According to Cruickshank, Bainer & Metcalf (1995):
“Teaching should be a conscious, deliberate act, resulting from thoughtful decision making about what to teach and how students can learn best”. It is therefore imperative that the correct teaching strategies be employed to achieve the desired learning outcomes. It is equally important that teachers assume certain roles in and outside of the classroom.
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A teacher’s role involves far more than just standing in front of a classroom and lecturing. Actually, even though a teacher may spend a good portion of the day in the classroom, the actual teaching component is only part of the job. An effective teacher understands that teaching involves wearing multiple hats to ensure that students receive a quality education.
My Best Teacher
The best teacher I ever had throughout my years as a student was my sixth grade teacher, aptly named Mrs. Power. Not only was she strict and encouraging, she was also kind and thoughtful. She utilized several different approaches in teaching and was well respected by both her students and her peers alike. Mrs Power was patient with each student, and it was evident that she knew we all learnt differently. She tried her best to explain assignments and other tasks given to us, in a way so that we could understand properly (Lecturer/explainer role). Taking care not to speak too much.
Mrs. Power was always punctual and well-prepared for her classes (Prepared teacher role). Even though she had a strong voice, she had a soft heart, so we weren’t afraid to approach her with questions. Role-plays and story-telling were a regular part of her classes and even though we the students were sometimes shy to get involved, she would always encourage us do our best and explain what to do when necessary (Organization role). This stalwart of education, would also encourage us to discover new stuff for ourselves. She didn’t spend too much time talking, but instead assumed much of the counseling/enabling role, which basically helped us to study on our own so we could become good, independent learners.
My worst Teacher
My worst teacher wouldn’t appear until several years later while I was in university. She too had a domineering presence but was quite dogmatic and downright scary. She wasn’t liked by many. Questions were discouraged and even when we had questions, we didn’t want to ask them, because of her attitude. It seemed as if she enjoyed hearing her powerful voice over ours and she spoke quite a bit during lessons. Even spending several minutes speaking on matters totally unrelated to the subject being taught. Even though she was punctual, always prepared and very brilliant, she was way too unapproachable and not very helpful. I would never want to be seen as such a teacher. I want to help my students to understand my lessons and teach them how to learn independently of me.
Teachers should seek to sharpen their skills constantly and try to improve their teaching strategies, so as to educate their learners. Clearly, each student learn differently, so different approaches should be exercised when teaching. Patience is a key factor of being a “good teacher” and should be exercised as much as possible. The role of the teacher is to educate and empower learners, so they can eventually educate themselves.