Teaching, Mentoring or Learning?

I would like to ask you a question – some questions actually… I am curious to know more about your opinions re this matter. How do you see yourselves? Are you teachers? Are you mentors? Are you learners? Be honest…think about the fact that in a few months time you will be practicing the profession of a teacher… you will have your own classes, your own students, your syllabi, your curriculum. You will start setting tests, exams, homework, projects…what will you become? Would you be willing to set up your own classroom community sharing learning between you and the students? Do you honestly see yourself using for example online social networks to foster this kind of community building? What would you see its purpose as being and how would this integrate into your classroom practice? Will you be teachers, mentors or do you want to be learners in your own class?

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72 thoughts on “Teaching, Mentoring or Learning?

  1. A website can be set up where the students can easily access notes or animations or videos that couldn’t be shown in class. the student can for example, check about something which he didn’t understand in class, or he asks a question about it on the website. In this way, the students can also learn from each others difficulties

    • What Luke said is true and in fact there are already some school website which have the accessibility for students to download past papers, notes and other usefull material. One of this is http://skola.gov.mt/skola/home/. In my opinion what truly matters at the end of the day is not how much a student learns the subject but what made an impact on an individual during schooling period. If we teach our students only the subject we are not educating them.

  2. L-ewwel ħaġa li l-iżjed tiġini f’moħħi hija li kemm hu aħjar li l-għalliem jkollu klassi għalih fejn wieħed jkun jista’ jarma kif jrid u joħloq ambjent fuq is-suġġett tiegħu biex b’hekk l-istudent meta jidħol fil-klassi jkun diġa jista’ jħoss id-differenza min klassijiet u suġġetti oħrajn. Fit-teaching pratice li kelli l-klassijiet kienu kollha vojta u naħseb jiena din itellef mir-relazzjoni tajba li tista’ tibni int mal-istudenti.
    Nixtieq ukoll li din id-darba noħloq blog fejn nkun nista’ nitfa ħafna materjal li għandu x’jaqsam mas-suġġett li nkun qegħda nagħmel fil-klassi u jekk irridu l-istudenti jikkumentaw u jżidu ma’ dak li jiena nkun tfajt.B’hekk l-istudenti meta jiġu wiċċ imb wiċċ ma’ xi ħaġa relevanti jistgħu jpoġġuha hemmhekk. Din naħseb jiena toħloq ċerta relazzjoni tajba bejnietna t-tnejn għax l-istudenti jħossuhom parti mil-lezzjoni u li huma wkoll qegħdin jikkontribixxu fiha.
    Bħala għalliema nixtieq nkun waħda li l-istudenti ma jiddejqux jibnu relazzjoni miegħi biex fl-aħħar mil-aħħar naħdmu flimkien u naqsmu dak li nafu bejn xulxin għax wara kollox it-tnejn li aħna għandna x’nitghalmu min xulxin.

    • I think caring is one of the fundamental elements in teaching, mentoring and learning. It promotes attention, adequate support and help when in difficulty. To create a caring, positive environment a Social Studies teachers should:

      1. Know students individually (family background and interests).
      2. Listen actively to the pupils and let them know that everybody has his/her own opinion and that everybody should respect that.
      3. Rewarding students for their effort and improvement.
      4. Avoid public humiliation and negotiate with the students classroom rules. Let the students
      know that it is important to obey rules in order to grow up to be responsible citizens.

      Social Studies teachers today are facing increasing pressure to ensure high levels of pupil performance and passes in examination. Most Social Studies teachers care about imparting knowledge to student but the best Social Studies teachers also care about the relational aspect of teaching. Research had shown that an ethic of caring does not weaken achievement, on the contrary, it provides a foundation upon which effective learning and success can be built.

      Till now I’m not sure what I really have to be, I think it all depends on the characteristics of the classes that I will be teaching. I might have to be a teacher for basic level classes; on the other hand I might just be a mentor for junior level, or the other way round! Who know? Different classes reflect different challenges. What I know for sure is that I will be caring for my students and learning from them. I think that these are the main keys for the success or failure of this profession.

  3. I believe in an interactive world, creating an interactive educational platform really makes me as a teacher fulfilling a combination of the roles mentioned above ( i.e: a teacher, mentor and learner)
    Watching my students learn by being actively involved using ICT will make me a learner of learning technologies. It will help me observe my students’ learning abilities and progressive development as autonomous learners in this scenario. A scenario in which a younger generation has a lot to teach me.

      • I think that this also depends on the resources available to the teacher. I mean many public school classes are presently equipped with interactive whiteboard, so this is one of the technological tools that I would employ. For instance, if pupils could bring their laptops or iPads to school, the teacher would be able to use that resource to engage pupils in lessons.

        Additionally, some schools, such as the one I was doing my TP at, was implementing an online system providing support to all stakeholders, including teachers, students and parents. The teachers upload homeworks and assignments directly on the internet. Moreover the teacher has the option to submit different tasks to different students. Parents have access to this environment as well. I learned about this system during the staff meeting we had before Christmas. Who knows, maybe in the future staff meetings will be carried out online as well using today’s resources.

      • Hmmm – This is interesting… What was the online system that you mentioned? And was it a private initiative by the school management team or was it an initative of the Education division?

      • I was at St Elias College – a church school; so I suppose that this is a private project carried out by the school management team.

        This is the school website: http://www.stelias.edu.mt/index.html
        Here you find this Online Management System; however it is not in tact as yet. As far as I know it is scheduled to be completely available as soon as the website is fully updated. At the moment, the school is using an external link to this system, but I do not have that address.

      • Great – thanks. It’s great that schools explore this environment and offer support to teachers. I think this fosters the right spirit of collaboration and keeping open all the options for teaching in a more creative and innovative way.

  4. L-għalliem huwa dawn it-tliet punti f’daqqa. Skont iċ-ċirkustanzi, l-għalliem qed jieħu sura differenti biex jaqdi l-irwol tiegħu fil-klassi u fis-soċjetà.

    Għandna d-dmir li ngħaddu lill-istudenti għarfien marbut mas-suġġett tagħna, imma mhux biss, għax nistgħu nużaw il-ħin li jqattgħu magħna biex inkellmuhom wkoll fuq ħwejjeġ oħrajn marbutin mal-ħajja, bħal etikett, dixxiplina, sehem fis-soċjetà, u valuri biex insemmu xi wħud.

    Irridu wkoll niggwidaw lill-istudenti tagħna f’dak li jagħmlu b’rabta mas-suġġett tagħna, bħal xogħol fil-klassi, xogħol fid-dar, proġetti, preżentazzjonijiet u qari fuq suġġetti varji. Aħna nitgħu inservu ta’ gwidi biex ngħinuhom jieħddu deċiżjonijiet importanti li jkollhom riperkussjonijeit imminenti jew fil-futur, bħal għażla ta’ ħbieb, suġġetti, studju post sekondarju u l-eżamijiet li jagħtu fil-ħames sena. Aħna rridu nkunu ta’ mudell biex ngħinuhom jgħaddu minn dil-esperjenza tul ammont ta’ snin.

    L-istudenti huma riżorsa u mhux xi numru jew biċċa laħam għand tal-laħam; mhumiex tazza vojta li aħna nimlew u daqshekk. L-istudenti għandhom l-esperjenzi, l-għarfien, l-isfond kulturali u l-ambjent li, fost l-oħrajn, jagħtuhom identità. Din ir-riżorsa nistgħu nużawha biex ninvolvu lill-istudenti waqt il-lezzjoni u dak li jgħidu nistgħu nitgħallmu minnu għax l-għalliem mhuwiex is-sapjenza inkarnata u ma jafx kollox’ it-tfal jissoprenduna u jistgħu jgħallmuna affarijiet li ma konniex nafu. Min-naħa l-oħra, jistgħu jistaqsuna xi ħaġa li ma nkunux nafu u rridu nfittxu biex nagħtu risposta darb’oħra. Fl-aħħar, l-għalliem irid jibqa’ miftuħ għat-tagħlim biex ikun jista’ jagħmel xogħlu b’mod effettiv tul il-karriera.

