Tag Archives: teachers

3 Reasons Why I Love Teaching

Well here I am in my second term of teaching and while it hasn’t always been easy (who am I kidding – it has sometimes been very difficult!) I have recently taken some time to reflect on just how much I love my job.

Reason #1: all the beyond wonderful students that you meet. There are just so many students who just blow you away with their attitude and maturity. Notice I don’t say with their academic capability – there are plenty of those too but the ones that really astonish me and make teaching beyond worthwhile are the ones who are the truly fabulous human beings.

Reason #2: All the new stuff I am learning. Every day I learn something new, even though I might not realise at the time. I was so astonished and excited to realise last week that I have improved since last term. This excites me. It isn’t a massive improvement and I still have a long way to go by any means but it’s good to know that progress is being made, and I love that I have a job that is all about personal growth as well as helping others towards their own personal growth. And I think that’s why teachers stay teaching for so long (in many cases anyway!) – they enjoy making and seeing progress. It’s not just a case of mastering a single skill or set of skills and that’s you’re entire job – it’s new and challenging and fabulous every day.

Reason #3: The fabulous colleagues and other professionals you meet. There isn’t a single person I have met that I haven’t learned something from. Some are truly outstanding and inspiring – from the colleagues that are exemplary teachers and who exhibit the best classroom management techniques, the colleages that come up with the fabulous and inspiring lesson plans and ideas, the colleagues that make learning fun, and the ones that somehow find time in their busy life to make a chocolate cheesecake. AND share it. Yummo.

Creating Independent Learners

With school starting up again soon, I have started to think about what exactly I want for my students in the new school year.  What do I want them to get from their schooling experience? And what do I want my classroom to look like – me talking and doing all the work, or them actually engaged and making an effort in the learning process?

The issue of needing students to become independent learners was particularly prevalent in my second placement, where I was teaching a class of Year 7 students.  Some of the girls were having trouble understanding the concept, and hence, working out the answer to the problem.  So their solution was to bug the teacher for the answer.  I tried explaining it to them as best I could, but as I was feeling under pressure to attend to 25 students at once as well as to cover the unit, I *may have* cut corners in my explanation.  Their response? ‘Miss, you’re not supposed to tell us the answer!’

What did I learn from that experience?  Firstly, students want to learn.  Providing their basic needs have been met, they actually come to school engaged and motivated, expecting to learn.  We cannot crush that.  And secondly, in order not to crush their natural enthusiasm for learning, we have to engage them from the beginning.  This means that from Day 1 of Year 7, students must be encouraged to find answers for themselves, and perhaps more importantly, think of new questions.

Imagine if your students still couldn’t think for themselves by the time they reach Year 12? How would they survive in the real world?

It might take a little extra effort and planning at the beginning, but planning lessons that encourage students to be independent learners and thinkers is easier and better for both you and your students in the long run.