Articles for Teachers
It's not what is poured into a student that counts, but what is planted.
I believe that education is the key to success for young students. As a teacher, I hope to motivate students in ascertaining their inner strengths and abilities and discovering what truly inspires them. I aim to provide a stimulating learning environment that encourages students to trust their own opinions, while fostering confidence to realize their full potential.
Ernst von Glasersfeld, the "father" of constructivism, believes that education has two main purposes: to empower learners to think for themselves, and to promote in the next generation ways of thinking and acting that are deemed important by the present generation. Empowering the learner means that teachers should relinquish some of their power and hand it over to the learner. I always emphasize the importance of the learner being actively involved in the learning process.
I do agree with Dimitrios Thanasoulas who says, “Knowledge does not belong to a teacher who is supposed to deliver it ad placitum; it is rather the result of social interaction and the meanings the teacher and the students construct together. This process is not a linear sequence of events but a dynamic phenomenon, whereby the teacher, who is more knowledgeable, is called upon to act, among other things, as a mediator, influencing and being influenced by the students, who happen to lack this knowledge”.
Teachers in the real world come in all shapes and sizes, exhibiting a wide range of different personalities, beliefs and ways of thinking and working. Thus, we cannot hold that someone who uses methods and models of teaching that differ from the ones informed by research is necessarily a "bad teacher."
Teachers are no longer seen as competent or incompetent because they are simply unique. They do not act as gateways to knowledge because they themselves embody the curriculum, conveying not just what they know, but also their position towards it, as well as the personal ramification which it may have for them.
Teaching is not indivisible from learning. We can be good teachers only if we know what we mean by learning because only then can we know what we expect our learners to achieve.
My favourite quotation that I strongly believe as a teacher is,
Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand.”