    Ħadt biss parti żgħira mill-argument biex ma ntawwalx aktar milli tawwalt.

  5. Għalija, il-professjoni ta’ għalliem tinqasam f’ħafna partijiet li ma jkunux użati jew murija f’daqqa matul is-sena skolastika. Jien bħala għalliem ma nsaqsix lili nnifsi, jekk iniex għalliem jew tutur jew dak li qed nitgħallem, għal fatt li dawn l-affarijiet jistgħu jkunu wkoll l-istudenti ta’ quddiemi. Illum qegħdin f’soċjetà fejn m’hemmx wieħed aħjar minn ieħor. Illum insibu studenti li jissorprendu għalliema meta jsaqsu xi mistoqsija jew iwieġbu għal xi domanda. Illum l-istudent jista’ jkun l-għalliem tagħna għax jista’ jgħallimna, jista’ jkun it-tutur tagħna għax jista’ josservana u huwa l-mgħallem tagħna għax jista’ jitgħallem ukoll.

    Naqbel ma’ Dorothy illi l-aħjar ħaġa hu li l-għalliem ikollu l-klassi tiegħu; klassi mibnija b’xogħol tal-istess studenti u xogħol ta’ għalliem li hu kollu relatat mas-suġġett. Dan l-ambjent ikompli jsaħħaħ ir-relazzjoni bejn l-għalliem u l-istudent. Din ir-relazzjoni tkompli tiżviluppa meta l-binja tas-sillabu (xogħol fil-klassi, lezzjonijiet, proġetti u eżamijiet), ikun innegozzjat mal-istess studenti. Meta għalliem jippreżenta lezzjonijiet attraenti u motivanti li l-istudenti ikunu tkellmu miegħu, tista’ tgħid li l-lezzjonijiet se jirnexxu u jkunu suċċess.

    It-teknoloġija hija importanti wkoll li l-għalliema joħolqu blog fejn ikun jista’ jitfa’ xi materjal (noti, stampji jew anke xi vidjows) li għandu x’jaqsam mas-suġġett li jkun qed jgħallem. B’hekk l-istudenti jistgħu jikkumentaw jew iżidu ma’ dak li hu jkun tefa’. Din naħseb toħloq ċerta relazzjoni tajba bejniethom it-tnejn għax l-istudenti jħossuhom parti mil-lezzjoni u li huma wkoll qegħdin jikkontribixxu fiha. B’dan il-mod mhux biss l-istudenti jistgħu jitgħallmu imma wkoll l-għalliem jista’ jitgħallem. Irridu ngħinuhom l-istudenti tagħna jinvolvu ruħhom fit-teknoloġija biex b’hekk ikunu iktar studenti awtonomi li tista’ titgħallem minnhom.

  6. I see myself as a mentor rather than a teacher. This is does not mean that I’m not a professional teacher but I would like to build a good rapport with my students, I want to show them that I’m not the genius in class who knows it all but in a class we are a community and everybody learns from each other. My work would be to guide the students and elicit from them ideas and concepts. I believe that working together boosts peace and harmony within the classroom environment and as a consequence challenging behaviour could be easily managed.

    Thus, it would also be ideal to set up an online network system where students can share their ideas, analyse them and see what they can learn from it. I believe this is the way how students have to be educated because education is a continues process. Students are not robots commanded by the teacher. I found this diagram while I was doing one of my assignments, which clearly depicts that the most effective way of learning is by teaching others and practice doing so. I took it from the following blogspot which I found interesting: http://eskay77.blogspot.com/

  7. During the upcoming teaching practice, and hopefully when I will become a full-time educator, I will do my utmost to fulfill all three roles; as a teacher I hope to impart the knowledge and/or skills I have, as a mentor I hope to guide the students to think critically and build their own knowledge and as a learner I hope to keep developing my strengths and overcoming my weaknesses on an ongoing basis.

    Throughout the PGCE course so far we have often discussed the importance of building a community of learners, where relationships can be developed and experiences can be shared and I believe that this can happen on a physical level inside the classroom, and also on a virtual level, with the use of online social networks (google sites or Edmodo).

    The advantages of making use of virtual communities are many. The learning process can continue outside the classroom walls, students can learn to be more autonomous, and for most students using technology is both easy and more engaging than more traditional methods. In a virtual community, students may continue to appreciate that everyone has knowledge to share and that discussion could actually lead to the creation of new knowledge. Moreover, it would give the students an additional sense of belonging to the class.

  8. Why is blogging so important for teaching, learning and education?
    Over the past decade or so the aims of developing a different approach to classroom activities has created a paradigm shift that steers away from instruction towards the development of new learning priorities, directly engaging learners in their own learning, elicit and explicitly build on learners’individual understandings skills and creative expressions, actively engaging participants in an authentic learning process.

    As another form vector in the plethora of new media literacies (NML), blogs offer a radically different facet to learning. Blogging invites a new form of participation that our students are already accustomed to in their every day life on Facebook, twitter and other social media. On Facebook our students are free to express themselves, choose what to say and how to say it. So why don’t we as educators ‘mimic’ this behaviour and acquire it as one of our teaching resources or strategies?

    Blogging can potentially lead to a very different form of learning engagement for all those involved. It is different from traditional learning environments because all participants can be producers as well as consumers of knowledge. Saying it differently, blogging provides the means by which students and teachers can create a dialogue based on opinions and diverse points of views. It is a transformative form of practice that should be tapped into.

    Incidentally I have posted a link on twitter that explains diverse ways that blogs can be used in class.

  9. While agreeing with fulfilling all three roles, I must admit that in my opinion mentoring is the most beneficial in this new educational era.

    Teacher-Mentors who set out to move alongside their students and encourage them to develop and take responsibility for their actions are likely to be more successful than those who set out to ‘dictate’ to their students with a more prescriptive approach.

    • Dear Ms Busuttil Linwood interesting question. I see myself as teacher, mentor and student.

      Let me put things in context.

      Before being recruited by the University last year I had taught Advanced Physics for 17 years at the Junior College. Before I taught Physics at Corradino Boys and Tarxien Girls’ secondary schools.
      As an educator my main aim was initially helping students understand concepts in the discipline.

      Over time I discovered that the classroom more than anything was the place were cultures and ideas meet and possibly merge into something new. I also realised that there was more to teaching than the passing on and the regurgitation of knowledge. The classroom was more of an ongoing dialogue from which I learned a lot with and from my students.

      The coming and the eventual fluid use of ICT by my students has aided in extending this dialogue beyond the barrier of the classroom walls. This enabled an ongoing channel of communication between myself and my students. Eventually it also dawned on me that roles were changing. the continuous feedback from students’side, thanks to ICT, allowed me to fit in all the modes, as teacher, mentor and also student. Today I say that whenever I liaise with my ‘students’ off and online we are all collaborators steering in enriching our knowledge from innovation, participation and experience.

  10. I believe that teaching is learning at the same time. When a person teaches something to another person, I believe that that person is learning at the same time. We learn how to interact with others, how not to take for granted certain things, we learn to open our minds and hearts in how other people perceive the world and understand things around us. I believe that being a teacher goes beyond teaching a subject/an area.
    Though I do not believe that students are to be part of certain social networks such as facebook (I believe that one must distinguish between a public and private life), I do believe that there should be a social network specifically as a learning community, to share ideas, problems etc, just like the university’s vle has a forum where students and lecturers can discuss matters. I do think that having a virtual network can help the teacher-student community as a whole.

