Whilst writing this section I reflected on my time as a primary school pupil and three very different teachers in three very different schools immediately came to mind… and probably have never been too far from my consciousness. My teacher when I was 5 years old was so caring and compassionate, she patiently helped me with my work, pulled out a hanky when I cried over my take-away sums, sat with me with her cascading, curly ginger hair and soft voice comforting me. Then there was a teacher when I was 9, he taught us for only one term but in that time I was engaged with school, I laughed and enjoyed each day because he made learning fun through his enthusiasm and humour, spontaneity and flair. My final memorable teacher was in year 6, she embodied the traditional teacher, not whacky nor overly gushing, but highly knowledgeable, consistent and very strict – everyone liked and respected Miss Parry! So, an amalgam of all three teachers would be my ‘perfect’ teacher; compassionate, caring, humorous, fun, enthusiastic and highly knowledgeable and with excellent classroom management. Ta Da!
Can you remember an outstanding teacher who perhaps inspired you to take this path into education?
Think of a teacher or teachers that have influenced you - how might you describe them?
Think about the characteristics of these great teachers – why are they so memorable? If you can think o...
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...ure yourself in the ‘perfect jacket’, but are you comfortable with this jacket or do you feel that the jacket you wear has been imposed upon you and although you try to feel comfortable and wear it all day it doesn’t really fit and all you want to do is take it off!
If the real and the preconceived ‘pictures’ are not reconciled conflict, confusion and doubt can result and possibly, as Schlichteet al. (2005) notes, a sense of isolation and frustration. As a trainee or beginning teacher there may also be a case of ‘strategic compliance’ (Flores and Day 2006) as the dominant approach within the school leads you to suppress your own beliefs, affecting your image of ‘teacher’ and ‘self’ leading to tension, dissonance and internal conflict.
A passion for teaching goes without saying but this passion can be eroded by tensions in unstable or unsuitable school contexts.
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