Some food for thought

I would just like to remind you that we still have the MOODLE VLE running and that there is quite some material there which I am sure you will find interesting. We have spoken a lot about the technology but we also need to speak about the way the teacher teaches – how the teacher presents himself/herself to the audience. From your comments I can observe that you, like me, do not believe that a teacher is an orator who stands in front of the class and teaches. I personally believe that a teacher should entertain – a teacher should engage – a teacher should animate. Like many of you said, technology on its own is not enough. When designing your resources, design them with a degree of understanding of how you and your audience will make use of them. Although the VLE, will give you a link on how to improve on static presentations please bear in mind that your charisma and your personality, ultimately will be that which will have a personal influence on the people you have in front of you.

 

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54 thoughts on “Some food for thought

  1. I totally agree with what you have said and written here. First of all, thanks for sharing good material on vle. I do believe that we as teachers should produce active learning, which consists of autonomy, co-operative strategies, challenging content and metacognision. I believe that every teacher has to use productive pedagogy framework, which consists of supportiveness, understanding difference, connectedness and intellectual quality. A teacher should engage students in the classroom. There has to be collaborative work in the classroom, and inclusion. It is true that technology is not enough – one has to use it in relation to the content being taught. Yes, teacher’s charisma and personality surely will influence the students. According to William Arthur Ward, “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” Every teacher has to be full of energy and be positive, full enthusiasm to teach, with a smile in his/her face, knows well the content being taught, understands the students and wants them the best, sees their abilities, include everyone, be dedicated, knows how to teach, and uses different learning styles. This video shows what are the qualities of a great teacher: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlpBZPLJ0lA. And don’t forget: “A teacher is like a candle – it consumes itself to light the way for others.” 🙂

  2. I definitely agree -like advertising, the teacher must sell her subject! I still believe that much of students’ success or failure depends on the teacher. From my own personal experience..back in secondary school my French lessons were SO boring and it put me off French forever! I think the teacher needs to look at the classroom as her theatre, there to engage the audience and keep them interested -no matter how much creativity it takes.

  3. For things to work out, in mostly all the situations, balance is peripheral. The same goes for teaching. It’s important that teachers keep up to date with the current changes effecting learning, but also is of importance their personality and the way they deliver lessons.

    Teachers need to create supportive environment and try to establish positive reciprocal relationships with their students and promote harmonious relationships amongst students themselves. Various researches (Battistisch et al, 1997 and Solomon et al, 2000) indicate that if teachers are not interested in students’ needs, have little or no expectations for their students and above all don’t provide a warm and caring environment, students tend to be disengaged in learning, unmotivated to learn, manifest antisocial behavior and the level of anxiety increases. This all shows that teachers are responsible in the make up or break up a student.

    It is useless that teachers implement technology in the classrooms, and not implementing the key ingredients that foster student centered learning. In order to do this, in my opinion, teachers need to be understanding, helpful and at the same friendly. By friendly, I’m not saying that they should be their friends because I still believe that certain boundaries have to be established in order to maintain effective discipline. The last but not least, in order for students to be actively engaged in learning, teachers need to move away from the guessing games syndrome and the right answerism, where students are allowed to talk only when giving answers.

  4. I think that teaching is not based only on technology, but it is a mixture of technology and drama. Yes the teacher should be an actor in her classroom; her role is to teach through action. Lessons must be based on creativity so as to activate children’s fantasy and make them ‘fly’ away from the classroom. As Maslow’s theory states, children, after having their basic needs satisfied, they must also feel safe in the place they are. In fact the teacher by activating the children fantasy makes them feel safe in her classroom and therefore they can lower their affective filter (Krashen) and, without knowing it, learn.

  5. I totally agree with what has been said in the above comments. When I think of my own school days, teachers who used to enter the class with a positive attitude and who used to teach with passion and enthusiasm can still come to mind and I remember myself looking forward to their lesson. The attitude, charisma and personality of the teacher play a major role because at times “teachers teach more by what they are than what by they say”.

  6. I definitely agree. In the past teachers used to be the major source of knowledge, the leader and educator of their students’ school life. Nowadays, teachers give information and show their students how to go about it. Although, teachers should have maximum control of their class we can define 21st teachers as facilitators in the learning process. They are supporters rather than educators.