    • Yes… I do not think or even believe that everyone should suddenly subscribe to Facebook as part of their practical teaching. However there are other tools and applications that can be used to create online virtual communities, in a safe environment. Edmodo is one of them. Yammer is another. And this applies not only to students but also to Educators. As I think you can notice from this simple blog, as well as from other Educational blogs, the kind of collaboration – sharing of resources and experiences that one can establish in an online community (which is continuously kept up-to-date [this takes a bit of effort of course] is something which cannot be achieved easily in traditional face-to-face settings, even if it’s a whole professional development day for teachers.

  11. From what I experienced in the three weeks of teaching practice, I can say that I saw and will see myself as teacher, mentor and yes learner. Different students have different opinions and different personalities and one cannot ignore this fact. Such different characters taught me a great lot! To answer the other questions, I wouldn’t mind using social networks such as facebook to communicate with the class students during certain hours of the day. Students spend a lot of time on facebook so why not use it to enhance learning? That way, one may also get to know the students better in an environment where they feel at ease in.

    • I can see myself as teacher, mentor and learner. I feel that students in today’s post-modern society may see their teacher /mentor as their only stable person in their life and the classroom including the timetable etc. as their only stability in their life. Being a mentor in today’s society is not that easy especially because of the fact that children / students/ youths are gradually losing values and respect towards the institution being school, church etc and even toward the persons who represent these institutions namely the teacher.

  12. emm interesting, as a prospective PSD teacher i need to be all three, i need to provide them with the basic knowledge, i need to encourage the students to state their believes and reasoning and at the same time, i as a teacher should be constantly learning from my students and from everything around me. i need to be engaged with new information that might arise that concerns me and be informed regarding useful tools that might stimulate the learning process of my students.

    Teachers must not just provide information but challenge the students so that they would be able to reason out things. Even though this method can be easier for PSD however every teacher must try to find ways to integrate the students and to treat them as young adults who have made their own experiences and thus are able to give their opinions.

    However, it is worth mentioning that for this to happen there needs to be less pressure on the students. as presently the main purpose of our educational system is to make our students pass the o’level exams. therefore not only the students are pressure but also the teachers as they must complete the syllabus on time. Therefore there is no time for reflection

  13. I think it will take me much more time and experience until I can proudly say that I am a teacher. By “teacher” I do not mean that I know how to teach but rather a mentor, a friend, someone caring… I do not think that the certificate of this course will make me a teacher either.

    As a “modern” teacher I will definitely put into practice all the new things I learnt and be ready to face new technological challenges (such as the use of the interactive whiteboards – which everyone seem to be scared of!!)

    Through my experience of a supply teacher, I used to keep contact with the parents of the students by sending emails, containing additional material such as; presentations, online exercises, videos… and it used to work so well. I also had the support of the head of school. If I could I would have communicated directly with the students themselves but the concept of social networking was not that much supported back then.

    I will look forward to experiencing new things in my classroom through my students!

  14. Having a good balance of all three i.e. a teacher, mentor and learner is a great asset to being a teacher.

    It is important to be a good teacher so as to be able to help students draw and discover their hidden source of positive energy on which they will lay foundation of their education.

    The role of the mentor teacher is to COACH the candidate so that their skills can be developed in a supportive environment that promotes risk-taking, and provide opportunities for the student to
    reflect.

    Also, a good teacher is also a learner and should improve his/her teaching skills day by day in order to adapt new teaching methods.

    This link below shows secondary students talk about what characteristics teachers should have to bring about the most positive effect on their learning. Characteristics which we can adopt when we will be practicing this profession:-

    A social networking community for the classroom is something I would consider. Through this, students are able to continue discussion outside the classroom, and share their ideas and work online, which allowed for more opportunities to see other students’ work and learning.

  15. Surely we are teachers, mentors and learners. Yes, we do teach our subject. But that’s not all. Br Roger of Taize’ said: “A child begins to live again when it can feel that it is loved and cared for.” Besides we have to teach our subject, we have to love the students, care for them, listen to them, understand them and be part of their life as well (not excluding that there are boundaries as well).We have to lead the students to be fully human, fully alive – to develop holistically, being a better and full person. This is a quote which stroke me and was my motto in the first teaching practice: “A good teacher is like a candle – it consumes itself to light the way for others.” We also learn from each other – even from the students themselves. All this cannot reflect only inside the classroom, but also outside the classroom. That is why social networking community is important. Students can interact with each other, discuss certain topics, can find out more about the subject you are teaching by posting important links, notes, etc…you can help them when they need to clarify something or have a difficulty. Even students will help each other. You can assess them as well. Collaboration between students works effectively, thanks to these social networks. Students will have a better understanding of the subject, of who they are; that they are capable and able to learn and can do it; to discuss, to impose their ideas, their thoughts, their wishes…that they can socialize, work as a team, care for their mates, be who they are….Surely teaching, mentoring and learning are clearly seen in these social networks 🙂

  16. A teacher is the three elements together. A teacher is a learner because a teacher is not God and like any other person learns something new everyday even from his students in class, is a teacher since he/she has to teach the knowledge he/she has acquired to his/her students and finally a teacher is a mentor who invokes trust and respect towards his/her students where the primary focus is to help them, in other words to solve their problems. The Mentor understands that all students are unique so they should be treated as individuals. The teacher who is all the three elements together must be a role model for his/her students by offering guidance and support.

  17. I agree that a teacher’s role should include teaching, mentoring and learning. Each one of these is important. I want to emphasis on the importance of learning. I believe to be a good teacher one has to be able to evaluate how effective are his/her teaching methods and adapt and change accordingly. Also through interaction with the students, the teacher would learn new things. For example through my teaching practice I learned about other cultures such as Russia and Bulgaria.

    I believe online social network would help in collaborative learning, where teachers and students would learn from each other. In fact I attend a youth organisation where young people use Facebook to share resources, ask for information and young people are informed of latest information re. activities going on in Malta. I don’t agree to use Facebook at school but use a similar system as already suggested by others where it is controlled.

    I would like to share this link- a teacher points out the importance of teachers to learn from their mistake and be innovative.
    (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFMz8JRg8Y8&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PL02B53D309B501406)

  18. In my opinion, rather than looking at my student’s life as just passing of exams and getting good grades, I believe in students gaining something from me for life, whether it is in the form of a text, a passage, a lesson or some topic they will use in their research of a thesis and so on.

    The way I believe this could be done is that before the start of my lectures/ semester, I would request feedback from students regarding what they know and what they expect to achieve from my lessons, which they can insert online through online community sharing systems that the students can view when the semester is over. I would repeat the same feedback and questions to see how they have improved their own perception of my lessons or topics, understand how i can imporve through their eyes and not my own perception of things. The reason being so that i can improve for the following year and they can gauge what they know.

    The same online feedback system can be used so students can gauge what they know and learn from others.

  19. Personally, I believe that teaching, apart from being a profession, is merely a vocation.. So true, in few months’ time, if God permits, we will be educators! Well, besides being a teacher and a learner at the same time, I also want to be a thinker, a dreamer as well as a researcher in my profession. I strongly believe that even though, the teacher is expected to be highly knowledgeable in the subject concerned, what is most important is how he or she delivers such knowledge to the learners. One of the crucial roles that I will implement is identifying the students’ needs and planning the lessons accordingly. I know that a teacher ought to be passionate and fully dedicated in the work preparation in order to keep motivation, enthusiasm and good energy at high levels. We can never say that we are running out of material because thanks to modern technology, it provides us with such incredible resources … am looking forward to make full use of it with my learners… together, throughout the learning process, we will explore it and enjoy its manifestation… Let’s all hope for the best!

