“A teacher who loves learning earns the right and the ability to help others learn.”
The Role of Teachers, Students, and the School
Teachers have the luxury of providing the opportunity for students to learn and grow, and I am so fortunate to be able to be a part of this. I believe the role of the teacher is to facilitate in this process, and I look forward to being one of the people students can come to, to learn not only about areas of the curriculum, but about other life skills, as well as for support. I believe that the future generation’s worldview is dependent on not only their peers and families, but also their teachers. Therefore, it is important for teachers to be aware of the perspective from which they are teaching. I plan to work from an anti-oppressive framework, including the teaching of Treaty Education and the concept of equity. I will lead through example by getting to know the diversity in the classroom and by using differentiation to provide students the highest quality of learning for the greatest opportunity to succeed. Different and creative ways of assessment by use of choice boards to provide options is one of showing this.
In addition, I believe teachers should be involved in their school and community to set an example of ownership and responsibility. In terms of classroom management, developing a relationship with students is critical. I know from my pre-internship experience that this is true, and once there is a strong teacher-student relationship, establishing desired rules and behaviours will come easier. Positive reinforcement is a great tool for this. For example, I find an effective way to measure this is by rewarding the class with an ultimate incentive. On the subject of rules and behaviours, I want to reiterate the importance of being aware of dominant discourses, and when I am establishing classroom rules, I want to make sure I am creating a safe space for all students from diverse backgrounds. To begin, I need to ask myself what the values are of the people in my classroom, and based on those values, as a class, we need to determine the types of behaviours that will reinforce those values.
Another element I wish to address is the idea of inquiry-based learning. In a time when so many cultures, social contexts, and backgrounds are present in a given classroom, I believe that teachers should utilize what every student has to offer. Inquiry-based learning allows for just that. Transferring knowledge to students does not allow for the learning opportunities I wish to accomplish. Instead, providing the opportunity for students to engage explore and explain areas of interest is a great way to allow students to use their creativity which I believe encourages memorable learning experiences.
Overall, schools and teachers have a significant role in shaping the minds of young children and youth. This role and environment is something I can see myself a part of because I am caring and am passionate about the outcome of this process. Proper planning, preparation, and creating the classroom environment I previously spoke of will present students with the quality of teaching they deserve. Seeing myself as a lifelong learner will help me and my perspective of teaching, which will aid in my professional growth.