in English. “World literature will be an English literature”, Mélitz warns, “and will be the poorer for it – as if all music were written only for the cello”. His work appears in 'English-Language Dominance, Literature and Welfare'. By literature, he refers to imaginative works of an earlier vintage that are still read today, and therefore the accumulation of world literature refers to the tiny fraction of currently produced imaginative works which will eventually be regarded as ‘classics’. According to Mélitz, the tendency of competitive forces in the global publishing market to privilege the translation of English fiction and poetry into other languages for reading or listening enjoyment may damage the production of world literature and in this respect make us all worse off.
Mélitz makes the following points:
1. Language matters: In the case of literature, as opposed to other uses of language, language does not serve merely to communicate content (say, a story line) but is itself an essential source of enjoyment. Therefore, it is futile to argue that nothing would change if all potential contributors to literature wrote in the same language. “We might as well pretend that there would be no loss if all musical composers wrote for the cello” said Mélitz. Translations can only approximate the rhythms, sounds, images, allusions and evocations of the original, and in literature, those aspects are essential.
authors write in only one language: Remarkably few people have ever made
contributions to world literature in more than one language. Beckett and
Nabokov may be the only two prominent examples. Conrad, who is sometimes
mentioned in this connection, is a false illustration in a glaring regard: he
never wrote in his native Polish. Quite conspicuously, expatriate authors
generally continue to write in their native language even after living for
decades away from home. This holds not only for poets, such as Mickiewicz and
Milosz, which may not be surprising, but also for novelists. Mann went on
composing in German during a long spell in the
3. English is much more likely to be translated: For straightforward economic reasons, only works that enjoy exceptionally large sales have any notable prospect of translation. Heavy sales in the original language represent an essential criterion of selection for translation, though not the only one. As a result, translations will be concentrated in original creations in the major languages. Since English is the predominant language in the publishing industry, authors writing in English have a much better chance of translation than those writing in other tongues.
4. English dominance of translations has increased: The dominance of English in translations has actually gone up over the last 30 years, despite a general decline in the market share of English in the world publishing market. When English represented about a quarter of the world publishing market in the early 1960’s, the percentage of English in translations was already 40%. With the general advance of literacy and standards of living in the world, the share of English in world publishing fell to around 17% in the late 1980’s. Yet the language's share in translations rose to surpass 50% during this time.
5.If you want to reach a world audience, write in English: In science, as in literature, a person writing in a minor language has a better chance of publication than one writing in a major tongue, but will necessarily have a much smaller chance of translation and international recognition. The result in science is clear. Those who strive to make a mark in their discipline try to publish in English. By and large, the ones who stick to their home language – English excepted, of course – have lower ambitions and do less significant work. The same pressure to publish in English exists for those engaged in imaginative writing who wish to attain a world audience.
6. English dominance may cause the world pool of talent to dry up: However, the evidence shows that in the case of literary writing, the gifted – even the supremely gifted – in a language other than English generally cannot turn to English by mere dint of effort and will-power. Thus, the dominance of English may sap their incentive to invest in personal skills and to shoot for excellence. Working toward the same result are the relatively easier conditions of publication they face at home. If so, the dominance of English in translations may cause the world pool of talent to dry up.
7. Literature may become just another field where the best work is in English: In other words, the dominance of English poses the danger that literary output will become just another field where the best work is done in English. In this case, the production of imaginative prose and poetry in other languages may be relegated to the same provincial status that such writing already has acquired in some other areas of intellectual activity. But whereas the resulting damage is contestable in fields where language serves essentially for communication, such as science in general, the identical prospect is alarming in the case of literature.
Along with the advances in
telecommunications in the last thirty years, the dominance of English in
auditory and audiovisual entertainment has become far greater than in books.
Does the argument about translations in literature apply more generally and
explain this wider ascension of English too? The answer is partly positive as
regards television, but mostly negative in connection with the cinema. US
television series indeed benefit from an unusually large home audience and only
travel abroad when successful domestically. On the other hand, a film need not
succeed in the home market before being made available to foreign-language
4.2 Methods for teaching English
What is a
In their Dictionary of Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics (2002), Richards and Schmidt make the reasonable claim that different methods of language teaching result from different views of:
nature of language
b. the nature of second language learning
c. goals and objectives in teaching
d. the type of syllabus to use
e. the role of teachers, learners, instructional materials
f. the activities, techniques and procedures to use
A language teaching method is a single set of procedures which teachers are to follow in the classroom. Methods are usually based on a set of beliefs about the nature of language and learning.