  20. I personally belive very much that learning never ends, so when I come to be a “teacher” I would look at myself as a learning and also a mentor guiding my students the right way. I would like to build a professional relationship with my students in order to give them a voice and respect what they have to say, now a day students have great opportunities for learning new things thanks to the Internet, blogs, social networks and so, and yes as an IT teacher I will most definitely spend some time with my studnet’s to show them how useful the Internet world is for education purposes and not only chatting and posting up photos ( as now a days this is what most teenagers use the Internet for). Although I am all for using the Internet, blogging and social networks for education I do see myself using them within the class room, I much prefer the traditional ways of communication and integration with students rather than via social networks and blogs, on the most part I see that when information is passed on via such media there is room for misinterpretation and also lack of room to explain yourself better and communicate in ways that one could face to face. Basically I see myself as a learner and a mentor not really a teacher per-say as really and truly in today’s day and age this is what students need rather than a teacher.

  21. Some time ago I gave my old digital camera to my sone who is 7 years old. He happily started taking photographs which he proudly presented to me to see. Ignoring the blurred ones I could not happen but notice what a different perspective of reality he has when compared to mine.
    Firstly there is his vantage point. Being small he sees things from a different perspective than me.
    Secondly being younger he interprets things differently from me.

    As teachers, at times it helps if we metaphorically speaking, ‘kneel down’ and look at things from the perspective of our students. It helps if we learn to adapt according to the circumstances. It helps if we are all three, teachers mentors and learners.

  22. Like most others have already said, I personally think that as teachers we should strive to be all three. Teachers shouldn’t just limit themselves to teaching their particular subject, but they should also listen to their students’ needs so as to help them understand and guide them through their learning process by helping them solve problems they might encounter. By creating such an environment, not only will the students learn more effectively, but teachers will also reciprocally learn new things from their students such as culture, aspects of everyday life and last but not least even technology.

    With respect to using technology in class, teachers can create a blog and upload notes, handouts or even presentations regarding their subject. In this way students will also be able to leave comments thus enhancing communication and learning between teachers and pupils.

  23. This might not be the right place to comment about blogs but I could not happen to notice that a running trend regarding blogs is to upload notes and other related data and I am quite uncomfortable with this perspective. I also see a very strong relationship between teachers, teaching style, learning, mentoring and the way teachers perceive the application of a blog.

    One thing that I hear students grumble about is that they get a lot about the same thing. Now I am seeing that ‘our’ students are giving a lot of the same thing in different ways. As a rule of the thumb I say that if what you do with an ICT can be done with the book then the ICT is not being used to its full potential. The blog should offer more than that. The blog is there to build attitudes that cannot be readily catered for in a class of 20+ students where finishing the syllabus is a prerogative.

    A teacher should look at the blog as another window of opportunity where our students are handed the driver’s seat. Blogs are opportunistic as they give all students even those that hate being in the limelight (for various reasons) a voice. Blogs allow participants to be their own producers and critics. Blogs should be seen as sources that stimulate participation, self-criticism and other personality traits that will eventually allow students to perceive information and look for information through different approaches, eventually building and mapping into new knowledge on their own accord and much more than can be provided by notes or in class.

    We live in a world where what you know is questionable and where information is easily accessible by everyone. So the people that really stand out are not those who know a lot but those who are not afraid to take initiative and are not afraid to in expressing what they know. We have to look beyond the regurgitation of information to the construction of knowledge.
    But I invite you to follow the link below which incidentally points to a presentation I have referred to while talking about the IWB. In the presentation I first give the characteristics of the blog and then move on to define its pedagogical implications that go well beyond the book approach and which I think should be considered very seriously if we expect to delve in, albeit a decade late, 21st century education, teaching and learning.

    https://vle.um.edu.mt/vle1112/file.php/4895/2._The_Virtual_Desktop_2011.pdf

  24. I think that all three; being a learner, teacher and mentor are all essential. We as educators have to be good mentors in the way we behave and attend to our students’ individual needs. As a teacher, we will not just be teaching our subject, we will also be helping our students gain knowledge; not because they have to because it’s compulsory, but because it is in their best interest and that what is taught is connected to real life issues and problems, whether regional, national or global. It is essential to make them understand that the world is full of knowledge that interests them in same way. At the end of my TP in December, some form 2 and 3 students asked me whether I had passed and where I would start teaching. I told them that although I had finished from teaching them, I am still a student like them, and this is the part where I say that we are learners ourselves, and continue to be. Emphasising the concept of long life learning is fundamental. Just because I’m studying to be a teacher doesn’t mean that I know everything…there might even come a day where they would ask me something that I would not know the answer to. Regarding an online social network, I think it would prove to be very useful; where students could find information, case studies through the use of the Internet with further suggested readings and websites, along with their own comments and suggestions enhancing engagement and learning from each other.

  25. L-għalliema jistgħu jkunu t-tlieta li huma: għalliema, konsulenti (mentors) u edukaturi u nemmen li għalliem xi darba jew oħra se jolqothom kollha kemm huma. L-għalliem mhuwiex qiegħed hemm biss biex jgħallem filfatt nisħqu kontinwament li m’għandniex nużaw il- ‘mug and jug approach’ fejn għandek it-twemmin li l-għalliem ‘ jaf kollox’ jiġifieri qiegħed hemm biex jgħallem u jiddetta bħala buqar mimli bl-ilma u l-istudent inpinġuh bħala ‘mug’ vojt ‘ li ma jaf xejn’ u li qiegħed ‘jistenna li jimtela bl-ilma’. Illum għarafna li għandna npoġġu lill-istudenti fil-qofol tal-klassi u bla dubju ta’ xejn hija għażla għaqlija għall-aħħar għaliex l-istudenti wkoll għandhom ħafna x’joffru lill-għalliema, mhumiex ‘tabula rasa’. Biex isir dan kollu, għalhekk l-għalliema jridu jsiru konsulenti ta’ fiduċja li joffru l-għajnuna u s-sapport meħtieġ lill-istudenti. Fl-aħħar mill-aħħar iridu wkoll ikunu edukaturi għaliex huma jridu joffru ċertu prinċipji edukattivi.

  26. Honestly, I think that when one is in class and practices the profession of a teacher, the first thing that comes naturally, is that to be a teacher. I think that this is affected by the concept by which we were taught, the teacher doing the lesson and the students have to listen to what the teacher is saying. I think that it is a concept which also includes the factor of class management. Maybe some can think that if the teacher is seen as the person with authority then a better class management will result. However it is not the case. By being a teacher, you are a learner and a mentor as well. The teacher needs to know and learn the material being taught which can vary with time. Moreover, the teacher can also learn from his students as well. For example in mathematics, students come up with different methods which are good as well. Finally, the teacher is a mentor where thrust and respect are two important factors not to ignore.

  27. Jien tal-fehma li bħalissa bħala studenti tal-P.G.C.E. għaddejjin minn transizzjoni fejn minn studenti sa nsiru għalliema. Infatti, il-kors hu mqassam bejn żmien li fih inkunu studenti u żmien li fih imorru ngħallmu. Naħseb hi idea tajba li jkollna żewġ perjodi tat-taħriġ għax b’hekk niksbu xi ftit esperjenza. Madankollu, naħseb li dan hu biss il-bidu tal-vjaġġ tiegħi bħala għalliema. Dan għaliex hemm ħafna affarijiet x’għad irid nitgħallem u x’għad irid niskopri biex inkun għalliema effettiva u dejjem aġġornata maż-żminijiet. Jien naħseb li l-għalliem jibqa’ jitgħallem anki meta jsir għalliem. Mill-esperjenza li għandi ngħallem l-Ingliż lill-istudenti nirrealizza kemm l-għalliem dejjem jibqa’ jitgħallem meta jiltaqa’ ma’ nies b’abbiltajiet, interessi, ideat u kulturi differenti. Fil-ħajja taf kemm taf qatt ma hu biżejjed.

