Sunday, November 24, 2019

Teaching Essay Example

Teaching Essay Example Teaching Essay Teaching Essay Teaching Name: Institution: Teaching What Does It Mean to Teach (or Practice) Responsibly? Personally, the ideal of responsible practice in my context implies a collaborative approach towards facilitating learning. In my practice context, I have come to understand that working closely with students plays a crucial part in facilitating learning. Traditionally, teachers hardly developed personal associations with students. This factor is also similar to the structure of bureaucratic organizations. Such organizations de-emphasized relations between managers and their employees. As such, students never got the opportunity to interact and suggest propositions that may actually assist in mitigating their problems. Nonetheless, in my years of teaching, I understood that students form the core part of education. Without students, teachers would be an abstract part of society. The same applies for organizations; the main asset for firms comprises employees. A firm would be irrefutably useless if it discarded the input its employees contributed to its performance. My ideal of responsible practice involves developing a relationship with the students. Teachers and students both have certain purposes and goals. Students usually pursue education in order to secure stability in their future lives. On the other hand, teachers engage in teaching for a variety of purposes that range from fulfilling materialistic objectives to gratifying their passion for engaging in the field. Nonetheless, within my practice context, the ideal responsible practice focuses primarily on the achievement of success on the part of students. Engaging in a collaborative approach allows students to formulate relationships with teachers thus allowing them to voice out their opinions and even engage in critical thinking. As such, I believe that the purpose of responsible practice in my context should entail learner autonomy. I believe that learner autonomy and collaborative approach integrate perfectly to create the ideal responsible practice. Even though there is no single definition for the aspect, Balcikanli (2010) defines learner autonomy as self-instruction and independent direction among students. Regardless of its application in language teaching, I consider this aspect as rational towards ideal responsible teaching. In addition, instituting a collaborative approach will actually allow students to instruct themselves especially in solving problems. For instance, integrating the Socratic Method would be highly beneficial in facilitating this approach. Socratic Method allows students to exercise critical thinking concerning a certain subject matter. Usually, the teacher presents the students with informal and critical questions that give students the freedom to brainstorm. Such a concept is definitely impossible to apply without the integration of a collaborative approach between students and teachers. Furthermore, collaboration between the teacher and student may lead to a healthy interactive association between both parties (Ahlstrom, 2003). As such, an ideal responsible practice ascertains a bond between the student and the teacher in my retrospect. Another purpose that constitutes an ideal responsible practice involves cultural responsiveness. Since my ideal practice implies a collaborative approach, the rationale that would stem from this comprises cultural openness. In my years of teaching, I have encountered students originating from numerous cultures. At first, it was difficult to teach such students based on the different cultural symbols their cultures dictated. For instance, pointing a Japanese student, to my realization, implied accusation. Additionally, staring directly in the faces of Italian students was wrong since it denoted disrespect. From such experiences, I believe that an ideal responsible practice should imply a purpose involving cultural responsiveness. Cultural responsiveness involves exuding awareness and sensitivity to other cultures (Mansour, 2009). A collaborative approach will ensure that students from different cultures interact in problem resolution via brainstorming and other learning techniques. On my part, this will allow me to include culturally responsive teaching as a personal goal. Culturally responsive teaching involves the use of cultural knowledge, earlier experiences and performance approaches of different students in order to ensure appropriate and effective learning. This type of teaching exploits the strengths of students from various cultures. As such, my ideal practice, in facilitating collaborative approach, will allow students from a miscellany of cultures to interact. That way, students will also learn considerably from each other’s experiences. Furthermore, the students will also be able to create identity groups and thus attain a single and uniform identity in learning. According to Appiah (2005a), social factors such as race, culture and ethnicity are responsible for identity. As such, applying this concept positively for the mentioned purpose, the cultures of students will enable them to determine their identities individually and collectively as a group. In addition, being aware of one’s culture enables one to appreciate the diffe rences each possesses. This will also apply for my ideal responsible practice. Personal values should also