    Teachers should promote student-centered teaching methods. In this type of learning, teachers will shift the focus activity to the learners. The latter should be actively involved. They should be expected to solve problems, answer questions, formulate questions of their own, discuss, explain, debate and brainstorm during class. Teachers should use collaborative learning were students work in teams to solve problems and reach goals under conditions that assure both positive interdependence and individual accountability. During these past years student-centered methods were shown to be superior to the traditional teacher-centered approach to instruction because students’ depth of understanding increased.

    Moreover, teachers should be the link between school and the world. We, as future teachers should use modern and interesting resources so that we can cultivate interest, motivation and engagement in our students. This can be done through the use of the interactive whiteboards. We can include pictures, videos and on-line activities. These can be very helpful to capture students’ attention.

  7. Very well, indeed! Personality plays a crucial part in the role of the teacher! We, as future educators, ought to say ‘bye’ to the traditional thinking of teaching, mainly the T-C (teacher – class) and SSS (students working on their own) interactions, teachers staying in the middle-front where the desks are set in single rows and above all, we should forget the way how the teacher used to present himself/herself – as someone who is there just to preach and to teach… We must also become their friends by keeping at the same time some distance. If we want to be respected by our learners, we should first respect them! We have to show them affection and spread a warm atmosphere around the classroom. Personally, I believe that satisfaction is received when one hears his/her learners saying “Great! It is time to have that teacher in class!” Wish you all the best of luck in your profession, or more precisely, in your vocation! 😉 🙂

  8. As we all know a teacher must do his/her utmost to create a warm and protective environment which helps in making students feel more secure in the classroom.
    I personally think that school is a place where one goes to learn, but I also believe that at times having fun is also a necessity. Students learn faster when they feel attracted to an exciting lesson or a particular subject and therefore teachers must plan their lessons ahead and try and be as creative as possible.

    • I totally agree with Sharon. It’s useless to base a lesson on a lecture approach considering the immensity of technology we can use in order to teach in a more effective manner. And i totally agree with the post saying that a teacher should be an entertainer. From my own experience, a teacher that involves his students in a lesson is much more effective than another teacher that gives a whole 40 minutes of lectured information ! I also believe that a great motivational introduction to a lesson can make a teacher’s life much easier because it encourages the students to feel curious about what’s coming next !

    • I perfectly agree with Sharon, I think that the personality of the teacher will make or break the lesson because if a student doesn’t like you, it’s difficult to engage him/her in the activities. However, personality without animation is just as meaningless in my opinion and the lesson will still be uninteresting and unengaging.

      I could see this during my observation where even though the teacher was very caring, the students still didn’t take any notice of her because she simply read from the book. Whereas another teacher (who in opinion is rather cold) was more engaging because she used the right activities, pace and engaged in dialogue with the students.

  9. Reading the various articles and blogs present in this website, I can’t not remember my days when at secondary school. Things have changed so much, not only from a technological point of view, which certainly has made huge steps in advance, but also in the definition of what a teacher is. Nowadays we are seeing the role of a teacher more of a ‘fun person’, transmitting ideas in fun ways. Furthermore, nowadays the teacher is more like a facilitator, one who bridges the gap between having the information to learn and the learning itself. The teacher presents the information to the students, the students learn through inquisitive learning and through curiosity whilst the teacher is guiding them. I do believe that this is the way to go because it re instills the sense of learning for curiosity rather than learning to pass exams.

  10. I have to go on and agree with most of you saying that a teacher is responsible for making the students interested and making them want to come back to the lesson eagerly. Looking back at my days as school I can clearly remember looking forward to going to on lesson in particular but then not looking forward to a different lesson, the question is – why that lesson and not another? I agree that it is completely up to the teacher as in an enjoyable lesson the teacher is friendly but firm, provides enjoyable and engaging content, makes his or her lesson different from the rest and so on. I feel using what you all have mentioned will help us when it comes to trying our best to make out lessons the on students loom forward to rather than the one students only attend because they have to. If we manage to interest our audience and get them eager to learn more about the subject we would have a much nicer engaged audience and they will always look forward to attending 🙂

  11. The way in which the educational system has changed is a way in which we are trying to explore new media to get students more motivated. Just by looking at the diffent media that nowadays are available to be used both by the teacher and the students will make the learning environment more fun. There should be more interaction between the teacher and the students in order for the latter to learn and explore new things that never before were accomplished.

