The Modern Teacher

Skills and Methods to Improve the Educational Process

After reading an enriching literature about The Modern teacher, Skills and methods to improve the educational process, the author provides an organized list with a concise and to the point explanation of the most important skills and methods a teacher should attempt to master. There is an important focus on the fact that everything evolves with technology as well as teaching methods that should be learned to improve core skills.

The author summarizes the most important teaching skills into eight parts. Each one building on the previous skills, meaning that teaching skills should be learned and implemented and always reviewed. I agree with the what the author continually mentions about constant training and learning as a teacher, from all sources including the students. Knowledge should come from all sources.

Teacher should be:

Committed to their work. This applies to all professions and careers, a person who is committed to their work will always try their best to provide the best they can. Teachers are committed because they love their job and it takes a special kind of person to dutifully embrace the care of others in order to teach them trades and provide guidance towards an honest and rewarding professional and personal lifestyle.

Have education and training. In the past, only deep knowledge in your field allowed for being an educator, but currently this has changed, not only is the deep knowledge in your field of study required, but also be able to transmit the knowledge. The author mentions knowing methodology and some psychology helps, for a teacher will not be hired if not professionally trained to teach.

Be organized. Modern academic institutions require a detailed teaching plan of what subject matter is to be dealt. Moreover, this plan will allow for proper time management and to impose the pace at which a class is delivered. Offering an efficient classroom with a well-organized lesson delivered in the classroom.

Be tolerant. This is what makes or breaks a teacher from being considered an amateur or a professional. It takes experience and patience to achieve tolerance to treat all students in an equally dignified manner without prejudice. This also involves allowing students to make choices and learn by trial and error.

Be open to questions. All learners are inquisitive specially the younger ones. At times, a teacher will be bombarded with questions, tis the teacher who should be ready to not only listen to all questions, but to find time to answer them. This is a good time to elicit students to attempt to answer their classmate’s questions and provide an enriching participative environment.

Be innovative. With every generation comes innovation and change, a teacher should not only follow trends but also attempt to personally implement them. A student will be more receptive to a teacher who uses modern technologies that are popular amongst the youth rather than just recycling the same old lesson plans of the past.

Be social and sociable. I can personally relate to this as a father, that face to face communications seem to have become a thing of the past or secondary, as well as being taught. It seems that social networks and instant messaging groups tend to allow for better comprehension of subject matter. Of course face to face lessons are important, but children are growing in the digital age where access to raw knowledge is literally in the palm of their hands, and with this tool teachers can guide students to understand knowledge, from diamonds in the rough to polish diamonds.

Be curious and develop. You cannot be a teacher if you are stuck using the same methodology for the rest of your teaching career. This will just mean a slump in the teacher’s development and detrimental to the student, as the teaching plan and methodology is never updated. I have found personally rewarding interacting with several age groups, learning about what new fad is out there, even type of music. All to understand new ways of getting the knowledge across.

The author later discusses new teaching methods, recalling that pedagogy has existed as a science since the time of ancient Greece. As society has evolved and to a certain extent globalized, teaching methods have also been changing and evolving. Modern teaching methods have an approach based on understanding children psychology as well as embracing technological leaps.

Modern teachers prefer:

Contextual Learning. Not so long ago, everything was based on factual learning and relying heavily on memorization. Currently the style is based on context to allow the students to analyze facts in context, the pros and cons of a fact and what lead to that fact. This has increased student led classrooms with teachers encouraging the direction the class should take to cover the subject matter.

Various approaches. In the past the teaching style was monolithic mainly teacher led, which may have been rather cumbersome specially for the younger mind. Nowadays the approach is from several angles, from teacher giving a set of instructions and storytelling to student led classrooms with teachers providing guidance.

New technological devices. With the birth of the word wide web and the information superhighway, there has been an ever-growing way to notify students of new assignments and parents to review their child’s progress. Information can be delivered in a digital format in a way that can be easily accessed through several devices. Currently, I’m experiencing the birth of the complete virtual method, which can only be achieved thanks to advances in telecom technology.

Active learning. This can be a two-sided sword, for it can give way to an uncontrolled classroom of what once were calm children into a group of howling monkey like kids. Though, active allows the student, to think, discuss and share information. Proper classroom management allows for peer instructions, group work and collaborative solutions to problems in the task at hand.

A desire method. The author here expresses that the teacher should not directly tell the student what the lesson is going to be about. From observing my own professors and while in teacher training, I came to the conclusion that a lesson plan must be followed but allow the student to do give their input on the class, usually makes the student more interested in the class.

VAK teaching. This is following the principle that no human is alike, therefore not all students learn the same way. Learnings generally fall under three main categories, visual, audio and kinesthetic learners. Therefore, lesson planning should include activities that allows for all three learners to be inspired. Although this is generally applied to the area of humanities, it can be used in exact sciences like physics and math. I have a personal rewarding experience when taking Physics in high school, where the professor appealed to all senses, by making us the students use all three forms in order to learn physics and solve problems.

I agree with the author, regarding the need to learn the teaching skills and the more experience a teacher has, the better adept using their skill to allow for an enriching and rewarding experience for the learners. I also agree with the fact that everything will evolve and change, society as a whole is constantly changing, and to cope with those changes teaching methods should follow to allow for students growing up in that changing society to relate to the lesson being taught.

Comentary regarding an entry from this blog:

¿Cómo planificar una lección?