Ask teachers what method they subscribe to, and most will answer either that they don’t follow a method at all, or that they are 'eclectic', and pick and choose from techniques and procedures associated with a variety of different methods. Some might add that, essentially, their teaching follows the principles laid down by the communicative approach, itself a mixed bag, embracing anything from drills to communicative tasks, and everything in between. But the concept of a single, prescriptive 'method' - as in the Direct Method, or the Oral Method – seems now to be dead and buried.
The demise of method is consistent with the widely held view that we are now in a 'post-method' era. Thus, as long ago as 1983, Stern declared that 'several developments indicate a shift in language pedagogy away from the single method concept as the main approach to language teaching' (1983, p. 477). One such development was the failure, on the part of researchers, to find any significant advantage in one method over another. As Richards (1990) noted, 'studies of the effectiveness of specific methods have had a hard time demonstrating that the method itself, rather than other factors, such as the teacher’s enthusiasm, or the novelty of the new method, was the crucial variable' (p. 36). Moreover, recognition of the huge range of variables that impact on second language learning fuelled a general disenchantment with the notion of a 'quick fix', or what, in the social sciences, is sometimes called the 'technical-rational approach', i.e. the notion that social change and improvement can be effected through the strict application of scientific method. This had very much been the mind-set that impelled the spread of audiolingualism, founded as it was on (now largely discredited) research into animal behavior. The last decades of the last century, however, witnessed a challenge to 'scientism' in the social sciences, a challenge associated with the advent of postmodernism, and its rejection of the idea of universalism, objective knowledge. Accordingly, Pennycook (1989) argued that methods are never 'disinterested', but serve the dominant power structures in society, leading to “a de-skilling of the role of teachers, and greater institutional control over classroom practice”(p. 610).
The postmethod era.
At around the same time, Kumaravadivelu (1994) identified what he called the 'post method condition', a result of 'the widespread dissatisfaction with the conventional concept of method' (p. 43). Rather than subscribe to a single set of procedures, post method teachers adapt their approach in accordance with local, contextual factors, while at the same time being guided by a number of 'macro strategies'. Two such macro strategies are 'Maximize learning opportunities' and 'Promote learner autonomy'. And in a much-cited paper in 1990, Prabhu argued that there is no one method, but that individual teachers fashion an approach that accords uniquely with their 'sense of plausibility.'
Nevertheless, and in spite of the claims of the post Methodists, the notion of method does not seem to have gone away completely. In fact, it seems to be doggedly persistent, even if the term itself is often replaced by its synonyms.
Rosetta Stone software is built around a concept called Dynamic Immersion, an unique learning method that uses a computer to mimic the ways in which you learnt your first language .It seems that – in the public mind, at least – the method concept is not dead. As Block (2001) notes, 'while method has been discredited at an ethic level (that is in the thinking and nomenclature of scholars), it certainly retains a great deal of vitality at the grass-roots, epic level (that is, it is still part of the nomenclature of lay people and teachers)' (p. 72). This is a view echoed by
On the other hand, in a recent paper, Akbari (2008) suggests that, in EFL contexts such as
'The concept of method has not been replaced by the concept of post method but rather by an era of textbook-defined practice. What the majority of teachers teach and how they teach are now determined by textbooks' (p. 647).
In some schools grammar is usually taught deductively through repetitions and drills. Such activities are boring and do not even necessarily teach grammar. The grammar is distributed in different topics like tenses, active and passive voice, direct and indirect speech, subject-verb agreement and so on. These topics dishearten and confuse students because more often than not they cannot apply these rules in their routine verbal communication. Grammar is the part of the natural form of language and it should be taught inductively. This inductive teaching of grammar should try and involve students in a way that requires them to think and not just provide mechanical answers. Spoken language is more important than written words especially when a new language is being taught. Writing, too, is an important aspect of learning English. There is a very close relationship between writing and thinking. One way to do this would be for the teacher to create situations in the classroom where students are encouraged to express their ideas and opinions on a particular topic in the language that is being learnt.