    Jien naħseb li tkun idea tajba jekk nuża xi blog mal-istudenti fejn inpoġġi fih informazzjoni dwar dak li jsir fil-klassi u xi qari ieħor li jista’ jsir. Barra minn hekk l-istudenti jkunu jistgħu jgħaddu l-kummenti tagħhom u jistaqsu dwar xi diffikultajiet li jkollhom. L-istudenti jieħdu gost jużaw l-internet. Infatti, fil-bidu tal-perjodu tat-taħriġ meta qassamt kwestjonarju lill-istudenti biex insir nafhom aħjar ħafna minnhom qalu li jħobbu jużaw l-internet u jixtiequ li waqt il-lezzjoni tintuża aktar it-teknoloġija. Għalhekk, naħseb li hu importanti li bħala għalliema nużaw riżorsi bħal blogs u google docs mal-istudenti biex nolqtu aktar l-interessi tagħhom.

  28. Bħala studenti għalliema u futuri għalliema għandna nżommu f’moħħna l-importanza tat-teknoloġija li qiegħda kull ma tmur tikber u titkattar fl-istudenti. Biex timmotiva l-istudenti trid tagħtaf l-interessi tagħhom. Dan il-mod wieħed jista’ jagħmlu fil-bidu tas-sena skolastika u kif aħna bħala studenti tal-PGCE nistgħu nqassmu kwestjonarju lill-istudenti biex insiru nafu fuq fuq l-interessi tal-istudenti. Fit-teaching practice li għaddiet, użajt dan il-metodu u mill-istatistika li ġbart, is-‘social network’ huwa l-aktar imsemmi, issa li kieku dan in-network intuh spinta biex ikun edukattiv ma nagħmlux ħażin. Aħna l-istudenti tal-PGCE nsibu dan in-network utli ħafna għall-kors għaliex fih nesprimu aktar ideat u ħsibijiet li fil-ħin tal-universita ma nkunux nistgħu. Huwa wkoll mezz li jgħaqqadna wkoll għax fih nesprimu iktar lilna nfusna u xi battuta ‘l hemm u ‘l hawn ma tonqosx. Ninsab fic-cert li kieku jien studenta tas-sekondarja wkoll niehu gost intella’ r-ritratti ta’ xi ġita skolastika, nikkoreġi x-xogħol tad-dar bil-kwiet, jiktbu xi ħaġa li jixtiequ u jaqsmuha flimkien jew niftiehem ma’ sħabi fuq xi proġett.

    Barraminhekk inħoss li peress li għandna studenti tat- 21st century rridu nadattaw għalihom. L-istudenti tal-lum jużaw ħafna il-facebook, it-twitter, jużaw programmi tar-ritratti, għalhekk li kieku nkun għalliema nsibha tassew utli li noħloq ‘social network’ mal-istudenti tiegħi biex nitfa l-lezzjonijiet jew reviżjonijiet, eżerċizzju, informazzjoni utli, ċajt għala le?,nistaqsu lill-istudenti fejn jixtiequ jmorru f’xi ħarġa, inħallu lilhom joħorġu bl-ideat tagħhom u jaqsmuhom flimkien.

    L-għalliem m’għandux jibqa’ figura ta’ statwetta fuq wara tal-mejda u jikteb in-noti fuq il-‘whiteboard’ jew jiddetta xi noti. M’huwiex lekċerer imma għalliem għandu bżonn l-interazzjoni mal-istudenti. Xogħol t’għalliem għandu jkun sodisfaċenti meta tibni relazzjoni tajba mal-istudenti tiegħu u jpoġġihom bħala ċ-ċentru tat-tagħllim u jiftakar li t-tagħllim għandu jkun ibbażat fuq dak li diga jafu l-istudenti u l-għalliem ikompli jinforza l-għarfien tagħhom 🙂 🙂

  29. I agree that as teachers we should aim to be teachers, mentors and learners. As years passed by, it is becoming clearer that the 21st Century classroom needs are very different from the ones in the 20th Century. In the 21st Century classroom, teachers are facilitators of student learning and those who create an environment in which students can develop the skills they will need in the future workplace. The focus of the 21st Century classroom is on preparing students with the necessary skills to be active 21st Century workers. The collaborative project-based curriculum used in this classroom develops higher order thinking skills, effective communication skills, and knowledge of technology that students will need in the 21st Century workplace.

    We, as future teachers should be able to deal with different challenges based on the ages of their students. However, no matter how young or how old our students are, we must be able to motivate them. The more motivated students are, the more they will want to learn. This can be challenging for us, because students often do not understand why they need to learn certain subjects. So, we must try to create interest and excitement in subjects that students may not normally find interesting. It is important that we are aware of the importance of building good communication with students.

  30. In order to be really professional and act in a sensible manner, I have to be a Teacher, a Mentor and a Learner at the same time. I agree completely that the classroom should have a sense of community and not having a hierarchical relationship between the teacher and the students. We, as teachers should be responsive to the experiences, interests and needs of the students in our lessons. We should let students have a voice during lessons, communicate their concerns, opinions, ideas, knowledge and experiences. Additionally, we as teachers should facilitate learning by substantiating the theoretical knowledge with practical examples from real life and from students’ experiences. This will help students to own knowledge.

    Moreover, I agree that during my teaching practice there will be sharing of power, authority and responsibility during my classroom practices where I as the teacher will position myself as being also the learner and acquire new knowledge and experiences from students. Thus, in my classroom, everyone will learn from each other including me. We, as teachers should get away from the impression that we are the Experts in the subject and the students are the subordinates who should be filled with knowledge. I will emphasise that during my lessons, there will be discussions, debates, groupwork, use of questioning techniques, arguments from students and criticisms, problem solving exercises, hands on experiences, application of knowledge, integration of knowledge, simulations if possible which all lead to the acquisition of higher order thinking skills such are: Critical Thinking, Creative Thinking, Problem Solving, Evaluation, Analysis, Reflection, formulation of arguments and opinions and enquiry based knowledge. By doing so, students will enjoy learning and have that sense of belonging and community in class.

    It is important that I as a teacher will also have the role of a mentor by assessing my teaching strategies, questioning them, evaluating them and improving on them where necessary. I will constantly ask for students’ feedback because it is a good tool to judge the effectiveness of my teaching method and to check whether students are really understanding, which otherwise, I have to devise alternative ways in order to facilitate the understanding of the lesson.

    Additionally, I am in favour of using online social networks to foster this kind of community building. The teacher can make use of Forums where students together with the teacher discuss, learn from each other, debate, argument and serves also as a good communication tool to develop the full potential of the students and make them holistic persons. I, as the teacher can also use online social networks to post homeworks, assignments, project titles, presentations, notices and other useful stuff for the student. Online Social Networks are also used as a reference for parents to check and verify what homeworks have been assigned to students and to check for any notices given by their respective teachers. Furthermore, any sick students who have missed lessons can easily consult such networks to check what has been covered during their missed lessons and to have access for homeworks, and any notes which might prove useful for the student to learn on his or her own, the material that has been covered during lessons. All of this promotes a Supportive and Caring Relationship to the student.

  31. As a teacher I can have a positive or negative behaviour towards my students so I think it is important to set an educational scene that can pass on enthusiasm, assistance and warmth. A teacher’s experience comes through training and I believe that our teaching practice sessions hold the key to understand ourselves and what we can expect to face very soon. Through training I aim to be a professional in teaching, so my goal is to give my students the right skills and attitude to be successful during their developmental years and towards any career path they may choose to take.