constitute a significant part of my ideal responsible practice. In my delineation, personal values describe an individual’s sense of what is good and what is evil (Appiah, 2005b). They comprise the common expression of that which is important to me as a person. Consequently, such values are essential to my practice. In my respective practice context, values are significant based on the purposes that my practice embraces. For instance, a personal value such as effectiveness is crucial in my ideal responsible practice. Effectiveness, in this case, implies possessing the aptitudes to gauge student learning naturally and work together with students to devise instruction. My responsible practice should express effectiveness in facilitating learning. My ideal practice should allow me to facilitate learning by developing and evaluating proficiency among my students. This evaluation will be possible through experiences that comprise both formal and informal learning. Effectiveness will assist in measuring and valuing learning in official and unofficial contexts. The progress among students will base on the demonstration of mastery instead of the hours students put in class. Additionally, by expressing effectiveness, my ideal practice will engage every student with significant and meticulous content; inculcate their interests, advantages and experiences. Furthermore, the practice will express effectiveness by allowing students and teachers to engage in learning throughout the year. For instance, during holiday breaks, my practice context will enable me to meet the needs of students facing particular problems in their respective field of learning. That way, students will tend to acquire assistance and simultaneously, increase their capacity of understanding and performance within their learning contexts. In addition, by expressing effectiveness, my practice will comprise an ideal environment that will aid students in augmenting various learning asp ects. For instance, it will assist them in increasing their academic knowledge and originality skills. Leadership is also another value suitable for my ideal responsible practice. In this context, leadership implies the management of learning naturally especially among students and peers alike. Since my practice context assumes a collaborative culture, leadership in this case involves sharing responsibility (Martin, 2000). Sharing responsibility among teachers especially for student welfare and learning will provide a platform for involving collective decision-making. Leadership via collective decision-making will use classroom proficiency in order to advance the effectiveness among students. Therefore, there is evident correlation between the values of leadership and effectiveness in my ideal responsible practice. Furthermore, my ideal teaching environment should express leadership through collaborative associations. Teachers and administrators should assume a shared relationship illustrated by collective decision-making and responsibility. Teachers should also presume responsibiliti es that incorporate leading and teaching. This involves working closely with students as well as respective teachers and teacher leaders. My ideal responsible practice should also reflect a strong relationship between my students and me. This relationship should arise from the incorporation of a collaborative association between both of us. Regardless of students viewing me as an authority figure, it is imperative that students also view me as their friend. Usually, students face various issues that do not involve their lives in their classroom. Most of these students face issues that emanate from their social lives. Such issues comprise significant problems such as marital cases, financial problems, racism and bigotry as well as insignificant problems such as stereotyping. These issues pose considerable implications on students. Such implications affect their performance in class as well as their social performance. Therefore, an ideal responsible practice should empower teachers and students to develop relationships. These relationships will cater to the academic and social aspect of students. For instance, a mentori ng relationship will be tremendously beneficial in directing students facing social issues. Certain behaviors will also express my ideal responsible practice. One of the main behaviors that my practice should express is empathy. I believe that empathetic behavior is important in my definition of an ideal responsible practice. An empathetic behavior allows the teacher to envision himself in the eyes of the student. This particular behavior allows the teacher to formulate a formidable relationship between the student and teacher. By expressing empathy, the teacher will understand certain aspects of his different students. For instance, empathetic behavior will enable me to understand the problems some of my students. This factor will be crucial in furthering a mentoring relationship between my students and me. Additionally, sympathetic and understanding behaviors also express my ideal responsible environment. Normally, students associate with teachers that are sympathetic and warm towards them. As such, a teacher in my ideal environment should be sympathetic especially in cas es where students possess different levels of comprehending subjects. My actual practice does not quite equate with my ideal practice. Most of the