Understanding Teaching

Understanding Teaching

Teaching is a profession which can provide great reward to those who choose to pursue it – that is to say it can provide personal, financial and professional reward.

However, like all rewarding activity, to take benefit, one must invest. In this case, the investment does not refer to the financial sort, but the personal sort. In order to be a successful, accomplished and rewarded teacher, one must demonstrate dedication to the cause.

A good teacher has ambition, not just for oneself but for their class and more specifically, every individual student. A good teacher will make that the classroom is a place for the ambition to thrive – through encouragement, creativity, sensitivity and motivation. These attitudes are fundamental for success. Even in the face of difficulty, a teacher must be prepared to take the initiative, to reinstate energy in the classroom and assure that each student is happily reaching his/her full potential.

For many students, a teacher is a role model – a fact which highlights the need for personal strength and resistance to vice, especially for those teaching impressionable young children. The teacher, as well as providing an academic education, should also be the provider of a good moral example for his/her students to follow, demonstrating the advantages of honest and conscientious living.

An effective teacher should not be afraid to assert their authority. When teaching a numerous class, one of the teacher’s principle responsibilities is to ensure a working environment is maintained. Should a teacher fail to act, should this environment be disrupted, he/she would not be fulfilling their role as the class authoritarian and consequently be failing to assume the responsibility for class achievement.

With respect to education, nothing is more effective for animating the mind than a passion for what is being taught. The passion and energy of a teacher for their subject is diffused amongst the students who will come to realize, although they may be facing challenges, that hard work is beneficial.

Teacher is an immensely enjoyable career, offering a great variety of challenges and opportunities for learning. By employing the skills discussed here whilst teaching, one can ensure that they are doing an exceptional job and for this, will be duly rewarded.

What’s the relationship between teaching and learning?
I have to do a group discussion on the relationship between teaching and learning (primary years). Does anyone have any ideas of what I could say? Or what the relationship between teaching and learning is?

For one – you can learn without being taught or without a teacher, but you can’t teach without a learner;
You can learn by trial & error, by observation, by experience, by own intelligence/rational thinking, from mistakes, etc. without needing to be “taught” formally. Teaching is just one of the ways that can be adopted in order to learn. Teaching, however, CAN speed up learning; make it more focused & relevant.

Then, in order to be able to teach, the teacher has to have learnt him/herself – either formally or informally. Thus learning precedes teaching. A learner may not be a teacher but a teacher has to be a learner.

Moreover, teaching & learning is actually an on-going interaction & communication between the 2 players. There is stimulus, response, feedback, mutual learning & growth.

You could also talk about situations or people who are not ideal, or are misfits in their role of teacher/learner e.g. how bad teaching can dull learning & interest while good teaching can motivate students & optimize learning, association & recall.

Learning and teaching should not stand on opposite banks and just watch the river flow by; instead, they should embark together on a journey.
This quote demonstrates my view of the relationship between teachers and students. In this we will be learning together and teaching each other. Teaching is meaningful when we find it relevant to our lives right now. When we are actively engaged to learn subject matter we find important our understanding is deeper, and our learning is better.

Learning new complex information can be challenging, and we may make mistakes. Sometimes we may even get frustrated; at times we may feel like giving up. That’s when it becomes most important that we are traveling this journey together. You may teach another way to learn, or teach how to keep trying. We learn to encourage each other, to believe in each other. We listen to learn, and we learn to teach. Making learning meaningful for each of us is our goal in our intentions for this resource.

What’s Crucial About the Teacher-Student Relationship?
It is essential to zero in on the fact that teaching and learning are really two different functions-two separate and distinct processes. Not the least of the many differences between teaching and learning is that the process of teaching is carried out by one person while the process of learning goes on inside another. Obvious? Of course; But worth thinking about; Because if teaching-learning processes are to work effectively, a unique kind of relationship must exist between these two separate parties-some kind of a connection, link, or bridge between the teacher and the learner.

Much of this chapter therefore deals with the communication skills required by teachers to become effective in making those connections, creating those links, and building those bridges. These essential communication skills actually are not very complex-certainly not hard for any teacher to understand-although they require practice like any other skill, such as football, skiing, singing, or playing a musical instrument; Nor do these critical communication skills place unusual demands on teachers to absorb vast amounts of knowledge about the “philosophy of education,” “instructional methodologies,” or “principles of child development.”

On the contrary, the skills we shall describe and illustrate primarily involve talking-something most of us do very easily. Since talk can be destructive to human relationships as well as enhancing, talk can separate the teacher from students or move them closer together. Again, obvious. But again, worth further thought. For the effect that talk produces depends on the quality of the talk and on the teacher’s selection of the most appropriate kind of talk for different kinds of situations.


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