EDS 111 – Principles of Teaching

Further Thoughts on the Course

thought buble

 

What I only knew before about teaching is the direct traditional teaching of teacher’s knowledge if the teacher does not have good knowledge of the subject then woe to the students and to the parents who are paying for their kids’ education. I know that teachers have different styles of teaching which may match or not match the students way of learning, since my time as a student was more than a decade ago I didn’t think much of the necessity to incorporate technology in teaching what I thought was it’s an open option, like, if I’ll be a teacher in a prestige school like a friend of mine who is a teacher in the Internal School of Manila I thought for her technology is mandatory but for simple private and public school I thought it was just an open option, it’s the teachers’ prerogative.

Just like professional improvement, I know teachers need to keep on studying but a requirement from each school for teachers to attend in-house training, 3rd party/external trainings is something new, even the part that teachers need to collaborate with others share best practices and encourage teachers for opportunities maybe the reason why I did not even venture to think that these activities are happening was due to lack of obvious impact and result to teachers content knowledge and teaching styles when I was still a student.

Only when I studied professionalism in this course was exposed to the fact that not all countries would have high regard to their teachers to consider them as professionals. For me then, other stakeholders of education stepped in to contribute to what should students learn nowadays to make learning relevant but not because, they are stepping in due of lack of trust in teachers, and that they don’t see that teachers are competent enough to teach young learners.

I enjoyed answering, thinking and completing the task for Teacher Nina, I don’t have formal teaching experience, to imagine what she is going through (they she may just be a fiction) is very daunting for me same feeling I felt when answering all the FD’s in this course. Questions would always make me think deep about what a read and several times I would feel that answering FD questions would have been a lot easier if I only have formal teaching experience just like many of my classmates. Teacher’s Nina and FD questions gave me a glance of what would be like when I become a teacher, this may not comprise it all but at least I’m not joining the profession empty-handed. I plan to talk about teaching experiences with my teacher friends and watch more real life uploaded videos to have more ideas on teaching. I still want to continue tutoring my Chinese students and some high school girls (until I can take the licensure exam and practice this profession) in our church as my way of applying specific topics like; reflective teaching, diversity and creativity. I think among many topics of this course these are the one with much relevance to tutoring Chinese for English language and teaching in Sunday School and Discipleship in our church.

The friend that I mentioned earlier invited me to be her assistant teacher in her classes this will give more opportunity to have firsthand experience of the concept and principles in this course as well as apply more topics into practice with the guide and mentorship of a veteran pre-school teacher.

EDS 111 – Principles of Teaching

Comfortable or accountable?

accountability

How would you describe your teaching perspectives prior to your reading of the module resources?  How would you compare your prior conceptions about learning and teaching to the ideas discussed in the resources of this module?  What factors influenced your conceptions about teaching and learning?

> Well Teacher-Centered teaching was still my choice teaching style and I still want I to practice until after I read and watched the resources of this Module. This is also evident to how I defined teaching and learning in Activity 4 Part 1. This is not a surprise though, it was the teaching I received when I was a student so I thought that if it worked for me, it will work on my students as well.

   Well compared to the 21st Century education, my concepts of learning and teaching is more of “I” I know the content so I will teach and I know how to teach it better than anyone else.

Have your perspectives’ changed after studying the module resources?  How or how not?

> Yes it has, by being exposed to the 21st century teaching skills that this Module had provided. It has changed the setup of mind from the old-school way which is the teacher centered to student centered learning. Specifically to let go of my assumption that when I become a teacher I could still teach like how I got my education in school, since I learned that way I’m thinking my students will learn also.

How willing or open are you in challenging your prior conceptions about teaching and learning, and applying contemporary teaching perspectives and approaches that would better serve the need of the students for more holistic and active learning?

> Very much willing, even to the point that I would want to develop the skill of persuasion if in case the school that I’ll be joining in does not believe or practice 21st century teaching styles  to make them see the benefits of this to the students.

   I would like to experience the results of not feeding my fears of trying something different, of not being in my comfort zone. Because those results will be my motivation to break more walls and be global

Which among the contemporary teaching perspectives and approaches discussed in this module resonates with you?  Why?

> My only teaching exposure is ESL. As I tutor I practice more airtime for my students, I’ll just speak to let them know that I’m listening and that I believe in their ideas. It really has to be Student-Centered Learning because verbalizing their thoughts is the only way for them to be a better speaker of the language.
If I don’t formulate open-ended questions about the subject matter the class would just mostly be a reading a class. They know that by engaging their mind to answer my questions( whether oral or written) their mindset will be changed from initially thinking in Chinese then translate it to English when they speak to a mindset that is now mapping ideas in their head in English language and then smoothly verbalizing their thoughts using English words as well.