Para un maestro una de las cosas más difíciles que deben afrontar son como organizar y manejar grupos que tienen un rango amplio de capacidades y aptitudes. Y esto es un reto mayor para enseñar un nuevo idioma. Entre los estudiantes existen los que ya han sido expuestos al nuevo idioma, los que tienen facilidad para captar idiomas, los que se les dificulta y finalmente los que no tienen interés en el nuevo idioma. Para ellos existen diversas estrategias que el docente puede implementar para lograr conseguir un ritmo fluido en sus clases a la vez enseñar de una manera objetiva a todo el grupo para poder conseguir el nivel apropiado para la edad media del grupo.

Todo estudiante es único en su forma de captar nuevos conocimientos y un maestro puede facilitarse el trabajo, al crear grupos dentro del salón, de acuerdo con la capacidad y habilidad de cada estudiante. Estos grupos de cuatro a seis estudiantes dependiendo del tamaño de la población estudiantil, deben buscar formar un grupo heterogéneo, según las diferentes regiones de captar un idioma. Algunos serán mejores en las habilidades receptivas como la visual y auditiva, y otros serán mejores para las productivas escritas o habladas. Lo importante es crear un ambiente de cooperación para que los estudiantes creen una cultura de apoyo entre ellos.

El mecanismo de corrección por vía de repetición suele ser muy efectiva para estudiantes jóvenes, pero suele ser más complicado a medida que desarrollan personalidades y en la dolorosa edad adolescente donde por los cambios físicos por los que están pasando suelen ser más emotivos. Existe la corrección por vía de repetición utilizando la estructura o palabra de manera correcta, de esta manera se enseña el uso correcto del lenguaje sin que parezca una corrección directa. Al formar grupos de diferentes capacidades, entre ellos harán correcciones y es importante para el docente monitorear los grupos para evitar posibles avasallamiento o malentendidos entre los estudiantes.

Es importante para un docente, tener una actividad de calentamiento, relacionada con la materia a tratar y cuyo objetivo pueda ser una lección para una habilidad productiva o receptiva. Estas actividades son cortas, pero ayuda a conseguir el enfoque de los alumnos, por ejemplo, una canción, juego de adivinanzas, coreografía, describir una imagen, etc. Lo importante es captar la atención de los estudiantes.

Luego de formado los grupos, que trabajen en harmonía sin mayor discordia, entonces es importante no permitir que los estudiantes se mantengan en su zona de confort. Cuando las asignaturas, deben emparejar estudiantes que tengan diferentes fortalezas donde el estudiante con la debilidad sea al que se le rete para presentar con el apoyo del estudiante con mayor fortaleza en el área de estudio. Los más importante es que el maestro sea quien dirija la clase, pero que la participación del estudiante sea la que domine el espacio de la lección. A menor tiempo habla el maestro puede dedicar mayor tiempo a observar la comprensión de la lección tratada con los estudiantes, por vía de actividades y asignaturas.

Finalmente, la evaluación de un curso debe ser interdisciplinaria entendiendo que los estudiantes tienen diferentes fortalezas y debilidades, por ende, se deben evaluar las dos áreas receptivas y productivas de manera equitativa. Siempre retando a los estudiantes a mejorar sus debilidades mientras apoyan a sus compañeros con sus fortalezas.

El desgaste mental de un estudiante extemporáneo

Estoy algo cansado, pero satisfecho de haber cumplido con las obligaciones universitarias. Luego de varias decepciones que dejaron un sabor amargo en mi ser, estuve a punto de darme por vencido y quizás desaparecer. Pero ambos descendientes de sangre me miraron y dijeron, ya pronto serás lo que quieres ser. Tuve largas noches en vela, por muchas preocupaciones no académicas y situaciones que se montan y se sienten, pero no se ven resoluciones cercanas y las lejanas no son aceptadas.

            El sacrificio de seguir estudios superiores, una vez ya se ha pasado la ventana de edad tradicional para dichos estudios es grande y con lleva muchas presiones sociales. Al invertir tiempo estudiando se toman decisiones, si ese tiempo se resta del tiempo de familia, del tiempo de trabajo o del tiempo de ocio. Y así va la prioridad, primero eliminas el tiempo de ocio, luego vas en una danza mística entre el tiempo de familia y el tiempo de trabajo, siempre gana el trabajo sobre la familia; sin trabajo no se alimenta a la familia.

            El día tiene 24 horas y la semana 720 horas, cuando se estudia, trabaja y se es padre de familia, las horas de descanso suelen ser las primeras en desaparecer. En la evidencia netamente empírica y no científica, cada hora crédito semanal universitario requiere 3 horas entre, asistir a clases, preparar tareas y proyectos, y estudiar para exámenes. Por ende, no importa el turno en el que estudias, o el turno en que trabajes, el tiempo de descanso siempre es el que sufre.

            Sumando el cansancio mental que carcome el alma de todo ser viviente, ya sea por las presiones laborales, preocupaciones familiares, o fechas de entrega universitaria, llevan al ser a no querer salir de casa y simplemente encerrar o desaparecer de la faz de la tierra. Esudiar, ser padre de familia y trabajar no es fácil.

            Lo más desgastante es la sociedad que juzga, por la razón de que hace una persona estudiando extemporáneamente. Y siempre son las mismas preguntas que lanzan ¿Qué haces perdiendo tu tiempo en eso? ¡Ya es hora de que busques trabajo! ¿Por qué no buscas una carrera corta que te pague mucha “plata”?