Most linguists are of the opinion that a second language can be taught without translating it into the learner's native tongue provided the teacher explains the meaning to the learner through demonstration and action. A language could best be taught and learnt by using it actively in the classroom rather than using analytical procedures that focus on grammatical rules. So teachers need to encourage direct and spontaneous use of English in classroom. This is where the importance of speaking English and listening to others speak it comes in. Only the teacher is the source of knowledge and students are passive followers of the teacher and the text. Spoken language is more important than written words especially when a new language is being taught. This means that students who are being taught English should be asked to play a more active role in the lesson. For example, instead of a teacher using a new word in a sentence and then students copying it down in their notebooks, it would be much better if each individual student is given a chance to use the new word in a sentence of his or her making. Pictures, illustrations and even actual objects can and should be used in the teaching of the language, especially because they allow students to relate to what is being taught. Perhaps most importantly, English should be the exclusive language of the classroom and there should be no need by a teacher to use the native language of the students to translate the meanings of English words. Communicative interactions encourage students to negotiate meanings of new words and facilitate the building of cooperative relationship among them.
According to linguists, accuracy in a language comes from being fluent and those teaching methods that stress accuracy first actually hinder a learner from achieving fluency. Students need to be encouraged to speak as much as possible in English. Fun, novelty and positive reinforcement are very important stimuli to motivate learners to take interest in such language learning. Teachers should understand that like any language, English has to be taught as a whole language. The four language skills - listening, speaking, reading and writing - should be taught all together as an integrated whole. Furthermore, a link between classroom activities and students' real life language can facilitate the learners' in becoming fluent in the language.
A degree of sensitivity to the needs of the learners and flexibility is required to accommodate different interests, different social backgrounds personalities and learning needs of the students.
4.3.The role of English in our life
The statute of English as global language leads to the fact that English is being taught in many schools of the world, in every country. Being such an important and popular language it has to be taught in all the world and most of the people must learn it. Speaking English is considered as an advantage in people’s career. English is learned as an international language which can be very helpful in many instances of everyone’s life. Knowledge of foreign languages and in particular of English is an indispensable part of the modern world. English has been introduced in all schools schedule, from lower classes to upper classes. English is being taught since the kindergarten. The importance of English language has been recognized at national, regional and global levels. Global trends in education, technology and business suggest that English as a world language will play a significant role in the years to come.
importance of English we can not have doubts. English, the language of
Shakespeare and Milton represents the most important code of international
communication . A foreign language leads also to a culture, a culture that
contains many of the universal masterpieces . Knowing to speak English means
that we have the way of expressing our feelings and ideas either we are in
All in all we must accept that English is present in our life by different means, either if we watch television, either if we navigate on the internet, either if we want to go on a trip in a foreign country. English is a kind of passport, is the key that opens a conversation and helps you to make yourself understood by the foreigners. English helps us to understand poems and lyrics, helps us to read books or newspapers from other countries.
And the most important thing is that English is a beautiful language, with a very developed vocabulary which offers you many possibilities of expressing yourself. Studying and getting to be fluent in English can’t bring you anything else than a lot of advantages and satisfactions. That is why the English teacher is so important in our lives because he is the one that can lead us to a good knowledge of English and he is the one who can make us love or dislike the English language.
The teacher between right and wrong
- qualities vs. defects -
In this chapter, I will present the results of a research study whose theme is “The teacher between right and wrong”.
This research gave me the opportunity to bring to the light features of a very important character in our life: the teacher…the English teacher, the Romanian teacher, the Math teacher, no matter what teacher. I tried to search and to find out what qualities can make a teacher become perfect, become loved and respected by his students. The purpose of this research is to highlight the way a teacher is seen, analyzed and categorized by his/her students. By using a set of simple questions, I will capture the most important aspects of what a teacher means in the life of his/her students and the ways in which he/she influence his/her students opinion about the subject that he teaches.
