Looking back at the list we created on the first day of class, I still think many of the qualities we discussed are applicable to my views on what a good teacher is. In September, we discussed a few different characteristics, such as:
- Making learning fun
- Being personable and friendly
- Humor (keep students involved and active)
- Ability to apply what students are learning to real-life situations
- Ability to explain why
- Access to students and parents
- Knowledge (enables passion)
- Credibility (experience, education)
I would add a few things to this list, now that we are at the end of the semester and have discussed a wide range of topics. First, I would add “motivating/inspiring”. Motivation is an important technique to encourage students to achieve their goals and maintain good behavior. Many of the teachers that I would consider to be my favorites throughout my life were positive motivators and inspired me to do well in school. Second, I would add “organized”. Time management and planning are very important to the success of a classroom and the way it functions. Instructors who are behind on grading and unprepared for class can be very frustrating for students, which could affect their willingness to attend class or complete homework assignments. I especially saw how this factor works when we did the Backward Design lesson plan, as it took a lot of organizing and outlining to figure out what I wanted to teach and how I was going to execute my plan. Third, I would add “cultural/diversity awareness”. As we discussed, it is important for educators to provide students with an appropriate environment to learn and help students feel safe and comfortable in the classroom. Understanding cultures and having an appreciation for diversity can help create this positive atmosphere for students from all different backgrounds. Together, I think that these traits make a very well-rounded educator.
I think we have become prepared for encountering many of the Wisconsin Standards for Teacher Development and Licensure. Through learning about Multiple Intelligences, child development, and ability ranges, I think we covered a few different situations that may occur in regards to the ability of teachers to understand that children learn differently. It is very important to recognize that many students learn differently. One teaching method may not work for all of the different types of students that are present in a classroom. We also discussed assessment techniques and goals/objectives, that will help with teachers understanding how to test for student progress. It is also crucial to evaluate and monitor advancements that students are making throughout the year, to potentially change the way an educator is teaching, provide extra assistance to the student, or create more challenging assignments if they are exceling in a subject.
I think the most crucial thing I have personally taken from this class is the importance of creating and maintaining a strong connection with the child, through methods such as communicating well, understanding that children learn differently, and being culturally aware. There are so many factors that play into a successful teacher and I think this course has appropriately prepared us with the background knowledge for many different situations that may occur in the classroom setting.
I am already monitoring my online identity, due to my current position as an RA on campus and as a student in the College of Education. I am very careful about what I post online, as I believe that a digital identity is very important in the professional world. I try to portray myself in a professional manner, both on social media and on platforms that are academic related (including email and this blog). I plan to continue blogging and possibly create an ePortfolio, so that I can include them on my resume for future potential employers to look at my work and what I have to offer.