Knowing your inclination for specific teaching perspectives, how can you ensure that you will not fall into the trap of a one-size-fits-all teaching  and that you will observe the teaching principles as intellectual and varied work – “adopting appropriate teaching roles to support learning goals” (Eberly Center, 2015)?

  
>Having accountability partner / colleague, one who is good at practicing hands-on learning of 21st Century Education to check on me anytime. At least this would keep me on my toes if I’m practicing it or not and I have some one I can collaborate with.

> This one may seem very far-fetch to practice all the time but I’ll try, whenever I feel comfortable with my pedagogy then I know I’m not practicing the 21st Century Education principles.

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I go crazy whenever my plans do not push through. It frustrates me whenever I don’t have the control of situations. I don’t like to plan all the details but those parts of an activity that I planned, I expect them to happen the way I have envision them in my head. It gives me the feeling of relief that there are things in my future that will not rattle my self-control and will not put my patience to test.

For me having the ability to do the things I need to do and control situations gives me high sense of confidence on the outcome. I know that this feeling stemmed from several past experiences of being left out or forgotten. Whatever their reasons were it had pushed be to be so cautious and independent.

The reason why I started my blog this way is because, 21st Century Education is so not me. It’s the antonym of my core. It’s about student teaching her classmates through her own understanding, it’s about being out there directing them to find answers to their own questions, just like in the video students learning is not concentrated to discussions in a classroom set-up, we can go out let the students see it for themselves, may it be in the park, through field trips or in laboratories. It’s all about being creative and resourceful when passing knowledge to students not be so dependent on textbooks, letting them use use technology to express their understanding, and it’s about longer air-time for students, lime light on them not me.

Practicing the principles of 21st Century Education will put teachers in situations of constant change, unpredictable students’ questions and more-patience-needed scenarios, these should be good for me or, I should say way better. If this is what it takes for my kids to feel like they are now really students, they are now open to learning and studying then I should say not having a strict plan in class is good, less control for a vibrant class is worth it.

I believe there’s nothing wrong to plan ahead of time, to control situation and to be self-reliant. It is when we boxed them to a textbook-teaching with little room for hands-on learning and self expression of their understanding that keeps us teachers safe in our comfort zone but limiting their learning. It definitely will not rattle me as teacher if I will just mainly focus on a book that I have read so many times, share its ideas to my students again and again. I’m sure being self-reliant in that scenario will not be a problem, it will be  natural of me not be needing any other teacher’s point of  view on my teaching since I “think” I have become a master on my subject.  But this module had thought me a very important lesson, a teacher has to be open to collaboration, teamwork to give the best to their students, not just those students who are coming to their classes but students of colleagues as well. Self reliance according to this module should be change to a sense of teamwork.

What I have to remember as a teacher is not to prioritize the feeling  of ease or comfortable while teaching but I have to remind my self  how accountable I am to the time my students spent in the school. The whole time they are enrolled should be at least equal to the amount of learning they are getting from us.

We want our students to conquer the world, let the sky be their limit then our pedagogy should mirror that.

Resources:

1.) Student-Centered Learning (21st Century Education) (Pear Tree Education Inc. (2013, February 21). Student-centered learning (21st century education) [Video file].

2.) Reimagining Classrooms: Teachers as Learners and Students as Leaders | Kayla Delzer |   TEDxFargo (TEDx Talks. (2015, October 13). The power of student-driven learning: Shelley Wright at TEDxWestVancouverED [Video file].)

3.) Hands-On Learning / Experiential Education (21st Century Education) (Pear Tree Education Inc. (2013, February 14). Hands-on learning / Experiential education (21st Century Education) [Video file].)

4.) Project-Based Learning Challenges (21st Century Education) (Pear Tree Education Inc. (2016, December 11). Project-based learning challenges (21st century education) [Video file].

5.) Collaboration / Finnish Education (21st Century Education) (Pear Tree Education Inc. (2013, February 20). Collaboration / Finnish education (21st century education) [Video file].)

EDS 111 – Principles of Teaching

 

Expectations. Standard.

