NEED FOR TEACHING METHOD WITHIN TRAINING

NEED FOR TEACHING METHOD WITHIN TRAINING – IT IS OFTEN OVERLOOKED

THOUGHTS FOR PRE-SERVICE AND BEGINNING TEACHERS (21)

Should teaching methodology be part of teacher training or is it more important for preservice teachers to graduate with Bachelor and Masters level degrees with practical needs catching up later? That has become what should never have been a question.

We seem to have entered an era wherein the training institute hands preservice teachers a degree. On graduation they enter schools where, with careful coaching and mentoring, they are taught to teach – often by people with far less paper qualifications.

If people offer you help and support to come to terms with classroom practice, accept it. And if you have issues and concerns, ask for help

THE BUCK STOPS HERE

THOUGHTS FOR PRE-SERVICE AMND BEGINNING TEACHERS (20)

Be we teachers in training, teachers new or experienced, school leaders or those with system responsibilities, we should always be accountable for our actions. There is a tendency in life to say ‘who, me’ when it comes to accountability for actions. Shirking responsibilities for the outcome of our actions is a devious and unprofessional habit. To look for support and understanding is natural but to try and blame others for our actions is wrong.

Professional character and strength is built when we accept responsibility for our wrong decisions, apologise, try and put things to rights, then move on. We should never dump our decisions and actions on others; the blame game is wrong.

The best example to set to children, students and those we lead, occurs when we own the outcomes of our actions. This builds self-respect and respect vested in us by others.

HOMEWORK: BLESSING OR BANE?

THOUGHTS FOR PRE-SERVICE AND BEGINNING TEACHERS (19)

Homework is an issue that has been doing the rounds of education for decades. There are educators who believe in homework’s importance, others who would like to discount it altogether. Similarly, some parents appreciate homework while others would like to see it given the big flick. Those in favour of homework believe it reinforces and consolidates learning through extra practice that happens away from school.

Opposition to homework comes from those who think ‘enough is enough’; that beyond the school day, children should be freed from learning tasks. Some parents and commentators suggest that homework is the teacher’ s way of handing their teaching responsibilities to parents.

What do you think? Should homework policies be supported or discounted? What should be the prime purpose of homework? Is homework something for students to do or does it become a task for parents to complete on behalf of their children?

TEACHING – THE PROFESSION CAN BE LONELY

THOUGHTS FOR PRE-SERVICE AND BEGINNING TEACHERS (18)

Unless we care for each other as colleagues, as lecturers toward students and teachers toward children, our profession can be very lonely. There is nothing worse than a sense of isolation that can imbue those within schools, universities or other educational environments. Teaching and learning at their best is about caring and sharing.

To balkanise ourselves, isolate in boxes or to become captured within the silo of singular, unshared environment is anathema. The ‘personality’ of education is about how we relate to each other. May synergy (collective energy) underline our shared contributions to this the most significant of all professions.

ASK FOR HELP

THOUGHTS FOR PRE-SERVICE AND BEGINNING TEACHERS (17)

No matter who we are or where we sit in the educational structure, we should always, but ALWAYS ask if help is needed. Too often we sit, cogitate and stew over issues that seem to be insurmountable. We may think our status or efficiency will diminish in the eyes of superordinates, peers or subordinates if assistance is sought; In a sharing, caring and collaborative profession that should be far from the truth. As teachers and educators we need to be there for each other.

BEHAVIOUR MANAGEMENT A BIG ISSUE

THOUGHTS FOR PRE-SERVICE AND BEGINNING TEACHERS (16)

PREPARE FOR THIS TRUTH

As a long term educational practitioner in schools, it seems to me that those who look ‘at’ schools rather than being ‘in’ them, labour under a false belief. They perceive school as some sort of utopian environment in which all students thirst for knowledge and have a keen desire to learn. All that teachers have to do therefore, is teach.

Little do they realise that the issue of discipline is a major stumbling block to this being an actuality.

For many teachers in many schools in many parts of the world, MANAGING BEHAVIOUR is the key issue. Maybe a little teaching slips in on the side, but control of deliberately disinclined students who really don’t want to be there is a key stumbling block.

Teachers have ways of adapting to meet this challenge, or at least minimising it’s thrust.

But for administrators to believe there are no issues, or to know and not care is just so wrong. They need first hand exposure to classroom reality.

NEVER PUSH FAMILY AWAY

THOUGHTS FOR PRE-SERVICE AND BEGINNING TEACHERS (15)

A clear and distinct danger of the teaching and educational profession is that work priorities can push family responsibilities into the background. The amount of time spent at work, or working on work tasks at home can relegate family members to being second or third best. They may come to feel they are being taken for granted.

Family members will wear the tag of second class citizenship for only so long; many families have broken up because work commitments have devalued them, diluting and eroding what may well have been strong family values. Beyond their years at work, those who have surrendered families may well finish up as sad, lonely and unwanted people. “No one on their death bed ever regretted not having spent more time at work”. (anon)

‘Family first’ should be the norm.