The role of the teacher has changed, perhaps evolved is a better word, since students left the atmosphere of home schooling to that of the classroom. I'm sure that there have always been innovative teachers, but lecture and paperwork (or slate board work) were at one time the norm. In some classes it still is. However, the fact that we have so many stu- dies concerning the development of learning skill, such as the four stages that Piaget ident- ified, and so many theories on the best way to teach a child, such as Constructivism versus Behavorialism, indicates that many educators have realized there have to be better ways, than exclusive lecture and paperwork, to evoke learning.
We have learned in our educational courses there are several styles of learning that each of us use one or more of. This is a challenge to the teacher, because it means we can't con- struct all our lessons based on only one style (which is usually our own learning style). We, as teachers, must be willing to expand our own realm of thinking and try new approaches. I love this concept, since I would get bored if I had to teach the same way every day.
In my personal view, a classroom that is learning is not the one where seats are neatly in their rows, each child is busy completing a worksheet and no voices are heard. Give me clusters of desks, with students collaborating on projects and the air buzzing with the sound of excited voices. I feel that textbooks should be used as reference tools, not the sole amount of knowledge we want to obtain on any particular subject. In fact, I believe that the true measure of the success of a teacher is when students endeavor to know more. How can this be ac...
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...bjects like Social Studies that require remembering facts and dates. What can you do in that situation? I truly believe that board games, set up along the line of "Sorry" and using an ever expanding set of question and answer cards, could be an enjoyable and effective way for students to recall social studies facts, if played on a regular basis. Other topics requiring memorization, such as the 50 states or the American presidents, could be dealt with by developing trading cards in which students strive to com- plete a set.
I believe that my job as a teacher is not simply to place knowledge in my students heads. I must also help them understand that knowledge and show them how they can use it throughout their lives. To be truly successful at my job I must transfer my excitement for learning and curiosity to my students, so they will want to learn more.
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