factors that contribute to this disparity are actually uncontrollable and comprise institutional, organizational and personal aspects. Factors such as organizational culture make it difficult to create the ideal responsible practice. Organizational culture simply implies the behaviors expressed by persons within an organization. Additionally, it also involves the connotations that individuals append to their acts. Organizational culture is a formidable factor in creating this disparity especially in terms of the status quo (Mansour, 2009). For instance, organizations that embrace a bureaucratic culture hardly entertain sympathetic and empathetic behaviors. As a result, attempting to change such a culture by advocating for such behaviors only exudes resistance from members of the organization. In addition, other factors also illustrate the disparity between my ideal responsible environment and the actual prac tice context. For instance, aspects such as competition for intangible resources such as respect. More factors comprise student attitudes towards teachers as well as a weak student-teacher relationship. Reasons for the Gap between the Ideal and the Reality One of the main factors affecting my ability to practice responsibly involves the institutional aspect. In delineation, Scott (2001, 49) defines institutions as â€Å"multifaceted, durable social structures, made up of symbolic elements, social activities, and material resources†. Based on their composition, institutions affect social life and thus embody the fabric of the social life of an individual. They offer rigidity regardless of the dynamic changes in the environment. Conclusively, institutions comprise structures that govern individual behavior in a respective community. For instance, rules gain regard as institutions since they govern the behavior of persons in any given society. Additionally, other abstract concepts such as culture also receive definition as institutions because of the control they possess over individuals in certain settings. One common feature of institutions and their effect in this particular case involves their ability to express autonomy over i ndividuals in a setting. Even though institutions such as organizations originate from people, institutions actually end up assuming self-organization even above humans. This is evident in this situation. An institution such as culture controls the employees’ conscious intentions. Since the organization assumes a bureaucratic culture, it is exceedingly difficult to initiate an ideal teaching environment. This is because this culture governs the norms and behaviors of students alike. As such, teachers do not even attempt to change the way they associate with other students. Accordingly, administrators and teacher leaders also exercise an authoritative relationship with teachers. Furthermore, this culture only remunerates teachers on piecework basis. Consequently, once teachers are through with their classes, they do not spend supplementary time finding out the welfare of the students since it is not within their pay schedule. As a result, such adaptations exemplified by the culture restrict me from act ing responsibly within my respective practice context. Another factor affecting the ability to act responsibly involves the organizational aspect. The grounds for the disparity between the ideal and actual environment involves the relations between members of the organization. As mentioned, institutions govern an individual’s social life. An organization is also an institution that governs employees based on their activities. In my case, the bureaucratic culture plays a vital role in creating the disparity. Additionally, the culture also plays an important role in distinguishing the organization in the form of a system. According to Scott (2003), the organization stands out as a rational, natural or open system. However, in this case, the organization is actually a closed system because of its stance on formality. In this environment, there is lack of interdependence between teachers and administrators. Additionally, it also differentiates between formal and informal structures. As such, students face difficulty in attempting to i nduce informal relationships with their teachers, as well as other members of the teaching staff within the school. The last factor that affects acting responsibly comprises the personal aspect. This aspect mainly focuses on me as an individual in my practice context. Because of the influence of the institution on the environment, it is difficult for me to adopt certain behaviors especially with my students. At times, my easygoing nature allows me to interact with them informally and at least induce comfort among them. However, it becomes hard for me to mentor them based on the different roles both of us possess. My position as a teacher, emphasized by the organization, hinders me from reaching down to the students. As a result, I hardly employ empathy since I lack a mentoring relationship with my students. Additionally, the students seclude themselves in terms of their background. Such backgrounds are mostly racial. According to Appiah (2005), social factors reflect a person’s identity. This elucidates the reason why these students seclude themselves in such groups. The interaction between these aspects influences the ability to practice responsibly. Mainly, the interactive forces affecting this capability