ONLINE TEACHING: REFLECTIONS OF A VIRTUAL SCHOOL TEACHER

Source: Online Teaching: Reflections of a Virtual School Teacher | Connections Academy

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WHY TEACHING IS STILL THE BEST JOB IN THE WORLD

1. The potential to transform lives – ask any teacher who has helped a student in any number of ways, from academic to welfare and emotional learning, and they will tell you that life is not only good, but amazing.

2. It gives you the chance to be continuously creative – of course there are increasing levels of accountability in teaching, but teachers are allowed to be creative in every lesson. Even in observations, in fact most of all in observations, lessons are encouraged to be creative and interesting to engage the students. Teachers have so many opportunities to try new ideas, and indulge in iterative process to ensure the optimum learning environment is created.

3. It offers you a chance to continuously get better – teachers are not only encouraged to seek continuous professional development, but can ask for observation on a regular basis, to provide opportunities to grow and learn from masters or more experienced practitioners. In so few professions is there such support, and considering that as a minimum, contracts are for a year, teachers have so much time to demonstrate improvement. A growth mindset is part of the foundation of teaching.

4. It is a grounding, humbling profession – the amount of work teachers do compared to remuneration is shockingly disproportionate, in 2 senses: firstly, in terms of how many paid vs non paid hours of work they receive, and secondly, in relation to other similarly creative and important (and not so important) vocations in our society. But that is not why teachers teach. So few teachers go into the vocation for the salary – it’s a calling before anything else.

5. There is always satisfaction somewhere – teaching is a calling, and no one enters it without his or her inner voice telling him or her that. Of course there are always some imposters, but the massive majority have their hearts in the right place. How cool is that for the students?

Having said that, teaching can be and is incredibly demanding, and often we can lose sight of that calling, bogged down in aspects of the profession that don’t seem to be connected to it. But on closer inspection, most of the extra demands are actually central to the job itself: explaining to parents where you are coming from; being observed; collaborating with others; marking.

Take this last aspect, crucial to understanding whether students are learning what you believe you are teaching. Yes, it is very time consuming, but perhaps one of the most important and fundamental weapons in a teacher’s arsenal; any good school will understand this and the other cited demands, and create an environment where they become part of directed time.

It is when these aspects are not acknowledged in directed time that the conditions for burnout are rife.

6. It’s a chance to truly to lead the world in the 21st century – introducing students to new technologies and ways of presenting, curating, and collaborating with others with what they know is truly exciting and truly invigorating. Modern teachers are actually pioneering pedagogy, and can and will be able to hold their heads up high in the future when we look back and see how learning in this day and age took a radical but enormously beneficial turn for the better.

Engaging students in greater collaboration, and instilling initiative in curation and the promotion of information leads to truly independent learning, and setting up such learning environments is an opportunity that all teachers now have before them. There are few more gratifying feelings that being needed.

7. The children.

By Paul Moss

Source: Why Teaching Is The Best Job In The World

101 WAYS TO IMPROVE SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION IN NIGERIA…PRACTICAL POINTS OF VIEW OF AN EXPERIENCED EDUCATOR (8)

CONTINUED FROM THE LAST POST

71.We need to ask ourselves if schools are positively helpful or just a waste of time to many children these days.

72.Should tutors not be remunerated through a payment by results system?

73.Should schools’ terminal examinations be set and marked internally?

74.Do tutors ever bother to arouse and keep up curiosity of students in their subjects? Tutors / Schools should be facilitators of learning helping students to be creative and to grow socially, emotionally, intellectually physically, morally, and spiritually – Unfortunately, these days, the facilitators are musicians and perhaps churches to some extent but not schools and tutors.

75.A well-mapped out curriculum is no guarantee that learning takes place. For that to happen teachers who are reasonably competent to motivate students are needed. Incompetent tutors can destroy any teaching program however well-prepared.

76.Considering limited school time how many schools actually set out to get the most out of every minute of the teaching day?A teacher’s work is that of a guided discovery to enable children make discoveries they would not have encountered on their own.

77.Do teachers and schools go all-out to recognize the 3 intelligence types in their students? These are:
a) Natural intelligence based on genes
b) Intelligence based on socialization and type of home environment.
c) Intelligence shown through continuous assessment and terminal tests in schools.
If so what do they actually do to help students classified within a and c since those in b are generally regarded as the business of government and parents? Here we see again that the job of schools and tutors is to find ways to help children who might not find learning that easy.

78.Why do we love using useless maxims and bogus terminologies such as “purpose–built”, “cognitive”,” adaptive” ,”psycho-motor” etc. to mask what students should have experienced when in fact most of them do not? And we know it is because of limited imagination by schools and tutor. Or don’t we? Why don’t we just get up to do the work which is to make students learn how to teach themselves and keep up thinking in a progressive direction? Some tutors talk too much without allowing for participation by their students. In some cases classroom control by tutors is very weak. Even some teachers (depending on the type of schools they work in) usually assume that a certain % of students will fail. The results from such assumptions are faulty unrealistic lesson plans. In fact lesson planning (lesson notes) taking care of individual problems are non-existent in many cases. And while in classrooms tutors must always focus or spend some time on subject concepts and principles.

79.Schools must also aim at “tough love” for students. Discipline must be enforced where necessary by caning and more authority need to be delegated down the line. To do this effectively we need small schools not “Mega” schools. Pupils will be well known. “Small” is not necessarily beautiful in all respects but “Anonymous” is certainly unhelpful in an educational context! Many children in government mega schools may best be described as “Master and Miss Anonymous”.

80.Education is different from schooling and from instruction. But our national education policy’s focus is on schooling and instruction mainly.

TO BE CONTINUED