I have chosen this theme for my research because I considered it important for my paper to contain the real opinions of some real people about teachers and teaching in generally.
The questions I used seemed apparently infantile to the students but they have a psychological tint and in this chapter I will discuss every single question and arrive at some conclusions.
Each one of us has
in mind the teacher he loved most or on
the contrary he hated most. As a facilitator of learning, the teacher is
involved in motivating pupils to learn, maintaining control in the classroom
and the school in general, and creating a conducive environment for learning to
take place. Social roles of the teacher include among others socializing role
which is preparing pupils to participate in the life of the society; others
include reference roles, detective roles, parent surrogate (or substitute
parent), confidants and affectionate roles.
No other personality can have a more profound influence than that of a teacher. Students are deeply affected by the teacher's love and affection, his character, his competence, and his moral commitment. A popular teacher becomes a model for his students. The students try to follow their teacher in his manners, customs, etiquette. He is their ideal. He can lead them anywhere.
My research is based on a questionnaire that contains 6 simple questions. I applied this questionnaire to people with ages between 18 and 25 five years old. I asked them to be honest and try to remember exactly how their favorite teacher was, the reasons why they liked his personality or on the contrary which were the things they hated at a certain teacher.
I consider it important that, when you decide to become a teacher you should think what kind of teacher you would like to be or what kind of teacher you wanted to have when you were a student. You have to do your best not to make the same mistakes the teacher you hated made and try to be liked and popular among your students. As a teacher you have to be very careful with details, with gestures you make, with words you say because pupils pay great attention to your behavior. They are watching you all the time and they analyze every single thing that you do. They can notice your emotions, they can feel when you are angry or in a good mood .
The six questions of my questionnaire are:
1.Who was your favorite teacher and for what reasons?
2.What was it that you loved most about him/her?
3.In what way did she/he influence you to like her subject?
4.If you were a teacher how would you try to make your students like what you teach?
5.What kind of attitude would you like your teacher to have regarding his/her subject and his/her students?
6.Who was the teacher you hated most and for what reasons?
In what follows I will discuss the meaning and purpose of each question as well as the answers given by my subjects. The first question : “Who was your favorite teacher and for what reasons?” is the introductory question and its purpose was to see what kind of teachers are the most popular and what characteristics made them to become popular. I can classify the answers received in two categories: one that contains the people who referred strictly to the teacher they liked as a person and especially for his features as a teacher and one category that contains answers given by the people interested in a certain topic even if they did not like very much the teacher who taught that topic.
The second question “What was that you loved most about him/her?” referred strictly to favorite teacher’s characteristics, to things that my subjects loved about their favorite teacher. This question was meant to find out for what reasons a teacher may be loved and how he should be like in order to become the favorite teacher of his students. The answers were very varied here and I found many characteristics for a teacher. Some of the subjects liked his teacher calm, his good and clear explanations, his passion for teaching. Others appreciated very much the fact that their teacher offered them the freedom of choice, of expressing the point of view. They appreciated also the way of teaching, the fact that he used more practice than theory, the fact that he explained clearly the subject, in a simply easy way to understand. Among the most frequently mentioned characteristics of a teacher I met: talent of teaching, dedication, sense of humor, patience, open to discuss, up-to-date, good explainer, friendly way to act, smart, open-minded, communicative, very interested in the subject he taught , knowing how to attract students to like his subject. And the list could continue.
The third question: “ In what way did he/she influence you to like her subject?” wanted to show how a teacher can lead his students, how he can influence his students’ opinion about his topic and of what importance is his attitude towards his students and towards the subject he taught . The teacher is the one who can make his subject loved, he is the only one who can make students think of his topic as a nice one, as a subject easy to learn and understand.
The answers I received demonstrate that the teacher has to make himself respected and has to control the class, to keep favorable conditions for learning and not to lose control in front of his students. To make the students have interest in his class the teacher has to show interest in his topic and show great passion for teaching. He may have to teach his students…HOW to learn. I received many interesting answers to this question. For example one of the people I interviewed answered that she liked her French teacher because she was brought to the class French movies and music. Or, another subject answered that he liked his English teacher because he brought to the class his own computer and made us of games and cartoons in English . The conclusion we can draw is that these teachers knew how to arouse students interest in their subject, they knew how to bring something innovative and captivating for them. In this way they made the students love their subject and transformed learning in a pleasant activity. Other answers mentioned the teachers’ passion for teaching, their way of being good talkers and of putting passion in their words, their patience, the fact that they gave many examples and so on .