  32. I see myself as all three: teacher, mentor and learner. I believe in the humanistic aspect of teaching, which takes into consideration students feelings of safety and being cared for. This provides a learning environment which is safe and thus students are not afraid to speak up. In my classroom, I would like be slightly authoritarian to ensure that there is discipline, which is essential I believe with adolescents. However I want to foster a learning environment where students enjoy learning for the sake of learning. I want to see a class of students who help each other, who are inquisitive and follow leads on their own. I would like to have formative assessment in the form of portfolios…. whether these are e-portfolios or not, again I would have to say will depend on the students’ socioeconomic status. This because I believe highly in inclusion and would not want students to feel excluded or even singled out. Also, through my subject English, I can encourage autonomy in reading and writing even on blogs. Furthermore I wish to foster higher order thinking skills in my students, so that together through the different material we cover, we will learn more about the world out there. Mostly because from the students I have come across so far I realise that most are engrossed in their Maltese microcosm which does not invite engagement with other micro or macrocosms. This then is problematic if different cultures are present in the same classroom, some students might feel alienated. So basically, yes, I do wish to be teacher, mentor and learner in my class. This evidently is a difficult balance to achieve, but, as they often say: where there is will, there is a way.

    I think this CBC clip is a good start from us as new teachers, there are myriads of other videos but like this one because it shows different teachers’ perspectives.

  33. I hope the below might be useful for you as much to myself. For better qualitative learning we should share resources, ideas and work as teamwork.
    GlogsterEDU: (edu.glogster.com) Glogster EDU is a unique academic resource for interactive and visual learning. It allows teachers and their students to make online multimedia documents with text, photos, videos, graphics, music and other multimedia in a secure virtual classroom.
    Gmail: (http://mail.google.com/mail/) Google is the ruler of email: with the ever–so–popular Gmail application. With 2.5GB, label creators, email search, multi–language support, rich text formatting, contact importing and automatic custom signatures: this app is a teacher’s dream.
    Google Voice: (http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/03/here–comes–google–voice.html) Google Voice is a fantastic app used to help web users manage their voice communications. Educators can use this system to transcribe important conversations with parents of students.
    We should consider ourselves lucky to have the emans of technology and become familiar as much as to fashion. This requires not only a reflection but also assimilation between the student who is often more aware of technological uses and us teachers.

  34. I think that in order to be a good teacher, one needs to be all three combinations of teacher, mentor and learner. In a unit that we have studied recently during this course we encountered the idea of transformative education, in which the teacher moves away from traditional models of teaching which involve the simple transmission of knowledge and onto a different approach to education. This approach involves being open with one’s students, being willing to dialogue with them, listen to their ideas, and share views and opinions with them. It requires the educator to be willing to learn from his/her students and involving them in their learning in an active manner. This thus would require one to be not only a teacher, but also a learner. Educating in this sense does not imply being the one who knows it all, and simply transmitting it to the students, but it is a two way process. Although this is not an easy feat to accomplish, being that we were ourselves taught as objects to whom knowledge was to be transmitted, there are various resources which can help make this task easier. Technology is one of these resources, providing a wide range of options for collaboration. I think that nowadays, we are still facing time constraints within the classroom due to extensive syllabi and curricula, and having an online blog or forum, helps in allowing students the time and space to voice their opinions and ideas. I would attempt to use tools such as Edmodo mentioned above, as this would facilitate communication of ideas. Being that most young people have Facebook, creating a group for the classroom using an account which I would keep solely for educational purposes would also be more relatable to students, as a means which is already familiar to them would be being used, perhaps aiding in their motivation to use it. Social networking would allow an educator to learn new things from pupils and get to know them better, thus helping in planning lessons which are more appealing to them.

    Apart from using technology for social networking, several other resources such as interactive flashcards, interactive classroom activities, videos and multiple modes of representing syllabus content are derived from this concept. I believe that in order for students to learn, they need to be motivated with every increasingly original ideas and ways of content expression and therefore to be the kind of teacher that I would like to be, technology is a must.

    So to answer the above question, I think that an educator should be a teacher who guides students towards gaining new knowledge through multiple means, a mentor who councils students and shares opinions with them, and a learner who is open to the ideas that these young people have, and is willing to transform oneself within the educational experience being provided.

  35. As some of my colleagues have previously pointed out, as P.G.C.E students, we are undergoing a transition from students to teachers. In my opinion, it is not easy getting used to and switching both roles in such a short time. Till now, university life had always prepared us for the role of students and suddenly now we have to get used to our role of educators.

    I think that as educators, we will need to be- all three. We will be teachers because we will transmit the knowledge about the particular subject that we teach and our main job is indeed – teaching. We will also be mentors in the sense that in the student’s eyes; we will be experienced and trusted advisors who will not only transmit the knowledge we have for our subjects but also life lessons and values. Last but not least, we will also be learners: we have to keep in mind that no matter how much experience one has in a particular field, there is always something to learn from everyone. As teachers, we need to keep ourselves open to learning both from our students and from our own mistakes to be able to identify where we need to improve.

    As a future qualified teacher, and as I pointed out in my last post ‘Is it easy to blog…or is it?’ ; I intend to foster community building by means of technological resources. Apart from giving my students written homework and class work for example, I will conduct lessons in the computer lab so that students can engage in online activities

    An example of a simple online activity which would be suitable for homework or class work in which students can revise is the following activity in which students have to classify different Spanish words either as nouns or verbs. One can also choose the level:

    http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/adventure/spanish2.htm#

    This is just one example of the variety of interesting online games and resources available online.

    I also intend to use online social networks to create blogs in which I would be able to post interesting additional material for my students.

    In my opinion, blogging with my students and giving them access to interesting online resources would enhance the student’s learning experience while allocating room for myself, as an educator to also have the role of an active learner in my own class.

  36. The 21st century teacher’s role is no longer that of the lecturer dispensing theories, but is one that is part of the learning process. This entails moving from teachers to mentors in order to faciltate and foster a collaborative learning environment through peer-to-peer learning. I would like to share this clip as it made me reflect that as teachers we should trust and believe more in the students’ potential…the next generation…

  37. i believe that a teacher can give a positive or negative experience to students and our training sessions can provide the best example to understand ourselves, our outcome and what students can expect from our output. I have been very aware of the need to provide exercises and prepare tasks that are suited to their interests, their level of development and pace. Teaching practice has also helped me develop my skills in being responsive to their immediate needs, whilst gauging their speed of intake.

    I believe in working towards providing opportunities for my students to experience learning as an enjoyable activity, and to learn from each other. I also have recognised the need for students to learn in groups which helps to avoid a sense of competitiveness between them and help generate a more safe environment. I know that this is a process but each experience can help me take on the next challenge.

  38. I think a good teacher is a combination of all three. Obviously we are teachers, we have the responsibility of teaching our students the content of the curriculum so that they can be academically successful. Of course, how we teach the content depends on our individual personalities as well as that of our students. We are also mentors, having the responsibility of facilitating the learning of our students, being good role models and being always there to help our students with whatever they need, be it academic help or otherwise. We are also learners ourselves, and not just in the first years of our profession. We should be open to learning new things about teaching all the time. We should always be open to new ideas and new methodologies. We should keep ourselves updated on the recent developments in education, through the internet, blogs, twitter, educational journals… this information could come from anywhere. But we should also be open to learning new things from our students. We should not be arrogant and think that we know it all. Our students can teach us new things everyday, about anything. We should listen to our students, they might surprise us with what they have to offer.

  39. I strongly believe that building a good rapport is one of the most important aspects of teaching. I would like to be a friend to my students, someone they can approach and confide in. Yet I do realise that this might pose certain challenges regarding behavioural issues and management. I think it is different with teaching practice as learners seem to take advantage of the fact that you are a student teacher. Also, there is not enough time to get to know your students as well as you wish.

    I intend to use technology to enhance learning and collaboration. Teachers have now taken on the role of facilitator -facilitating the learning experience. Technology goes hand in hand with promoting autonomous learning and encouraging students to discover for themselves making it fundamental to today’s classrooms. This can be done through interactive mind maps, flashcards, visuals and the various other tools. I will definitely use the proposed ideas and would like to create an online space where I can share information, handouts and activities with my students over the internet. This way I can also share useful resources and tools that I believe will help my learners.

