My Blog List

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

A Teacher's Rewards

Some days will also be filled with rewards. While you should not expect these little treats, you can feel confident that they will happen. A chronically disruptive student might experience a turnaround, a slower student might grasp a difficult concept, or a simple discussion might serve as an excellent educational experience. These are the moments that will continue to motivate you through your career.
One of the most wonderful rewards of teaching is having former students come back to tell you how much you influenced them. Students will sometimes write you letters or notes expressing how important you were or are to them. If you remember back to your school days, you can probably think of a couple of teachers who were truly influential. Strive to be that teacher for your students, and you will be well rewarded.

Unexpected Events

Part of the challenge of teaching is dealing with the many unexpected events that will arise each day. Here are just some examples of these events:

·  Office announcements: While schools try to limit these during class time, it may still happen a few times each week.

·  Fire drills: Most fire drills are announced beforehand, but there may be times that a student pulls the alarm as a prank.

·  Minor student disruptions: Minor disruptions, such as inappropriate talking, happen on a daily basis.

·  Major student disruptions: Everybody hopes to avoid major disruptions, but they still happen — to all teachers.

·  Unexpected visitors: Students on official or unofficial business, other teachers or administrators, and even parents have been known to unexpectedly interrupt class time.

·  Unannounced assemblies: While most assemblies are announced beforehand, sometimes you will be given only a day's or even a few hours' notice.

·  Guidance interruptions: In high schools at certain times of the year, it is common for guidance counselors to call students to meetings and appointments.

·  Other disruptions: Many other disruptions will arise when least expected, including unlikely events like very noisy construction work or power outages.

As this list shows, it is in your best interest to be flex1ible and expect the unexpected. Be ready to change your lesson plans at a moment's notice. And always remember to keep your sense of humor.

The Basic Schedule

As a teacher, you usually get to school early and leave late. Your day probably begins with some planning time that allows you to make last-minute preparations for the students. Once the students arrive in the classroom, you will probably not get another moment of quiet until your next planning period or the end of the day. In fact, some elementary teachers do not get a planning period each day of the week. In such cases, they might only get planning time when their students leave for their enrichment activities such as art and physical education.
Each class is a new challenge. You will find some students who love learning and some who despise it. You will present your lesson and may not have any unexpected disruptions. When the day ends, you will probably have meetings to attend before you can settle down to grading and planning for the next day.

My calling to teach

Some of my fondest childhood memories was with me playing with other children. Nothing pleased me more. We never had televisions or video games, but nothing was more thrilling than just being in each others company. We were very good at entertaining each other. We played, laughed, cried and generally had so much fun together. We even cheated each other so that we would not lose competitions.

I remember being at home without my siblings many times, because I was the youngest for a long period of time. All my older siblings were already in school. I used to hate school time, because they would all go to school and I would be left at home with the nanny. In the afternoons, the nanny and I would walk to get my older sister at school.

One day, I got impatient because I thought my nanny was taking a very long time to get my sister. I was concerned that she was waiting there all alone. I did not want her to wait too long, so I decided to go get her myself. I guess my major concern was that I really missed her company, and I longed to see her so much. While I was on my way there, I was anticipating her being as glad to see me as I would be to see her. Eventually I reached the school and I told my sister's teacher that I was there to get her. She asked me where was my nanny. I told her she was still at home. She asked me if I came by myself I told her yes. I realized school was still in session, but my sister had to leave to accompany me back home. I was probably around three years old so she must have been five.  Of course I had no concept of time then. I however knew the route to my sister's school quite well. I could hardly wait for her to return home, so that we could play together.
I did not realize the dangers of walking on a major highway by myself at such a tender age. Now that I am an adult I shudder to think of all the things that could have happened to me. I am thankful that fate did not allow me to experience any harm.

From this very tender age I had the instinct to nurture and care for children (even if they were older than me). I had a tendency to want to be in control and to take matters in my hands, even matters I was not responsible for. This attitude had gotten me into trouble time and time again, but it was just a part of my make-up. I soon discovered that my love for children and being with children at all times would lead me into my teaching career. I just knew I had to teach.
When children were not around, my imaginary world would take over. I spanked the trees and the grass when they would not pay attention, or listen to my instructions. I would start teaching anything. I reprimanded anyone, or anything for no reason at all. I remember when my little brother did something wrong. I lectured him for hours, explaining why he should not have done that. He merely ignored me. He was convinced I had no authority to reprimand him.
I think we all were convinced that I was going to be a teacher. I could hardly wait to go to college to start my preparation to become a teacher. I can honestly say that it has been, and continues to be, one of the most rewarding experiences in my entire life.