The fourth question “If you were a teacher how would you try to make your students like what you teach?” made my subjects speak in more detail about their vision of favorite teacher. Each one of us has in mind a portrait of a favorite teacher, how he should be, how he should act. And If you know clearly how you wish a teacher to be you can imagine being yourself a teacher and act like the teacher in your mind. Some of the people interviewed referred to aspects that I have already mentioned, some of them wishing to be exactly like a teacher of theirs and to use his methods. Others answered that they would improve the methods their teachers used, they would be more calm, or more friendly or more involved in their activity. The answered I received referred either to the teacher as a person either to his way of teaching and presenting the subject matter his topic. As a person, the teacher should impose respect and, at the same time, he should be very close to his students, he should know how to make himself loved and appreciated. And regarding the way of teaching, he should know how to make his subject easy to understand, interesting and captivating.
The fifth question “What kind of attitude would you like your teacher to have regarding his/her topic and his/her students?” was meant to establish and reconfirm the characteristics of a teacher in the opinion of the people I interviewed .What kind of attitude the teacher should have means how he should teach, how he should present his subject, how he should treat his students and all the activity of teaching. The answer is clear: the teacher has to enjoy teaching. The teacher has to be passionate about his topic and about his career. The teacher has to be guided by the purpose of making his subject a loved one, an easy one, has to do his best so that the students like him. The teacher has to be a friend and an advisor. The teacher has to understand the students’ needs and he has to know how to answer the student’ questions. The teacher does not have the right to offend his students. He should be passionate about his job but he shouldn’t give an overwhelming importance to his topic and consider it the centre of the world. He has to love his students, he has to love spending time with them and give them advice. When you are a teacher the school has to be your home and the students just like your children.
The sixth question “Who was the teacher you hated most and for what reasons?” is the final question of the research study. By using this question, I wanted to find out which are the most disliked characteristics of a teacher, the most important reasons why a teacher may become hated by the students. Some of the answers referred to the fact that some teachers have too much expectations from their students and for this reason, the students can become unconfident in their knowledge. Because they never reach the teacher’s expectations, they end in hating his subject and avoiding it.
Others considered as a bad point for a teacher the fact that he lacks interest in his subject, the kind of teacher who just comes to the class and dictates the course only to accomplish his duty is not at all appreciated. Another type of teacher mentioned at this category is the teacher who is too serious and distant, the one who has a cold attitude to his students. He does not know how to get close to his students.
Among the answers I received some referred also to the teacher who is not capable to make his subject understandable and pleasant. A good teacher has to know to teach his subject in a simply manner, he has to know how to make a story from his subject.
Some of the answers to this question spoke about mean and revengeful teachers, about teachers who did not accept other point of view but their own, about teachers who do not understand personal problems or can not accept mistakes.
The reasons are varied and different from case to case.
I can say that it was very interesting to conduct this research and to understand the people’s answers and reactions. The answers given by my subjects made me realize that a teacher may be characterized and analyzed depending on different aspects : his way of teaching, his way of treating his students, his way of presenting himself to the class, his way of making himself understood or his way of making his students understand his subject, his passion for teaching, his innovative methods of teaching, the respect he can impose. A teacher has to know how to control the class because he is the main piece there and has to impose his presence but with kindness and attention. He has to have an expressive voice, clear and loud enough. It is important to know how to feel the pulse of the class so that changes can be made as the class progresses.
My conclusion is that a teacher has to be also a friend, a parent, a person whom you can trust and respect truly, you have to feel he can guide you and be a good advisor
In conducting this research study I realized how many points of view people can have and the fact that is not an easy job for a teacher to be liked by everybody, to accomplish everybody’s expectations I consider that being a teacher is truly a noble profession which can offer you many satisfactions and fulfillments .
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