I decided to make a protagonist of – me – for our final eJournal entry. Teacher Che (yes, that’s me) would now look back on her learnings and reflect on the things that she gleaned and how these will impact her methods of teaching.
EDS 111 certainly enhanced the way I think about teachers, the teaching profession, the classroom and the learners in it. I am echoing here what I also contributed on our Final Sharing, plus more.
I have always been confident talking in front of people. As a kindergarten pupil, I recited Walt Whitman’s O Captain! My Captain! in front of a throng. Modesty aside, I am not new to teaching and public speaking.
While this was so, I never realized that there is more to teaching than standing in front of a class and being confident. Our course made me realize that being self-assured does not make me an effective teacher. Through our readings, it dawned upon me that I am not my only critic. There are several other lenses through which I can view how successfully I taught my class.
Journal keeping is also something that is not new to me yet our course made me think deeply about this personal activity. Now, I do not just write down what I feel anymore. More importantly, I question what I wrote there and why I even felt or thought about those in the first place. I never thought that was possible in the past!
With this deepened self-reflection, I also learned that I have held many assumptions that are now quashed by our new knowledge. For instance, I always thought that teachers who have longer teaching experiences are better at their job than the incoming ones. I do not think this anymore. Teacher Che can teach better than those who spent decades in the profession if she knows how to apply the correct teaching principles she just learned.
Reading is also something that is not new to me (I work as a writer/editor/online publisher) since my profession requires that I ceaselessly fill my mind, yet our readings have fortified the fact that we also need to expand our knowledge base if we ever want to become and remain effective teachers.
What would we teach our students if we also have no stock knowledge? Yet this is not the only thing that we need to have. There is so much more to teaching than just being bookish. Our learnings also pointed out the importance of creating a learner-centered, diverse, and interactive environment.
Just looking at all these things that we need to do and be makes me appreciate what teachers really are – we are motivators, friends, mothers (or fathers), scientists, technicians, instructional designers, and so much more to our students.
I have long taught religion/theology to groups of college and out-of-school youth and young adults aged 18 to 30. Recently, this volunteer work ended all because my writing and school schedules no longer permit me to still take on this task. Yet those 5 or 6 years of teaching showed me just how much I have grown especially when I began applying the things that I learned here in U.P.
I learned the importance of collaborative work. Without this, learning – in its truest sense – will not be achieved. This meant that Teacher Che had to encourage her students to solve problems – not just on their own but also with others so that deeper learning is attained. Doing so also meant the students learned about each other’s weaknesses and strengths and have since complemented each other’s learning satiation.
Speaking at least for myself, I know the importance of learning the Principles of Teaching – and there are many. This is no longer just a course to pass so that I can move towards graduation. Learning the principles in EDS 111 made me realize my importance to creating a holistically developed individual.
I will continue to apply what I have learned in this course (and the previous education courses) so that I get to replicate myself (should there be anyone from my classes that would also want to become an educator in whatever capacity); so that I will continuously grow as a source of inspiration for living, and so my students will be better prepared to face the greatest classroom of all – LIFE.
Where Teacher Che Is Now
My goals remain the same – I will continue to be a creative writer (for St. Mary’s Publishing), an editor and the owner of my online publishing business. I will use my learnings in the creation of effective teaching materials. These materials will consider many learning factors such as different learning styles, ethnicity, religion, gender, etc. They will also foster collaborative work, heightened use of technology, and a more learning-conducive environment.
Learning inside the classroom of Teacher Che was fun. While I did teach in the past, I know that there would still be teaching opportunities in the future for me and I intend to make these classes engaging. As I always have, my students will be my good friends outside of class though we are co-learners inside the classroom.
Teaching about the joys of creative writing is also something that I am looking into. Doing it pro bono for interested learners would be a wonderful endeavor.