A Day in the Life of a Teacher

It is important to remember that no one is born with the skills, understanding, and experience to be an effective teacher. However, with perseverance, a positive attitude, and the tools found in this book, you can be successful. Teaching may be challenging, surprising, and even exciting. Days are often filled with unexpected events and are also occasionally blessed by amazing rewards. These, of course, are what make teaching worthwhile. One thing is certain: Rarely is any day in the life of a teacher “typical.”

The Characteristics of a Teacher

I was told in my earlier years that a teacher is one who imparts knowledge. If that definition is accurate, then all of us as human beings qualify as teachers. In fact, we all impart knowledge at one point or another in our lives. However, a professional teacher is one who is trained and assigned the job to impart knowledge in exchange for an income (my definition). I believe anyone who has chosen the profession to teach has an outstanding responsibility, regardless of the age group chosen to teach. There are indeed certain characteristics of a teacher which make them stand out from any other profession.
A teacher has to have good character. It does not matter what subject or what age group is being taught. The teacher has to be exemplary in every way. I remember when I had orientation for my last teaching assignment. One of the instructors informed us that we are teachers 24/7. Meaning that our character never takes a vacation. We are always required to be a good example, because we never know who is watching and noticing everything we say and do outside the classroom. Those words are so true. I have had various people greet me from time to time. They said I used to teach them, but I do not recall. I just have to be careful that I do not say or do anything that is out of character at any time to lead any child astray.
In connection with good character, a teacher has to have good manners. The attitude do as I say and not as I do does not work well for teachers. The words have to match the actions or teaching is in vain. The students will not hear a word, or learn a thing if there is conflict with actions and words. In any case, students respond favorably to kindness and courtesy. They are likely to pattern that behavior if they see it in operation. It is therefore wise to always show good manners.
One of the most important qualities of a teacher is to ensure accuracy. One of the worst things a teacher could ever do is to pass on information that is erroneous. We really cannot unteach (yes, I know it is not a word) what we have taught. It is therefore important for teachers to indulge in extensive and intensive research prior to writing a plan and choosing the content. This part of the preparation for the lesson can become the most tedious part of teaching. However, if the teacher attempts to get the information for personal reasons as well it can be enjoyable.
A teacher is a leader in many ways. He or she has to set the example in preparing for the lesson thoroughly before attempting to impart knowledge. Students can know how much preparation is done prior to the lesson. They are not easily fooled. If the lesson is thoroughly prepared it is easier to get their participation.
Patience is a virtue it has been said repeatedly. Patience is also one of the requirements to teach. Every student does not have the same capability. It is very easy to get frustrated with the students who are not focused and those who constantly distract the lesson. In addition, it is important to take the time to help those who are struggling to understand a particular aspect of the lesson. A good teacher will not neglect the slower students in the classroom, but would rather find creative ways to help them understand the content. If anyone who is seeking to teach does not have patience they are being advised to choose another profession.
A teacher has to be one who is trustworthy. The students, parents and the institution have entrusted teachers to impart knowledge. It is the teacher's responsibility to teach with sincerity and integrity. Every effort should be made by the teacher to ensure that the trust is not compromised in any way. This is extremely important especially in these days where students need to be protected from people whose intention is to rob them of their innocence.

Associated Careers

While part-time substitute teaching can offer a path of entry to a full-time teaching career, it is also a common way to remain involved in the community without experiencing the time pressures placed on full-time teachers. Teachers’ aides assist teachers and administrators in all aspects of their job. Students meet with guidance counselors to discuss family or school dilemmas or their plans for the future. Teachers who have obtained postgraduate degrees may advance to the position of school principal or become a member of the Board of Education. A school principal organizes and manages the school’s faculty and ensures that the school’s goals are met; board members are elected or appointed officials who decide which courses schools will offer and which textbooks the school system will use.

Paying Your Dues

A college degree is required in this profession. You can receive your bachelor’s degree in elementary or secondary education in five years. Prospective teachers take 24 to 36 credits in an area of specialization and 18 to 24 credits in teaching courses. They spend the fifth year student teaching. Postgraduates can become teachers by returning to school for a master’s degree in teaching. In addition, many states offer alternative teaching licenses (designed to help schools acquire a more diverse pool of applicants for teaching positions); the usual requirements are a bachelor’s degree in the subject the candidate plans to teach, a passing score on state-required examinations, and completion of a teaching internship. Prospective teachers are also advised to gain skills in communications, organization, and time management. Teachers can apply for teaching positions through their college’s placement office or directly to their chosen school district.