MY THOUGHTS ABOUT TEACHERS
Do you live a Teacher Lifestyle?
This is an essential question for me as it is about understanding how to approach situations in life, where you would in one way or the other need to work in a social setting. Humans are social beings. With this realization, relating to the environment around us in an interactive way is part of nature. We enjoy taking part in activities where we interact with our environment. For example, a recent study made by Games for Learning Institute (G4LI), funded by Microsoft Research, shows great examples of how teachers can use tools provided by video games to enhance their teaching. The success lies within the ability to connect the attractive things that we do daily with our learning process. Kids and adults alike are more likely to learn and remember knowledge if it is connected to doing something that they like.
Whether it is gaming, doing a desk job, working with human rights or nursing – people who consider themselves teachers try their best to interact with their environment in an educational manner. Teachers who consider themselves as employees do their job for a set amount of hours and move on with their daily life in any way they prefer afterwards. Such an approach creates a division between profession and other aspects of life. It also brings a limited responsibility for the teachers.
In my view the difference between a teacher profession and a teacher lifestyle is exactly one of responsibility. Part of teaching as a lifestyle means creating the educational aspect around a vast diversity of the activities that you do in your life. Being interested in the educational aspect of any activity that you do, means that you are interested in what you can learn and teach before, during and after – this prompts reflection.
Reflection is an important part of a teacher profession as well as part of a teacher lifestyle. Teachers in profession need to improve their teaching at all times, in order to deliver the best of their knowledge to the students. They reflect on alternative ways of involving their students in learning processes. However, teaching in and out of classroom, teachers by lifestyle have a much bigger field to master. Therefore they need to be much more flexible while constructing their teaching and enhancing their personal and professional traits. Structured reflection is important, too. Goal seeking with reflection and target questions about how to overcome one or the other issue become master tools for both types of teachers. The quality of learning from reflection increases directly with the quality of target questions and other relevant structures for reflections.
All can become great teachers
We are all different. There are times when others excel at their teaching, while there are some other times when I have a feeling that I am not exactly sure what to do. No point to stress about it. We are all great at some things whilst being not so good at others. There are lots of strength in this. The strength lies in the diversity of humanity. More heads work better than one. When we work together strength comes from the cooperation. Teams that work together have much more expertise than any single one of us. Therefore, the essential goal is to improve the collaborative output of the team, through enriching every individual. With this background, teachers can see that everyone has a relevant point and could contribute, if they put their minds to it. Therefore, even if not everyone is a great spokesman, we could learn lots from each other and people around us.
Most of us are living our lives in communities of various types and sizes… family, school, job, neighbourhood, city or town – all are different layers of the same reality that we live in. We know what is the best, what could be improved and what are the struggles. If we want to change something, we need to take responsibility over the things around us. If we are to take responsibility over our society, we need to work together with the people around us. Here we come to the concept of active citizenship, of which teachers are a big part. In a leading role, teachers pioneer new ideas and are looking for solutions, empowering others to work with them.
Only people who try, can change the world around them.