Lessons for the Teacher

May 6th, 2017

At the beginning of the year, I was asked the question “What does a good teacher look like?” I thought of things like kind, relatable, and funny. But when considering this, I only thought of this question through the lens of what students look for in a teacher. Although all these things are important, being a good and effective teacher involves more than how students perceive you. In addition to these characteristics, I think two other important qualities that a teacher needs to possess are organization and classroom management skills.

Teacher organization is crucial. Throughout this semester, and my O&P experience, I have seen how much teachers need to juggle. Between lesson planning, meetings, preparation of materials, grading, etc. there is a lot that happens and teachers need to manage their time and resources to accomplish all the tasks placed upon them. I observed that when teachers were more organized, things flowed more easily in the classroom.

During my O&P experience, I spent time in a couple different classrooms observing different teaching styles. The most significant thing I learned and observed this semester was classroom management techniques. In particular, one teacher was perceived consistently as strict and was “not to be messed with”, however, I also observed this teacher walk down the halls and be greeted and hugged fondly by previous students. On the other hand, I observed a teacher who was not as strict, but would need to raise her voice or call for assistance if things got out of hand. Disruptions were more common, and students didn’t approach this second teacher in the hall as readily or warmly as the first strict teacher. Students were also more likely to complete work and learn in the strict teacher’s classroom. This helped me understand that to be strict doesn’t mean that you’re a bad teacher, but that you care more about helping students learn than being liked by your students.

This also related to the Wisconsin Standards for Teacher Development and Licensure Standards “Teachers will know how to manage a classroom”. Swimming instructor, I thought I knew how to conduct a class, however, on my evaluation and in my O&P experience, I recognized that motivating 6-10 students to do something they enjoyed doing for 45 minutes was vastly different than motivating 27 students to do something they may or may not enjoy for 7 hours. During this semester, we talked a lot about motivational techniques for students and also discusses things that can impede student learning. I will take these lessons with me in my future career.

Lastly, looking to the future, I recognize that blogging is not for me. When building my online identity, I prefer to be defined by my accomplishments instead of my writing. When building my online identity, I plan to use resources like Linked-In and WECAN to establish my educator profile and present my materials. I have already begun this process by establishing a WECAN profile and will continue to expand and update that as I continue on my journey to becoming a licensed business educator.

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