I grew up in a family orientation that parents have the full authority and they have the last say on everything. If they decide on something the rest of the family will follow, objection will be entertained with minimal attention. This thinking is also carried over to my perception in school. For me it was ideal if teachers will be accountable to their students and principal is the head of all.  It looks good in the organizational chart. One thinks of the policy, what to decide, when to decide and imposes – looks very organized and structured avoids confusion and lack of indirection.

There were also times that the principal would sit in our classes, observe the class and jot down notes. One of my teachers (but not the only teacher who did this) prior to this our teacher will inform us that class observation will happen soon and that we have to practice for that. So what we did is, a discussion took place and every now and then my teacher would tell us to remember particular parts of the lesson because she will ask them during the class observation by the principal. Many paid attention and many took notes. Observation day came and it seemed that the principal was happy, there was a vibrant discussion and we participated well in answering our teacher’s questions. The next day our teacher told us the positive result of the principal’s observation and we were all happy to have helped her passed her classroom observation.

Carmichael (1982) discussed the authority and power position

held by the principal in which the principal is viewed as all-

wise and all-competent by the staff on the lower rungs of the

power-structure ladder. This “omnicompetence” has been

internalized by principals and reinforced by others in the

school, making it difficult for principals to admit to any need

for professional development themselves or to recognize the

dynamic potential of staff contributions to decision making.

Furthermore, it is difficult for staff to propose divergent views

or ideas about the school’s effectiveness when the principal is

seen in such a dominant position. (Leslie Jones et al; The Importance of Professional Learning communities for School Improvement)

Basing my interpretation of the teacher’s action on above quote, the teacher might have thought that had she did not practiced the lesson prior to classroom observation she would not have passed the standard of the principal.

What are the questions on the papers the principal had with her during the observation to gauge if my teacher was at par with her standard that she would be able to say that my teacher is competent that I would not know. But to get to the conclusion that the principle has the last say with regard to what is quality teaching and competence in the knowledge of subject matter is without a doubt the principal alone.

This thought is not something new to me, I have always have the thought that principal has the highest knowledge not just in running the affairs of the school but also in each subject that is being taught in her school.

Carmichael proposed that the notion of principal omnicom-

petence be “ditched” in favor of principals’ participation in

professional development. Kleine-Kracht (1993) suggested

that administrators, along with teachers, must be learners:

“questioning, investigating, and seeking solutions” (p. 393) for

school improvement. The traditional pattern that “teachers

teach, students learn, and administrators manage is completely

altered.

[There is] no longer a hierarchy of who knows

more than someone else, but rather the need for everyone

to contribute” (professional learning communities; p15).

Coming across above article could be a breath of fresh air for the teachers, their thoughts will be sought and valued. They would be encouraged to think that they have earned the level of being credited for their knowledge and teaching experience. They will be considered at par with their principal in having the need for improvement, brainstorming opportunities and the privilege to experience decision making.

Having the right PLC we can stop from saying, “in the ideal world principals collaborate with their teachers and share the burden of decision making”, this is  now a reality. May not be true to all schools or partially practiced in a school, eventually this will be universally practice with is wide range of benefits not just for teachers but also for the principals.

Knowing that it’s a support group and not pointing fingers to who is wrong and who is always right but it’s a group of educators seeking to understand where the missing piece of teaching skill is and how best to help, encourage one another to provide best education to the students.

Something that struck me the most in this module is that, the students who attends your class are not the only students you have, but each students in the school is your student, teachers should care for other students by helping other teachers in every way possible.

Reference:
1. Professional Learning Communities; p15
2. Leslie Jones et al; The Importance of Professional Learning communities for School Improvement

EDS 111 – Principles of Teaching

Professionalism in Teaching Profession

There were several teachers in my high school and elementary years that until now I have not forgotten how effectual and influential their actions and conduct were. Now that I have completed this module I could say that many of them were able to balance the requirement of the curriculum and their own way of teaching that well benefited. Their compliance did not diminish their efficiency in teaching but all the more surface their passion, knowledge and unique skills in teaching.professionalism

There were times that some teachers would say that we have to change our resource books because the government wants this and that… their actions were very ethical and respectful of the authority of the government and never shown their frustrations in the class. I guess it was a good example of what obedience is all about, no complaints just follow. Maybe this could be interpreted as passive obedience and lack of critical thinking on their part but that is not something that I will dwell on, it is definitely a different topic to share.

My point here is, there may have some disappointments and frustrations on the part of the teachers to be told what to when they were the one who tried to read their students mind to know what and how best to teach them. And those that gives orders or dictates act as if they know best and that they are the experts interfere and discourages them but we did not feel it. For us every day was just another day to learn and same level of enthusiasm and passion were demonstrated by each teacher.

