Being a Teacher is More Than Just Teaching
I haven’t been a teacher for very long, but I have noticed more and more, since taking this course that a classroom can succeed if a teacher knows that teaching isn’t just the passing of information. The teacher must understand that there are many different types of learners, that they must build a rapport with these learners, and they must tailor lessons based on these aspects. Teaching is more than just teaching a subject or language; this is the best thing I’ve learned from my ITTT classes.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Erin W.
Types of Learners
As a foundation, to being teaching, I have learned that there are many types of learners, which is a lesson in itself and more than just teaching. That learners, can’t simply be broken down into just age, or just level. Learners can come from all walks of life, and be in the same class. I could have students from various countries, cultures, and social classes; in addition to the aforementioned age groups.
Motivation is also something I didn’t consider as a varying aspect. In my first ITTT course I learned about mostly “Young Learners”, and I have had previous experiences with them. Usually, the motivation level isn’t that high, more often than not, their parents are making them attend classes. However, recently, I took the CTBE course and learned that learners may rely on my classes to increase their work or financial productivity, which would increase their motivation.
Building rapport with students is another part of being a teacher that isn’t usually highlighted. However, I appreciated the focus ITTT gave on this topic. As I’ve learned in previous ITTT courses, establishing rapport can help determine the success and enjoyment (for both the learner and the teacher). The mood of a classroom is mainly determined by the learners. However, the attitude and approach of the teacher can steer the students and class in a more enjoyable and productive direction. I think this part of the ITTT lessons was very insightful, and it helped me gain a deeper understanding of my previous teachers, and be able to grow as a teacher myself.
This course has taught me that there are many types of learners, and that building rapport with these learners can increase lesson productivity. It is important to have types of learners (in a given class), and the rapport that you have/plan to build with a class when designing a lesson. A teacher can simply read information out of a book to a learner. However, getting that learner to fully grasp the information, and enjoy learning that is what truly makes a successful teacher. Customizing lessons to fit learners needs is not only proactive but as I’ve learned in the ITTT CTBE class, it’s necessary.
We have a responsibility as teachers, and the ITTT course pointed out my weakest characteristic and has made it a strength. Most people don’t and can’t understand that teaching, isn’t just about giving information to the learner, this is what I thought. Throughout these two ITTT courses, the best thing I’ve learned is that teaching is much more than relaying information and having students memorize it. Teaching is an amalgamation of many various attributes, but it starts with the relationship a teacher has with learners. After teachers recognize that teaching starts with recognizing the types of learners, building rapport with them, and lessons must be made based off of these aspects, then they can succeed.
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