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African Teachers  Association-USA

(A.T.A.)

2510 Hamilton Avenue ,Baltimore , MD 21214 .Tel: 443-744-5328

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Teaching Reflection


Teaching Reflection


School: Forestville Military Academy                                                        Teaching year: 2011-2012

Teacher’s Classroom: Mr. Elie Tcheimegni                                                  Grade Level: 10-12


Beliefs about Education as a Profession


Belief Behavior

1. I believe teachers should be competent to teach in their content area.

2. I attend graduate school to increase by knowledge base. I read books and professional

journals to keep up with current theory and practice.


Beliefs about Children and Their Learning


Belief Behavior

1. I believe that children learn in different ways and I strive to present material to my class in a

variety of ways (i.e., auditory, visual, hands-on, etc.) to help students overcome weaknesses by

focusing on their strengths


My on-going Challenges in teaching are?

How to change students  individual  and interpersonal factors in a positive way in order to increase their achievement and to teach them to reflect, and use technology to their advantage.


Although it would be difficult to imagine that my basic teaching philosophy has changed substantially over the relatively short time period, I would have to admit that the texts by Charlotte Danielson  helped me reexamine how I have conducted classes in the past. The ideas of active and participatory learning have always been a major focus of my teaching, if for no other reason than the course content of quantitative analysis called for a hands-on environment. The First program helped me  in the following majors areas:

- create a learning experiences for my students that connect them to the knowledge base of my discipline ;

-  use my students’ strengths as a basis for growth, and their errors as an opportunity for learning.

- use a range of strategies to promote positive relationships, cooperation, and meaningful learning experiences in the classroom.

- understand the importance of peer relationships to establishing a positive climate for learning.

- practice self-reflection and self-assessment in my professional learning

- use community resources to foster student learning

- Learn and know  how to ask questions and stimulate discussion in different ways and for different purposes

However, the ideas of having students internalize some learning expectation., making students the subject of their learning and achievements, having students ensure themselves that all voices are heard in a discussion , and making them initiate or adapt activities and projects to enhance their understanding, which are merely  intrinsic motivation (impacted by  individual factors and interpersonal factors ) are some of the challenges that I face as a teacher since  intrinsic motivating activities are those in which people will engage for no reward other than the interest and enjoyment that accompanies them  ,I mean what people will do without external inducement (Malone and Lepper (1987) ) as they are mostly affect by students knowledge background and future perspectives. These are some of concepts that I want to examine in more detail when reflecting on my teaching.

Also, while many of the popular instructional themes emerged in the sample teaching sessions, such as: engagement, collaborative learning, problem based learning, and active learning, I feel these teaching styles are hard to sustain throughout a course. As hooks discussed in her book 'Teaching to Transgress' she did not know if students in her class had changed and were behaving in a more self-directed and engaged manner because she wanted them to, or because they had fundamentally changed the way they viewed education in the classroom. The concept of 'the banking system of education' is deep rooted within all students, and will not be easily changed through one or two highly interactive classes where students are asked to be the subjects of their learning and asked to help direct the flow and subject matter addressed.

As witnessed this year, as several students tried to integrate these ideas into the sample teaching sessions, other students were resistant.

Therefore, as stated in my original perspective on my teaching philosophy, I still feel that one's teaching style and the philosophy one adopts at any moment is contextual and that one will oscillate between being teacher-centered, constructivism-behaviorism approach,  and student-centered through out the course having in mind how the Brain works.. One must be cognizant of the individual students' natures in the course and sense when an open, engaged process of discussion is not working. At times the situation may call for the instructor to behave as the ultimate dominant culture in the class and direct students. In most instances the instructor must still guide the students through the course and facilitate openness, and cannot expect that students will automatically know how to become instruments of their own learning process.










 

The Role of Education and What does being an Educated Person Really Mean:


In my original statement of my philosophy, I provided what one may consider an academic statement on what the role of education is in society, and what being an educated person means. While I still feel that the statements I made are valid, it may also be the role of education today to get people to move away from the banking system of education and help them become more engaged in their learning process. This itself ties into the concept of education helping to produce individuals who are educated in many disciplines and well-rounded critical thinkers. The ideas of wanting to challenge the accepted thinking of experts and canons of knowledge are a learning style that we want to help students move towards. I feel strongly that education is not about preparing students for given careers, but to provide them with the knowledge and critical thinking skills that will allow them to function in a variety of roles.

 

My Teaching Philosophy:


In re-reading my original discussion on my teaching philosophy I feel the following statement is still very relevant.

'First teaching styles can not be prescriptive. There is no one best way to teach. While the mechanics of lecture notes, class preparation, and well-constructed course outlines are a part of any good course, the teaching style one adapts during the course cannot be prescribed. One needs to first understand the learners and what motivates them, what they want to achieve, and what they may bring to the course of study. It is then the teacher’s role to take this information about the students and guide them through the subject area. At times the teacher leads, as a lecturer, and at other times they follow along as the students explore ideas and concepts. It is also the role of the teacher to bring relevance to all learners and to draw on the experiences of each where possible. It is the role of the teacher to make the learning experience challenging, rewarding, and to some degree entertaining all at the same time.'

Further I stated at as a concluding comment that ' the challenge for instructors in all classes of all sizes is how to connect with each student on some form of personal level. How can we connect so a student can understand the relevance of the subject to their life’s and feel motivated to challenge their own thinking in regards to the subject matter.'

These statements, while not specifically stating such, highlight the ideas of engagement, self-directed learning, and helping the students see themselves as subjects of their learning and not simply the objects that the banking system of education has so effectively indoctrinated people into over the past hundred plus years.