As a student our way of showing we believe on their knowledge and that they are professionals in our eyes is that we listen and believe on what they say, we paid proper respect whenever we see them in campus our outside campus. When I was a student I did not have any experience that my classmates went overboard with their craziness because they felt that the person in front of them did not know what to do, did not deserve their respect or acting in a manner that is not professional, they go crazy because they were youths and that’s how best they know how to express themselves.

I want to believe that factors that affect professionalism in our country is not initially there to harm teachers or to eventually have them lose their autonomous, it’s effecting pressure to produce good quality of graduates by providing guidelines and standard that somehow is one-sided, strict and incapable of adjusting on specific situations  and or not displaying common sense.

EDS 111 – Principles of Teaching

There’s More In Teaching Than Meets The Eye

meets the eye

I was a critical student, whoever was in front of the class facilitating the discussion will be scrutinized by my eyes. Every teacher that I had met for the first week of each school year was sized up by how she/he spoke, how she/he made eye contact with us and how she/he conducted herself/himself when in the classroom. Funny though, because I didn’t know much about the subject yet and definitely I knew nothing about checking a teacher’s mastery of the subject. Nevertheless I did this my whole college life.

I equated my teacher’s mastery of the topic with how he taught us in the class, for me if the teacher has mastery of the subject/discipline then he should be able to teach us what he knows well, I should be able to understand the subject clearly and deeply.

You can’t teach what you don’t know. That was the notion I stood on before this module. It was very rigid, inconsiderate and unfair. Not to mention, it sounded very ignorant. Ignorant of the truth and reality that yes a person can be so knowledgeable about a discipline but is not skilled to impart that knowledge especially to a group of people with different learning abilities. I remember one professor in one of my law subjects, she would discuss a couple of articles in our class per session, and she would cite other articles that may sound almost the same but once studied thoroughly one would know that the articles are not the same. Every question we had thrown at her was answered completely but, what we were looking for was a practical application for better understanding.  We were told that she has not lost any case from the time she started her law practiced however, imparting that knowledge to us was a different story.

Well at some point we could also say that it’s true, a teacher could not teach what she does not know. For example, one of my professors in college had an emergency at home and she had to go home to attend to it, she asked a good friend of hers to man our class because we can’t be loitering around in the university. Since this other teacher was teaching a different subject she was not able to continue the discussion from where we left off the last time.

Knowing how to teach ones mastery of knowledge is not enough, integration of technology is a necessity. The benefits of including technology in education stretch from teachers’ convenience in simplifying a complex study, real time monitor of students understanding, to students’ freedom and creativity in conveying their understanding of what was studied and their access to different information available from all over the world to substantiate their understanding. But including technology in the picture of teaching could also be another concern that teachers have to deal with. As we all know technology cannot be boxed or contained, so a non-techie person like me will not just learn the appropriate tools (e.g. specific apps or software) that I should use but, to also be confident in navigating the tools with all it’ complexities to feel comfortable using them to help my students reach their full potential.

I have very little interaction with technology compared to those people around me, I only use a laptop for my work and maintained needed apps in my mobile and laptop, those are only related to my work and this study which are very few compared to the numbers of apps commonly used now. I just have a couple of maintained social media as well and seldom open and checks posts of other people. As a soon to be full pledge teacher, this attitude has to be changed, I have to embrace the need to use technology not just for teaching purposes but to also use it to get the attention of the students or else it’ll be so hard for me to reach out to them and have a good vibrant engagement. This is one of those few things in this module that sticks to me so much. I have to let go of my thinking that technology is just an add-on, a class can live without it. Now I know that it’s a misguided notion, with technology come various activities for teaching, real time feedback, quicker access to information, collaboration of ideas with fellow classmates is unlimited, the list could just go on and on. So for me who stayed away from technology will have to embrace the joys it brings to learning.

Having technology alone is not enough to impart knowledge without a teacher with good content knowledge. A teacher with a good teaching skill would know what technology to use for a specific study/discipline.  We cannot over emphasize the importance of the 3 knowledge and how strongly they are interconnected in providing education to a diverse group of learners.

