Mastery of the Teacher in the Classroom
There is an ancient Chinese quote which says: "Tell me, and I forget. Teach me, and I remember. Involve me, and I." - We can apply this old quote to our days, even though our challenges may be more extensive.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Rodrigo O. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Today anyone can go through the web and seek information; this made the task of teaching a bit harder since we have to deal with an immediate gain of information. It is easy to open a Wikipedia article and just read what happened 100 years ago somewhere, but it is the teacher's task to involve the students, to connect the facts, to know details about what happened, to gain the student's attention and that attention can be reached through passion. To me, it is crucial that the teacher cares about the subject he is teaching, or at least give the proper attention to it, otherwise, instead of teaching you would be just saying to the students what happened 100 years ago somewhere repeating the information.
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Skill to Involve
It is hard to involve someone else with what you are teaching, and that makes me remember what did the special teachers did to my life; they did not just show me the subject, but they also affected me somehow. It seems that those special teachers loved what they were doing when communicating to the students; they did show excitement about the subjects they teach and that went beyond the class environment.
For quite long students were treated as empty vessels at the start of their education, today as we know, students carry a load of their background to school, affecting the environment and having different perceptions of the same subject, in Brazil, as in most developing countries, this can be quite relevant. Our society does not face the students who are willing to learn, but we also have those with a violent background, those involved with drugs, those who don't have present parents, etc. All this affects the decision of the teacher to be more involved with students; sometimes you can put yourself at risk. But at the same time, it is easier to be a life-changing factor in your student's lives, since most have almost no guidance, so they might need someone to give them a little push forward, and that may make a real difference to the students future and their decisions through their youth.
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So as it seems today depending on where you are teaching and the environment surrounding it, your efforts must go beyond the subject, beyond the classroom, you must get yourself involved with the student's life; you have to be the student's family. It looks like the teacher must be a superhero today to make a real difference, but even then our society does not value us properly. Leaving those difficulties behind, to me the teacher must love what he is doing, respect his students, dominate what he is teaching and also give value to the mutual information exchange, that is a key to progress when teaching; to know that when you are teaching your students, you are learning as well.
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