  40. I can see myself in all three roles, that of a teacher, learner and mentor. I particularly see myself as learner, since there are a lot of things one can learn from students. In fact I already experienced this in my first TP. However for teachers to be learners in their classrooms they have to be open to new ideas and they also have the responsibility to create the right environment where students are encouraged to speak their mind. In addition the teacher must show students (through her actions) that their contribution is highly valued so that they are encouraged to communicate their ideas.

    Sometimes I feel that I left my creativity somewhere along the way… and therefore I personally feel that can learn a lot from adolescents… their ideas and creativity really helps to boost me up!

    Let us not forget this quote by Socrates: “I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.” I personally like to keep this quote in mind because it serves to remind me that the day I will start believing that I know everything is the day when I will stop learning!!

  41. Since this is a profession, first and foremost I see myself as a teacher in that the students I am going to teach are going to look up to me as a source of information and to guide them through their learning process. However, since there’s so much information out there and there’s an unlimited amount of resources I will find myself as a learner both from the material I intend to teach along with the students. I think learning is a two way process and just as much as learners aquire skills from their teachers, teachers can aquire insightful knowledge from their student’s. Children are the future after all.

  42. An educator means having the opportunity to appeal to the student’s intellect
    and helping them have a positive approach towards the course material.
    i believe that if i do show enthusiasm then the students are mmost likely to be
    engaged, interested and eager to learn.
    i have experienced how showing positive influence towards the students have
    showed stronger confidence in approaching class discussions and each other.
    students enjoy feeling integrated and part of a team and i feel this aspect of teaching
    is what i would like to explore further as part of my teaching experience.
    today students have harder goals to meet and this calls for new strategies
    particulalry in joining class syllabus with their emotional abilitities to cope.

  43. I think a teacher has to be both a mentor and a learner in order to be affective. First of all in order to teach the content in the most attractable way a teacher has to learn what are the likes and dislikes of the student and look up for interesting ways in order to attract the pupils and make learning as fun as possible to everyone. Additionally for learning to become possible a teacher have to have a good classroom management which I think is achieved by giving students a say in the rules of the class and even in classroom problems ; making them feel included in the school system.
    Most importantly for a teacher to improve and become more professional, s/he must learn from his own mistakes and experiences so that one can improve. Therefore a teacher cannot stop learning as soon as s/he starts teaching. Especially now in the era of the technological world, a teacher must always keep up to date with new innovations of how to interest the students.

    Here I found a video that promotes a website made just to promote teacher learning communities where teachers can share resources and learn from each other:

  44. Fuq dal-punt nemmen li hemm 3 punti ewlenin…

    kuxjenza
    hila
    atitudni

    jien dejjem nemmen li dinja ideali hija dik ibbazat fuq il-kelma “AESthetic”. Idealistika kemm trid bhalha idea pero jien inhobb nabbina l-ewwel tliet ittri taghha mal-kliem Attitude, Energy & Skill. Il-bniedem ghandu l-intellet li jifforma parti integrali minn dak kollu li jsehh, u ghaldaqstant ma jista’ fl-ebda progett partikulari jinsa l-fatturi li jaghmluh parti minn komunita li ghanda l-fakulta mhux biss li tahseb fuq dak li qed jintqal izda wkoll tiggudika u tiehu azzjoni. Sabiex il-bniedem jikkonvinci lilu innifsu u lil ta’ madwaru li qieghed jaghmel qieghed jaghmlu b’mod gust irid l-ewwel u qabel kollox jidhol ghalih b’atitudni u kuxjenza ta’ energija pozittiva. Dawn huma l-principji bazici li wiehed jitrasmetti f’dak kollu li jaghmel b’permezz ta’ body language, b’permezz ta’ rizorsi li juza, b’permezz tal-kliem u l-lingwagg, ecc. Qieghed nenfasizza dawn il-punti ghaliex lill-istudenti tieghek trid tipprova kemm jista’ jkun tressaq lejn is-suggett li hu tant ghal qalbek bl-iktar lenti miftuha u wiesa. Ta’ xejn tipprova tbellghalhom il-materjal, jew tipprova tatihom l-impressjoni li dak li qed tghid huwa vangelu dament li inti stess ma ghandekx in-namra hajja ta’ l-‘amor proprio’ li turihom li dak li qed taqsam kapaci jinfluwenzalhom hajjithom daqs kemm influwenza lil tieghek.
    Hawnhekk hu fejn tidhol l-iskill (il-hila) personali li tuza dak kollu li kapaci jaghmel il-lezzjonijiet tieghek interessanti. Irrelevanti tuzax teknologija moderna u avvanzata ghal metodi diversi li jqanqlu interess xorta wahda. Tiddeciedi tkunx ghalliem, motivatur, gwida, instigatur jew inkella sempliciment bniedem li tixtieq tohloq kuxjenza, jien immur ghal ta l-ahhar. Jekk tibda’ minn hemm tista’ timrah fl-entitajiet u rwoli kollha l-ohra. L-importanti huwa li z-zomm frasek li minn kull esperjenza li ser tghaddi minnha ser titghallem u ser tghinek tifformula grupp ta’ esperjenzi li flimkien jigwidawk lejn xiex ghandu jkun il-pass li jmiss. Li tohloq distinzjoni cara bejn it-3 binarji apparti li nemmen li hu hsieb ftit immatur, tkun qed torbot lilek innifsek ma idea wahda u ghaldaqstant qed titlef dak kollu li hu pozittiv mill-binarji l-ohra 😉

    m

  45. One cannot be a true and a professional teacher without keeping himself/herself up-to-date by learning new things and adopt them in his/her teaching strategies. One cannot be one without being the other in other words a teacher is also a learner. First of all in a student-centred scenario we believe that we can learn a lot from our students.
    As a future social studies teacher social networking is undoubtedly an important arena to exploit diligently. There is already a Facebook page set and run by social studies teachers who post regularly subject and lesson related material. Therefore it is certainly a good start. But from this blogging experience I will surely try to set up a blog for my students. It extends class discussions, easy to ask questions and propose opinions and it transforms the whole learning experience to another fascinating level.

  46. As Dorothy Cushieri, has implied in a previous comment, I strongly agree in having a subject class where, when the student enters the class s/he can integrate with the subject material, because of the class setup and the resources related to that particular subject. I think a class subject helps in the students learning.

    As others have already commented about there are already various websites set where students have access to download past papers etc, However if the teacher of a particular subject creates a blog for a particular school, I think it strengthens the student/teacher relationship and also the teacher can post material that is adapted for the readiness of the students in the subject.

  47. I believe my role as a teacher would be that of a learning coach who facilities learning by using effective resources which will motivate my students to learn. Apart from that I also aim to be a mentor. As much as they need academic guidance, students may also need social and psychological guidance to be successful. A teacher must create a warm, caring and protective environment but at the same time remain professional. I think that a teacher who shows respect to her students gets respect back from them. Teachers need to think about what their students are feeling.

    Finally i must also say that it doesn’t mean that because we are teachers “We know it all”. There may be situations especially in my subject (Computer Studies which is always evolving) where students know about new technologies and innovation that the teacher may have never heard of before. As a teacher I must be willing to learn new things even from my students.

    I think that a successful teacher must love this career in order to be able to pass enthusiasm, and to provide a caring environment to the students.

