I have always strongly believed teachers play an important role in the development of their students. Teachers must always have the best interests of their students and community at heart in their classroom, from conducting a lecture to one-on-one sessions with students struggling with a concept. Learning should be something that is personal to one’s self as everybody learns differently. I have noticed during my field experiences that the main struggle schools face is that they minimize the importance of creativity and critical thinking. As seen with the practices of some of my CTs, students would lose marks in their tests simply because they did not follow to the letter the steps that had been shown in class to solve that specific problem. Education should not be black or white; it is all those shades of grey in between. As stated by Parkay et al. (2014), “there is no universally accepted definition of good teaching or learning” (p. 51). With all the concepts and tools that educators possess, it is our goal to make sense of this grey zone. Instead of imposing a specific way of teaching/learning to students, educators should focus on what they can do to develop new ways of teaching their courses’ material. It is primordial for schools to provide students all the programs and activities necessary in order for them to be the most “well-rounded” being.
In my upcoming career, I may be faced with limitations that will impede me from reaching my true teaching goal. Teaching in an English school in Quebec is often challenging as many of the resources offered by the ministry are written in French or are badly translated to English. It will be my duty to make the most out of the resources that are available to me in giving all students an equal opportunity at reaching their full potential. I will take it upon myself to translate the material when necessary and seek out resources from English school boards across Canada.
Change is ongoing in our society today and so should the way we approach teaching. Teachers must be prepared to adapt their philosophy and methods in order to match the growing needs of every child. I believe teachers and students should learn off each other in an environment where both could exchange and share. As mentioned by Parkay et al. (2014), accomplished teachers possess pedagogical content knowledge which comprises of wisdom about teaching, learning, students, and content (p. 30). Most importantly, “to teach a kid well, you have to know a kid well as knowledge of student characteristics such as aptitudes, talents, learning styles, and readiness is essential to the development of all students” (Parkay et al., 29). Through incorporating their interests into their learning, I will be able to create strong bonds of trust that will help me when I need to intervene in difficult situations. I will strive on creating a strong sense of community in my classroom in which I exercise “authority, show warmth and support, encourage competitiveness or cooperation, and allow for independent judgment and choice” (Parkay et al., 203).
We often ask ourselves what being educated actually signifies. In my opinion, an educated person is one who is capable to adapt and resolve to any situation that life throws at them appropriately and is one who possesses the ability to function and aid the society which they inhabit.
– This initial belief about teaching and learning was taken out of my first learning opportunity following my stage in April 2017. This belief, however, is not final and will probably evolve in the near future. –
- Parkay, F.W., Hardcastle-Stanford, B., Vaillancourt, J.C., Stephens, H.C., Harris, J.R. (2012), Becoming a Teacher (4th Edition), Toronto, ON: Pearson.