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.

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