"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone."

~Neale Donald Walsch~

Monday, 21 April 2014

Is there magic in teaching?

Yesterday I came across a TED talk that really got me thinking. Christopher Emdin presented a TED talk that considers pre-service teachers and their education and their journey to becoming teacher. Best watch this video first to understand the rest of this blog post.

Whilst I think there is great merit in wanting students to be engaged you can't manufacture something that is cultural different and perhaps unique to certain social settings. I know that this approach would not work with my students. There is a lot to be said about engaging speakers and techniques that you can use when presenting ideas to students however the students would soon become bored with this style fairly quickly if it does not come naturally to the individual teacher. 

Image from bigstockphotos.com
What can be drawn from this talk is that there are no magical tricks to teaching but rather it is the unique personality and style that we bring to our classes that can assist student engagement in the long term. It is our sound knowledge of our subjects and good incorporation of educational theory in relation to pedagogy and andragogy and excellent communication skills that can bring out the best in all of us. Experience is the one thing that can't be taught and for all pre-service teachers they need to bring with them life experience into the job and as the years go by they add their teaching experience to their skill set. 

I do agree with Christopher Emdin that mentoring is extremely important and perhaps there needs to be more of this in a teaching degree. There certainly can be more said about mentoring in schools no matter how long you have been teaching. Without dialogue about your classes teachers become stale and out of touch with not only their subject but loose enthusiasm for what they do. Mentoring and reflection should be part of normal teaching practice. New methods, new ideas and fresh ways of teaching are crucial to teacher quality and there should be more discussion about how this can be achieved in work places. 

The magic in teaching is created when a student connects with their learning
Image from bigstockphotos.com
and goes on a journey of discovery that captures and enlightens their lives. It doesn't matter how old learners are they can still enjoy the wonder of learning something new or gaining confidence in a skill they have been working at. Yes it is our job as teachers to engage our students to achieve these goals but we must be ourselves and bring to the job the unique abilities we all possess. I love the fact that my colleagues all have a different teaching style to me because they inspire me through their ideas and teaching methods. 

I do wish all my teaching friends a wonderful term 2! 

Until next week,

No comments:

Post a Comment