As a teacher, I must understand that students learn differently and have various skill levels. These require me to use a variety of teaching strategies and a rich collection of information resources. As a teacher, I must be able to create an active learning and supportive environment both inside and outside the classroom.
As a science teacher, my instructional strategies must include hands-on activities such as utilizing laboratory exercises, solving problems, and using the Internet to collect scientific data. I must be able to help students to publish their ideas in the form of a report or presentation. I need to be aware of what is happening to ensure safety in an active investigating and learning environment. I believe in helping students to develop critical thinking skills. I think of myself as a resource that is there to “facilitate” students’ learning and not to handout to students the answers to the questions. Whenever students encounter a roadblock, they will/can seek my advice. In all probability, I will ask them questions to help stimulate their own thinking. Finally, as a science teacher, I need to connect students to the real life answers to classroom questions whether students are on a field trip or in the lab.
I believe that teachers must provide cooperative and collaborative learning activities. A teacher must develop strategies for involving all students in meaningful learning activities. A teacher must be able to assess students for their strengths and weaknesses and help them improve. As a teacher, I must provide students with structure and modeling as well as freedom and responsibilities. Students need to understand that rules and expectations are about meeting their needs and not designed to punish their wrongdoing. As a teacher, I must treat all students equally with respect and be able to establish trust with students, build friendships, and yet keep professional distance. I will encourage students think for themselves and become confident in expressing their own ideas with solid reasoning behind their ideas.
I believe the classroom is a complex learning environment of both educational and social situation. Classrooms must prepare children to be ready for higher education and/or to be productive members of the society. As a teacher, I must work collaboratively with parents/guardians, colleagues, outside professionals, and other students to create a complete learning environment in the classroom.
Finally, I also believe that a good teacher is one who makes his or herself progressively unnecessary. I must teach students how to learn and not just what to memorize. I must be able to utilize technology to help students become more motivated, actively engaged in their learning, better problem solvers and obtain critical thinking skills. In many ways, the lessons will incorporate technology to meet the needs of various learning styles. I will use technology to communicate with parents, invite parents to be virtual volunteers, and provide students online support such as participating on discussion boards, mentoring, and tutoring. In addition to technology, the routines must be established early with clear expectations. Students who come into the classroom will know exactly what to do and where to start first, and that is how a teacher can make him or herself progressively unnecessary.
In conclusion, an effective teacher must be able to use both traditional and non-traditional instructional and communication strategies. As a teacher, I must collaborate with other professionals and parents in both a traditional and a non-traditional approach in order to provide students a complete learning environment. I must be able to use the technology to accommodate various learning styles, to communicate with parents, and to recruit virtual parents and professional volunteers who can help students with homework online or provide professional advice.
As a teacher, I hope my phone does not ring during class. For more information, please email, leave message, or fax. Thank you for your understanding and consideration.
Tan M. Lam