You need to know the material and be well-versed in whatever topic you’re teaching. Linda Ray is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years reporting experience. Oh, there's a fire drill, so I've lost 5 or more minutes of instructional time, in this class, plus the additional time to settle them down after they come back. Those who would impose one way of thinking on issues deprives our students of the chance to explore and come to their own conclusions. As the frontliners of delivering education, teachers are expected to be a good role model for students and reflect and instill the good values of a productive citizen into their students. Being a teacher involves more than simply being able to convey knowledge to students. I always felt like I learned almost as much from them as they did from me. Although the band, orchestra, or choir director can’t fix all that, he or she can prepare his or her students for success by providing a welcoming learning environment and establishing an open line of communication between him- or herself and his or her students. Regardless of age and background, from kindergarten to college and from wealthy to poor, students are usually in their formative years and need emotional support, encouragement, and guidance as much as practical information. Effective instruction does not simply happen. Students' cultural and social backgrounds, prejudices and attitudes toward authority are all variables that you must take into consideration and address. And yet I have not really addressed my original question. I have not talked about all the e-mails with parents and students, about phone calls, about parent conferences. Because these directors have been around the same students all four years of high school, they know them better than most of their colleagues do, which means they have more genuine and comprehensive information to provide in a letter. And creating vibrant souls must start with parents and teachers who also have vibrant souls and a … Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your account. What does it mean to be a teacher? Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. David, C. (2000). Printer friendly PDF. Thus even my blogging and my writing on listservs and even the occasional op-ed pieces and Letters to the editor are part of what it means for me to be a teacher. Unfortunately, students too often “turn off” the teacher broadcast and valuable educational opportunities are lost as a result. Perhaps because for me the task of being a teacher is certainly not one of peeling back their scalps and pouring in the knowledge. That this is just a job, that earns them money. Christie Burnett is an early childhood teacher, presenter, writer and the editor of Childhood 101. You are kind: A great teacher shows kindness to students, colleagues, parents, and those around her or him. Conversely, a sour instructor who neglects his or her students or disrespects them by giving half-hearted lessons would pass on the idea that music is unimportant, and the students would associate it with unpleasantness or even boorishness. We don’t want to direct our fellow teachers, demand they complete tasks or offer unwanted feedback. Pity that will change.”. At the elementary level, there is usually one music teacher, and the same students see him or her from the day their parents anxiously ship them off to kindergarten to the day they burst wide the double doors to their supposed freedom and middle school. Being a kind teacher helps students feel welcomed, cared for, and loved. I must model for my students what i expect of them, which is taking responsibility for one's actions, even if the hurt we cause is unintentional, even if our purpose in such actions was meant to be a positive. I consider this fairness, but it is a different kind of behavior than some have come to expect. I will apologize, to students, to a class, to parents, when appropriate. What does being a teacher leader mean? Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. It means recognizing that one's own learning  -- of students, of material, of how to help the students connect with the material  -- is a never-ending process. This content was created by a Daily Kos Community member. Teachers play social roles that vary greatly. Building a community is something a great teacher seeks to do in the classroom and extends that to the entire school and its community. So why is it that many of the same age-old teaching strategies are still abundantly in use today, such as lectures and worksheets? Misperceptions about what test scores mean and what they measure can lead to further distortions of the educational experience available to our students. ( Log Out /  The answer I will assay at this point is mine alone, but one I expect would find strong agreement from many other teachers. ( Log Out /  Originally Answered: What is a professional teacher? I had ceased being very active politically, until I realized that my political activity is also part of what makes me the teacher I am, for good or not others will decide. It means one has to constantly operate on several levels simultaneously, observing things  -- about oneself, about the students and the class  -- about which one can do nothing at the moment but which will have to be processed and addressed at some point. Sometimes it can mean pouring oneself out without being as fortunate as I have often been to get feedback from parents and students that encourages me to go on, even when exhausted, and worrying about my failure in reaching some students. How to make a video presentation with Prezi in 6 steps; Oct. 14, 2020. Students respect you for being well-versed in what you teach and for being a functional adult who is successfully navigating the world. I have given more than enough detail about my responsibilities without attempting to list all of them. A normally solid student suddenly does not come prepared. Did I cover what they need to know? This will be a short week, as the students enter Spring break at the close of school Wednesday. What one doesn’t count on, however, is the myriad of ways a teacher can influence a child’s life outside the world of academia. ( Log Out /  What does it mean to be a teacher? 3) theoretical – some knowledge of theory can make working on a piece of music far simpler. When one takes on the role of a teacher, it’s easy to dream about all the wonderful and creative ways one will teach one’s … Creativity in the classroom can make the difference between bored students and excited students. London: Taylor&Francis Books Ltd. Demirkasımoğlu, N. (2010). And when I am teaching I must be constantly monitoring far too many things. Lately, having been on my internship the last week but visiting the school since my last practicum there, I have been hearing: “Aren’t the new graduates so bouncy and full of energy and passion? You are a builder: A great teacher bridges gaps and builds relationships, friendships, and a community. Effective teachers inspire students to develop their own learning processes. Effective teachers have compassion for their students and the social and emotional needs they bring to school. It used to be that students came to school to access our knowledge, our experience, our textbooks and library materials. I could offer that, but there are others far more capable and far more experienced than am I. No matter how well planned a lesson may be, I have to be prepared to abandon it instantaneously if it is not working. For me, a teacher as a professional must be collaborative and collegial, activist, flexible and progressive, responsive to change, self-regulatory, and enquiry-oriented (Demirkasımoğlu, 2010). During the school year I rarely have "down time." Licensing varies from state to state, though it usually involves taking a teacher's exam and passing a certification course. The key to effectively teaching music in elementary school is not merely to go over the notes and rhythms and play “Hot Cross Buns” on recorder, but instead to instill in one’s pupils the value that music is an important skill that should be taught and cultivated just like math, reading, writing, science, and history. I don’t see these as bad things. Through my earphones as I write I listen to Bach's Art of the Fugue, played by a string quartet. I have to select to which I will pay due attention, and that becomes a real high wire act with true potential for disaster! I am able to push my students outside their comfort zones, to have them challenge themselves, only insofar as they are willing to trust me. And while I am teaching probably 3 different levels of American History (because one talented and gifted class is far less able than the other two) as well as Social Issues, I have to be thinking about next year, when I will be teaching Government, including for the first time AP Government, and also Comparative Religion.

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