comprise organizational and personal forces. Organizational forces mainly imply the structures put in place that limit collaboration between teachers and students. As implied, the organization distinguishes between formal and informal structures. As a result, it is difficult to induce shared responsibility especially between administrators and teachers based on these structures. Furthermore, these organizational forces also influence my personal doctrines. It is evident that external forces generate influence on the internal part of any system. Organizational forces such as hierarchical rigidity influence my relations with my students. Since students do not interact on an informal level with their teachers and leaders, it becomes impossible to interact with me informally on a significant basis. Furthermore, lack of shared responsibility among teachers and administrators discards students and teachers from assuming a collaborative relationship. Closing the Gap between the Ideal and the Reality of Responsible Practice The difference between the actual context and my ideal responsible environment requires a contribution of efforts to close the gap. These efforts represent opportunities that will assist in conjoining my ideal practice and the current practice. Additionally, these opportunities will focus on changing a certain part of my respective area of teaching which involves English Language Teaching (ELT). Nonetheless, exploiting these opportunities will undoubtedly lead to the occurrence of certain implications that will certainly have a positive or negative impact. The opportunities comprise: Implementing a Peer Review Program The implementation of a Peer Review Program will require the collaboration of both teachers and administrators. This will be the first step towards advocating for change in English Language Teaching. The program will focus on allowing teachers to evaluate and analyze practice, as well as increasing qualified learning plans in the practice area. Furthermore, the program will substitute the need for tenure. Within any organization, tenure comprises one of the crucial organizational factors. It comprises the quantity of time put in by an employee in a day. It comprises the piecework basis in the actual practice context. Nonetheless, implementation of the Peer Review Program will have an impact on the piecework basis system. To an extent, the program will actually eliminate the system because of its preferences and disparate framework from the actual system. The piecework basis places emphasis on the quantity of time a teacher dedicates in class. As such, it does not provide any room for improvement. Accordingly, it does not enable a teacher to visualize and assess her performance. This poses a significant effect on students since most of them are unable to voice their opinion concerning their teacher. This applies similarly in ELT. Therefore, applying the Peer Review Program will surely affect the organization. Accordingly, it will also influence institutional factors. This is because adopting this system will necessarily imply a change in the organizational culture. Such a change will definitely lead to resistance since it disrupts the status quo within the organization. Additionally, this implication will imply positively to me personally since it will enable me to gauge my performance within this related area. In replacing tenure, the Peer Review Program will offer opportunities based on improvement. Consequently, the program will also in providing prospects where there is insufficient improvement. Therefore, applying this program in my practice context will affect the entire organization as well other areas of teaching and learning in the organization. The program will lead to a steady dissolution of formal and informal structures especially among teachers and students. Additionally, the program will also assure a due process during dismissal processes. Therefore, by assuring due process rights among teachers in the organization via a just and transparent system, employment will continue based on performance. This will clearly bring a considerable change in the organization. Teachers will at least have a right in safeguarding their stances. Furthermore, the bureaucratic institution will also dissolve into a more democratic culture that will see teachers sharing responsibility in decision making with administrators and other leaders. Instituting a Teacher-Student Led Curriculum A Teacher-Student Led Curriculum program involves a learning schedule designed by both teachers and students. This opportunity will aid in closing the gap in my practice context. This curriculum will take advantage of the collaborative approach. This approach will involve both the student and me in determining the curriculum for the students. Usually, my class consists of adult learners who also have other priorities apart from school. Therefore, instead of using a rigid structure from the organization, it will advantageous for us to create a curriculum that suits our needs. Additionally, the Teacher-Student Led Curriculum will focus on areas that students feel present the biggest challenge. Thus, it will encourage the facilitation and contribution of ideas and suggestions that will ease English Language Teaching and Learning (Keiser, Kincaid Servais, 2011). One of the main implications arising from this will focus on my personal side. Developing a