  48. I truely agree with the above, updating knowledge requires a life-long learning process. We are indeed in a constant learning as otherwise our reflective and redemptive paractices would not be practicle. After all I think that’s the main reason why we do reflections on our lessons delivered. Let ourselves be again in our school days when what we wished to achieve, now we shall enhance it and deliver it and find the best teaching style for those in need. Once we reach this goal there is no better fulfillment. It’s like digging for gold which you suddenly experience the feeling of finding it. At least this is how I felt when low ability students remarked that certain instructional preferences which were not offered before paved the way to a positive transfer in learning. In this sense we can make LIFE LEARNING LIVE LONGER at least for the majority.

  49. I believe that education is a lifelong learning process.
    I am willing to learn from my students and I know that if I retain an open perspective towards their feedback I can learn more.
    The challenge is to be firm and disciplined with oneself and one’s eagerness to improve.

  50. I would like to see myself as a balance of the three …that would be the ideal way: teachers, mentors and learners. However I think we can easily fall to a particular side without knowing due to many reasons. ( e.g. curriculum stress)

    The essence of education has to be a close relationship between a knowledgeable, caring adult and a secure, motivated child. I think we should emphasise to the students that we are not an encyclopedia and we makes mistakes. Students learn from us on the subject and the way we do and we learn from them on particular subjects that they are experiencing during their adolescence. And as others had said.. experience would make us better. We must keep in mind that students are active creators of knowledge.

  51. Aktar minn mentor, teacher, jew learner, jiena nara lili innifsi bhala xi hadd li MIEXI ma’ dawn lis-studenti. Jiena kumpann. Illum it-tfal jafu jitghallmu wehdihom. Access ghall-internet kwazi ghandu kulhadd. Jiena nemmen li ser inkun maghhom biex nigwidhom meta jehlu, infemhom meta ma jifhmux… u ghaliex le, anke biex nitghallem xi haga jiena wkoll!

  52. Nowadays we’re living in a community were everyone (or nearly everyone) has a computer and has access to the internet. This makes it easier for a teacher to use technology in her/his favour, in order to communicate and share information with the students. I think that we should be teaching, menotring our students and be learners in our own class. Students are growing up surrounded by digital technology so I wouldn’t be surprised if in class I find a student who is more up to date and informed than me in this digital world. We should teach our students through technology by using videos, showing them images and animations, we can organize webquest where students would be searching and browsing the web but at the same time they would be learning.

    Here is a very interesting link which i found explaining how a webquest should be done in class:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4rel5qOPvU. I see myself using the online networks to share notes with my students and also solve any problems that they might have during their homework or during their studies

  53. From my last teaching practice, first of all I see myself as a teacher. I am the person in charge who is doing the lesson and the students are listening to what the teacher is saying. By being a teacher you are a learner as well. Teachers can learn a lot from their students. Students come up with many different ideas and methods. The teacher is a mentor as well where respect between the teacher and the student is a very important.
    Regarding the use of social networks such as facebook between the students and the teachers, I wouldn’t mind at all. Nowadays, students spend a lot of time using facebook and it will be a useful tool to get to know your students and share resources to them.

  54. We can never stop learning. Even if one may think that he knows everything, you still have a lot to learn from other people, from everyday situations, new encounters, developing worlds…that’s why learning is amazing…because it is dynamic, lively and infinite..life-long learning right? So I firmly am not afraid to continue being a learner despite of the fact that hopefully in a few months time I will be a teacher myself. It’s incredible how you can learn from students and therefore a teacher shall not acquire an attitude of i-know-it-all and the students cannot contribute. You might be surprised at what students know, not necessarily in quaNtity of facts and content, but in the quaLity of their knowledge. I encountered this in my first teaching practise. I teach geography. It is important to state that it is a very marginal subject and this is the nice thing about it – that it is linked directly with many sectors that are inter-dependant on each other, yet it does not specify, we leave that up to our fellow hydrologists, geologists, meteorologists, pedologists etc! While teaching the topic volcanoes to form 2 students, a very bright student asked me about ‘obsidian’ which I had never heard, neither spelled! (being purely geo-chemical scientific stuff). I felt very helpless at that instant however I was honest with him and admitted that I did not know, promising him to answer the following lesson. To cut the long story short, then I googled it and got to know it was a naturally occurring gas emitted by volcanoes…YOU NEVER STOP LEARNING! especially from your students who should not thus be underestimated!

  55. Bħala futura għalliema nħoss li din il-karriera tinvolvi għadd ta’ rwoli li għandi naqdihom sabiex inkun għalliema tajba. Qabelxejn nemmen li għalliema għandha tagħmel ħilitha kollha sabiex tmexxi lill-istudenti tagħha ’l quddiem. Għandha wkoll ir-responsabbiltà li tiżviluppahom edukament iżda wkoll intelletwalment, soċjalment u emozzjonalment. Il-mira tagħha għandha tkun għall-edukazzjoni ħolistika. L-għalliema m’għandhiex tqis it-tagħlim bħala prodott iżda bħala proċess. Għalhekk l-iskop tat-tagħlim m’għandux ikun biss biex l-istudenti jagħtu riżultati tajbin fl-aħħar tas-sena iżda l-għalliema għandha timmira għal tagħlim li jkabbarhom u jservi ta’ ġid għalihom fil-ħajja kollha tagħhom. Għalhekk l-għalliema għandha tgħaddi dak li taf b’mod ħaj li jimmotiva lill-istudenti.
    Nemmen li għalliema tajba għandha toħloq relazzjoni tajba mal-istudenti. Minbarra li għandha l-irwol li tgħaddi s-suġġett tagħha lill-istudenti trid isservi wkoll bħala ġenitur. L-għalliema għandha turi li jimportaha mill-istudenti u anke li tifhimhom. Għandha wkoll tagħti kuraġġ lill-istudenti biex jakkwistaw dak li jixtiequ. Nemmen ukoll li l-għalliema għandha tippromovi d-diversità u tipprova tinkludi lil kulħadd waqt il-lezzjonijiet.
    Huwa essenzjali li l-għalliema m’għandhiex taħseb li taf kollox u li l-istudenti għandhom biss jisimgħu l-ispjegazzjonijiet tagħha mingħajr ma juru l-opinjonijiet tagħhom. L-għalliema għandhom iżommu f’moħħhom li l-istudenti huma mimlija esperjenza li jistgħu jgħallmu wkoll lill-għalliema. Dawn huma l-istrateġiji ideali li jien bħala għalliema futura nemmen li għandi nwettaq mal-istudenti tiegħi.

  56. I believe that as teachers we should aim to be all three: teachers, mentors and learners. I totally agree with those who believe that teaching is a two way process. Although our aim is teach, as we go along we will definitely learn a lot from the students themselves because no matter how much we know, there is always something new to learn. It is important that we listen to what our students have to say as this is essential to creating a good rapport between the teacher and the students, without which learning will not be possible.

    Communicating with the students is really important. Whereas before it was difficult to communicate with the students outside the classroom, in the 21st century, one can do this quite easily through an online community. I have already signed up to Edmodo as I intend to use it in my next teaching practice. That way, if my students have any problem, or they have something to share with their class mates, they can do it through this online community. They would also be able to access links that I would post there related to the material covered in class. This would serve to enhance the students’ learning. Moreover, by contributing to this online community by sharing their ideas, the students will take on a more active role in their learning and thus become more autonomous. This is important as learning does not stop once the students are out of school, but it should remain with them for life.

  57. I do see myself as being the teacher that together with my students we will build our own “culture” and community… I will not only teach but definitely I will learn.

    I will do what I can, where I can with what I have (Roosevelt)… Therefore, I will be more than happy to use any technological resources available to me as long as they would enhance students’ learning.

    Surely “success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm” (Churchill)… This is I think is very important because as teachers we’re surely not going to succeed with all of our students (even though we may want to do so), but we have to try and succeed with each and every one of them with the same enthusiasm each time.

  58. We must keep in mind that we also learn from our students not just us teach them. We also have to listen to what the students are saying to us. We need to get to know them and also be willing to learn from them to.

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