Have you ever wondered what makes you the best or worst teacher ever?
I know this is a stupid question for teachers, as we are used to question our work every day in every class; but, what makes the difference? how is it possible that the same teacher is the best during one school year and the worst the next year?
Teachers must know that in order to answer those questions they have to take into account all the variables possible, which most of the times are endless lists of what could go right or wrong. During their time in university teacher trainees should have discussed endless debates of those lists and no one could have reached a final resolution, has anyone?
I’m the Best Teacher Ever! 🙂
Have you ever felt the excitement of having fantastic-to-work-with sponge students?
I know, this is also an stupid question for teachers, as every class is full with students eager to learn -at least that has been my case- but what I want you to think about and feel is when you’re doing what you’re supposed, and magically all around your class works out perfectly; the students are learning, the parents are grateful, the school praises and the teacher is not working.
I’m the Worst Teacher Ever! 🙁
Have you ever felt the necessity of turning everything around, upside down, over and any other preposition you may think of?
Yes, it is indeed another stupid question for teachers, as we work in the educational context; teachers want to change every single thing they may think should work better in a different way. Nevertheless, teachers cannot change all; even though they know what is affecting their environment and they know how to solve it, teachers most of the times have to cope with huge pink elephants which are impossible to move. The students are not learning, the parents complain, the school pushes and the teacher works.
The endless list I mentioned before is naworred to four main aspects: students, parents, school and the teacher. However, the term “school” will be changed to “syllabus” because that is truly the issue. And again, this is MY very personal point of view based on MY very personal experience.
Have you ever felt happy or unhappy with your class contents?
Eureka! That’s not a stupid question; well, I have felt both and both have gave me sorrow and pain, but also gratification and something to write about. 😛
This has been the biggest issue when it comes to perform an excellent job in my teaching years. It appears that when there is a main objective at the top and better yet, there is a method to achieve it: all the variables come together thriving. If a teacher studied to be a teacher, (s)he knows what (s)he is doing in front of the classroom and acknowledges the problems which are arising within the class, therefore the teacher must propose a solution. If the syllabus accepts the solution it is almost certain that the people involved will be satisfied.
If it is considered that the teacher knows how to teach, then it is supposed that (s)he uses the correct techniques and activities to teach what the syllabus asks to teachers and students. Here it is where the problem shows up, under the statement that the teacher will do all possible to achieve the objectives of the syllabus, there should be no problem in any way. But, what if there isn’t any general objective and the syllabus is not intended for the particular social and cultural background of the class? Of course all sorts of problems will show up throughout the school year, and because students are not able to complete such syllabus, frustrations will grow on the people involved: teachers, parents and worst, students.
As people in Mexico say: “hay de dos moles” -you’ve got two flavors- whether the teacher follows the syllabus or (him)herself; ok… maybe more than only two.
Students, Parents and Teachers
If there is a general objective, a well established syllabus which is intended for the level, culture and society of the class, besides a trained teacher who likes what (s)he does; I do not think there should be any problem.
Have you ever experienced something like this? -not another stupid question.