Teacher-Student Led Curriculum will enable me to interact on a personal level with my students. This is a factor that was difficult for me to exercise based on the organizational and institutional influence on teacher-student associations. Furthermore, working together within the students will allow me to develop an empathetic behavior. The curriculum will mainly focus on scheduling the timelines as well as determining the areas that require maximum attention. Thus, working on these factors will enable me to understand the issues that bother some of my students in relation to their class work and social life. For instance, when working on scheduling the time for the lessons, various students might have reasons that may force me to adjust the timeline in order to suit them and the majority. Implementing such a curriculum will undoubtedly receive resistance from organizational and institutional factors. This is because such a curriculum will mark the beginning of a liberal manner of teaching. This form of teaching will comprise contributions from students. Organizational factors such as hierarchical rigidity will impede this process. This is because applying a strategy will eliminate the power relationship between teachers and students. Additionally, institutional factors will also impede this effort. The bureaucratic culture, which is responsible for guiding norms in the organizations, will be under threat. This is because of the application of a curriculum that values student input, and in a way, allows students to exercise a democratic effort in determining their education. Furthermore, implementing the Teacher-Student Led Classroom will attract maintenance of the program over the long term. Irrefutably, the maintenance of the program will focus on assisting new adult learners in the ELT course. Learning English is difficult especially for adult immigrants who had little exposure to the language. Thus, the curriculum will also cater for these students in various ways. For instance, the curriculum will allow me to divide my classes between old and new students. This is because teaching them together will only confuse the new students further. While working collaboratively with the students, I will be able to assign a peer-reviewed teacher, possibly from my class, to teach the new students. However, this will also require me to apply Staffing. Staffing will involve the employment of more liberal teachers within my practice context. Therefore, an increase in the number of teachers will actually allow new students to receive the attention they need. References Ahlstrom, C. (2003). Collaborating with students to build curriculum that incorporates real-life materials. Focus on Basics: Connecting Research and Practice, 6(C), 1-7. Appiah, A. (2005). The demands of identity. In A. Appiah (Ed.), The ethics of identity (62-71). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Appiah, A. (2005). The ethics in individuality. In A. Appiah (Ed.), The ethics of identity (1-35). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Martin, M. W. (2000). Shared responsibility and authority. In M.W. Martin (Ed.), Meaningful work: Rethinking professional ethics (119-137). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. Scott, W. R. (2001). Constructing an analytic framework I: Three pillars of institution. In W.R. Scott (Ed.), Institutions and organizations (48-70). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Scott, W. R. (2003). The subject is organizations. In W.R. Scott (Ed.), Organizations: Rational, natural, and open systems (18-30). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Annotated Bibliography Balcikanli, C. (2010). Learner autonomy in language learning: Student teachers’ beliefs. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 35(1), 90-103. There is a significant amount of research concerning the issue of learner autonomy. Generally, the notion of learner autonomy arose in 1981 and focused on concentrating on language learning. Therefore, Balcikanli illustrates the conceptions, misconceptions, review and research encompassing this broad aspect. Gay, G. (2002). Preparing for culturally responsive teaching. Journal of Teacher Education, 53(2), 106-116. Gay focuses on the impact of culturally responsive teaching in contemporary schools. The author delineates this type of teaching and even focuses intently on broad concepts such as race and ethnicity that encompass the society and possess a profound effect on teaching and learning. Keiser, N., Kincaid, M., Servais, K. (2011). Using a collaborative leadership model in a teacher education program. American Journal of Educational Studies, 4(1), 5-20. Keiser, Kincaid and Servais discuss the use of the collaboration approach. They discuss the contrast between the Conventional Method of teaching and the Collaborative Approach and advocate for the leadership model especially in teacher education programs. Mansour, N. (2009). Science Teachers’ Beliefs and Practices: Issues, Implications and Research Agenda. International Journal of Environmental Science Education, 4(1), 25-48. Mansour integrates the notion of beliefs in the field of teaching. Even though the author illustrates research on the impact of beliefs in science, he also discusses the topic in general and applies other concepts such as culture and status quo that affect teaching.

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