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3 Ways How to Be a Good Teacher

3 Ways How to Be a Good Teacher | ITTT | TEFL Blog

Without knowing it nor intending it to be, my path has been strongly directed and focused on education and it was since Elementary School that I felt that something was wrong with me in the nowadays education system. After struggling a lot with learning as I was supposed to and believing that I was not smart enough, I finally took a subject at college that changed my thinking. This subject was called Educational Psychology and it was based on the actual necessity of creating a revolution or a change in education.

Within the years we have been de-humanizing education at the point that we don’t even ask ourselves what is the purpose of what we are learning or teaching. We have become like side-blinded horses that just look to the achievement of a curriculum without actually understanding if that is what the students need to know and if it is being taught in such a way that they identify the use of this new knowledge in their daily lives. There are lots of aspects to think of and to reflect about education, but I am listing what I have seen are the most relevant notions to have in mind to get closer to being a good teacher:

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Maria A. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.

1. Real-life simulation:

Classroom education is based on designating an enclosure for education (a classroom) in which the objectives or topics required for each educational level are taught through a trained teacher. This enclosure becomes a space far away from the reality and in short words, classrooms become a simulation of “real life”, leading to a mismatch between pedagogy and reality where learning seems to happen but does not happen. The way of fixing this isn’t necessarily going outdoors and never using a classroom again, but of clearly demonstrating to students how what they are learning is useful in their daily lives, which means helping them understand the reason and purpose of what they are being taught. A connection of what is seen in the classroom and their real lives should always be made. Not seeing the use of what is seen in the classroom leads to boredom, pain, and frustration, which are the opposed aims of learning (corresponding to pleasure and growth) (Acaso & Megías, 2013)

Liza's ESL class

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2. Emotional Hitch:

It is necessary to implement the connotative uses of language and explore the unconscious creating connections that link with emotion, memories, desires, the forbidden, the monstrous and the beautiful since it is right in this place where memory and real or significant learning happens. A very good example of this is thinking on your own most significant learnings in life: aren’t they carried as memories full of emotion? Aren’t they perhaps of moments where you suffered a lot and had to pick yourself up? Most of the significant learning isn’t developed in a classroom, because education hasn’t been focusing on matching pedagogy with “real life” (what happens outside the classroom). In short words, only knowledge that is carried with emotion can become meaningful (Acaso & Megías, 2013)

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3. Teacher-student relationship:

This is a very broad topic but the basis is always remembering that we are all humans in the classroom or the teaching-learning process. Teaching isn’t only provided by the teacher and learning isn’t always just acquired by the students. If we allow it, there are many things that students can teach teachers. I vividly still remember feeling that the real teachers on an outdoor education school I worked with were the children. Their curiosity and simplicity towards life taught me a lot. It is important to develop a genuine interest in the students’ growth and learning and getting to know them as persons, rather than as students, is the key.

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Once the above is the basis of each lesson, any methodology and material will be chosen correctly and if it doesn’t function, the teacher will be able to recognize that he or she is human and will have no trouble on modifying the way of teaching until he or she finds what is the best for each group. I want to conclude this essay by citing Carl Gustav Jung with this powerful phrase of his: “Know all the theories, master all techniques, but as you touch a human soul be just another human soul”

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