Reference:
1. Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) (Arizona State University. (2017). Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) [Video file]
2. : What is Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge? (Koehler, M. J., & Mishra, P. (2006). What is technological pedagogical content knowledge? Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 9(1), 60-70.)
3. Singapore’s 21st-Century Teaching Strategies (Education Everywhere Series) [Youtube]

 

 

 

EDS 111 – Principles of Teaching

Reflection is thinking back to past meaningful events.

person reflection

Subconsciously I know that it has a purpose and a goal… well, I never really paid much attention to reflection before. I guess the reason behind that is it’s just so natural to my mind to reflect on past events, words and actions of a person.

One of the main matters of my previous job with a BPO company was to train their agents on Personality Profiling and eventually, master it. Personality types are Feeler, Thinker, Entertainer and Controller, after the training, I found out that my personality is a Thinker. Thinker, as defined by that training material is a person who wants details, who needs to know the step by step procedure of something, who instinctively analyze what is being said in a conversation not only in that exact moment but also moments after the conversation happened.

Knowing this gave me a better understanding why my mind has this natural inclination to think deeply about what I watched, heard, seen and felt. For me, it is the need to always understand the whys of the what.

However considering what was said in the material for The Reflective Teacher, my reflection would just fall under the characteristics of common sense view of reflection. Yes, I deeply want information for understanding but I don’t do anything after that.  And all new understandings I have after the reflection may just be considered self-indulgent speculations because they were not practiced, tested, evaluated for any better future use with the expectation of personal development.

Just like what Jenny Moon suggests, “Reflection is a form of mental processing that we use to fill a purpose or to achieve some anticipated outcome. It is applied to gain a better understanding of relatively complicated or unstructured ideas and is largely based on the reprocessing of knowledge, understanding and possibly, emotions that we already possess”.

With that in mind, I would not be surprised if my act of so-called “reflection” would just be considered as a meaningless, unproductive instinctive activity with no direction at all.

As I was going through my years in elementary and high school, as far as I can remember my teachers had the same style in teaching, they provided everything by speaking all the time, and it will just stop when it’s quiz time or exams day, this happened year after year. To be honest I never considered that they practiced reflection; I know this may be a harsh thought and could be very judgmental. But there was no change in their teaching style even though many of the students were not paying attention either by talking, sleeping or stepping out of the classroom very often in a class. Or even when attendance in a class had gone down.

There was an instance in our Math class that right after my teacher stepped out of the classroom I asked my seatmate to explain what was discussed, and she said she did not understand it, so I asked my classmate seating behind me if he could explain to me the discussion and he said, he and the person seating beside him did not understand the explanation too. As I looked at my other classmates I saw the puzzled look on their faces, so I went home feeling unconcerned and satisfied, thinking that if there’ll be a quiz the next day at least I won’t be the only one who would fail. I know that it was very irresponsible of me, to say the least. But my point here is, I don’t think that is a learning environment of a reflective teaching.

It was truly a surprise to me to know reflective teaching, even when I look back in my college life which was full of lawyer professors, former radio disc jockey professor who used green jokes as a warm up, a professor who nags the class for almost half of the class time, an egotistic son of a stockholder professor who rarely got in on time for his class. My list could go on and on with regard to the teaching style and environment I experienced.

Or maybe this is just an assumption on my part that they did not practice reflective teaching just because my experience did not seem perfect to me and not even close to ideal. I guess I would never know since I did not interview them and I don’t know where they are right now.

One more thing, maybe what they missed to do was critical reflection; they might have overlooked the need to use some of the reflective lenses. Which would have given them different angles of information, different interpretation, and possible alternate actions to the situation. They could have pondered on their teaching style and its effects on their students but missed to be critical to their ideas/assumptions.

References: Teaching in Lifelong Learning Sector: “The reflective Teacher p8”; Jenny Moon (Moon 2005: 1); Becoming Critically Reflective p28.

 

EDS 111 – Principles of Teaching

study habits

Just A Start

 

I have nothing profound to note yet in this journal. What I mostly experienced in the past days were more on self-realization of how average my reading skill is and how I should clearly and quickly comprehend the materials I read.

When I was going through the introduction part of the study, it made me feel a little bit nervous. It has been a long time since I graduated from college and the last time a studied hard was during my training days with my employer. I remembered the study-style I had way back in college then I questioned myself, is that good enough for this study? After that, I remembered that I did well on my last training, considering that it was also designed like an online distant study, with that I felt calm and somehow encouraged.

I know that this type of study requires much from me like time management, study habits, determination and etc. but one thing that I should not forget is to have fun, enjoy what I’m doing. Be an open person to learn different ideas and not be afraid to unlearn unnecessary practice or knowledge,  try new ideas and practice them without hesitations.