Opening New Doors by Choosing Professional Development
It has been the most extraordinary experience in developing my skills as a teacher. My own personal philosophy is that life has no finish line, it’s just a struggle uphill were you are continually overcoming adversity and constantly improving. This philosophy applies to many facets of life but few things better than the art of teaching.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Jack W. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
I think of the great teachers that I have had. I think of their various breadths of experience. To be sure some are born with a natural talent, a knack as it were, to teach and connect with pupils, but some of the truly great teachers who have presided over my own development acquired their skills over years of teaching. You could sometimes tell this at the time when despite your age you picked up on bits of wisdom your teachers espoused, but some of the truly brilliant moments from these people who touched my life in their capacity as educators only became revealed to me in hindsight and in my own experience teaching.
Taking the TEFL course and seeing the point-by-point breakdown of some things I previously an inkling but no fully formulated idea of was revealing. I had many “oh” and “aha” moments as I studied teaching structures and how these had manifested in my own classrooms growing up. I would say I gained a lot more respect and appreciation for my past teachers as I came to realize that there is by all accounts a fine science behind it. You can be a good teacher who has a natural ability to connect with students and you can have a basic understanding of the concepts outlined in the TEFL units, but true mastery of these concepts can only come with experience.
I have been thrilled to find that I am graced with at least one of the foremost attributes; I have found I have a natural ability to connect with my students. Now I look forward to internalizing the concepts I have learned and applying them. I believe this experience will give me some of the true mastery hindsight has allowed me to realize was at play in my own classrooms growing up.
It is also nice to put a name to the vague idea I had in my head prior to TEFL. In the case of the Boomerang structure, for example, I had the notion already in mind in that I would take my classes “full circle” with what they learn, now I find this arbitrary idea has already been broken down in thoughtful teaching structures. I look forward to applying the basic concepts I already had in their entirety with supporting information.
At this time I feel very equipped to expand my teaching skills but as I said, this requires the practical application of the concepts I have learned by getting real-world experience. I can’t wait to test out some of these things in an actual classroom setting. I know exactly how to put the lesson plan together, where to source the relevant materials, and the concepts I only had a vague back-of-the-mind awareness of I can now refer to.
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Learning teaching skills is a process. When this process is supplemented with the proper tools and knowledge you can certainly cut short the learning curve. In this way, I plan to expedite the process and long journey to becoming one of the great teachers to which I refer. That said I maintain that one never stops learning so it would be far too presumptuous for me to assume I can be on this level overnight, even with the necessary tools and knowledge.
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