  12. Kif għedt tajjeb ħafna int u kif qalu wkoll tajjeb sħabi li kkummentaw, l-għalliem importanti ħafna li jkollu d-don tal-kariżma bħala parti mir-riżorsi li jġorr miegħu kuljum. Kif ħafna studenti jixhdu, li għalliem jiċċajta magħhom spiss, ikollu tbissima sabiħa fuq fommu u li bi kliemu jkun kapaċi jnissel enerġija u atmosfera pożittiva lill-kumplemanet tal-klassi, huma meqjusa bħala karatteristiċi ta’ għalliem tajjeb. Naf li forsi li tista’ tinstema’ bħala analoġija barra mill-kuntest imma meta niftakar f’persuni kariżmatiċi bħal m’huma l-Papa Ġwanni Pawlu t-tieni, Martin Luther King, Barack Obama u sidna Ġesù Kristu, ma nistax ninsa kemm nies importanti bħal dawn ġibdu nies għal warajhom u kemm ingħataw rispett. Għalhekk, il-kariżma hija abiltà li tgħinha ħafna lilna l-għalliema. Kif jgħid tajjeb Dr.Tony Alessandra, il-kariżma ma nitwildux biha, kif forsi uħud jaħsebu, iżda hija ħila li nistgħu niżviluppawha maż-żmien.

    Għalhekk ħbieb inħeġġiġkom li mal-użu tat-teknoloġija, mal-mod pulit ta’ kif nilbsu biex nagħtu eżempju, u mal-affarijiet pożittivi kollha li semmejna f’dan il-blog, nippruvaw niżviluppaw aktar din il-ħila ħalli niġbdu kemm jista’ jkun is-simpatija tal-istudenti u t-tagħlim tagħna jkun aktar effettiv. U għaliex le? Nispiċċaw bl-istudenti tagħna jridu jimitawna u jsiru bħalna. Mhux sodisfazzjon doppju? 🙂

  13. I agree 100%, personality plays an important role when it comes to teaching. The way a teacher presents her lesson can either make her students wants to learn more about the subject or even makes the students hate the subject. Therefore without doubt the teacher together with technology and motivating resources help the individual promotes a particular subject.

  14. Naqbel ħafna mal-kumment li hu importanti ħafna l-mod ta’ kif tgħallem l-għalliema. Infatti, mill-esperjenza tiegħi bħala studenta kont niddeċiedi jekk jogħġobnix is-suġġett jew le skont l-għalliema li tgħallem dak is-suġġett. Hu essenzjali li l-għalliem ipoġġi lill-istudenti fiċ-ċentru. Niftakar meta kont studenta kien hemm lezzjoni li vera kienet iddejjaqni. Dan għaliex l-għalliema kienet tidħol fil-klassi u toqgħod taqra mill-ktieb u rari kienet tinvolvi lill-istudenti jew tuża xi riżorsi. Għalhekk, wara l-ewwel ħames minuti kont niddejjaq u nibda nħares lejn l-arloġġ u ngħodd biex nara kemm fadal biex tispiċċa l-lezzjoni. Għall-kuntrarju ta’ dan, ftit taż-żmien ilu għamilt kors dwar kif tgħallem l-Ingliż lill-istudenti. F’dan il-kors vera ħadt gost għax tul il-lezzjoni l-għalliem kien jinvolvi lill-istudenti kollha u kien juża riżorsi differenti. Madankollu, hu importanti li l-għalliema tuża riżorsi tajbin u addatati għall-istudenti li tkun qed tgħallem.

    Barra minn dan hu importanti li l-għalliema jkollha relazzjoni tajba mal-istudenti u tinkludi lil kull student mingħajr ma tagħmel preferenzi. Nixtiqkom taraw dan il-vidjow qasir: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHapv0Tv7vM li fih tistgħu taraw it-tweġibiet tal-istudenti tal-iskola sekondarja meta staqsewhom liema huma l-kwalitajiet li jagħmlu għalliem tajjeb?

  15. Exactly, the teacher has to build a supportive environment in the classroom, where every student feels safe, valued, comfortable to practice appropriate and acceptable behaviors as an individual and as a group and not be fearful to attempt a task or a challenge. A safe base where students can be inquisitive, make mistakes, take more responsibility for own learning and behavior should be created. The teacher has to promote students’ sense of confidence and sense of competence (self esteem, self efficacy, sense of control). Rules have to be negotiated, simple and framed positively. A responsive, consistent, nurturing, respectful, encouraging and honest relationship should be present, so students can learn and develop. The students must feel accepted and worthy in the classroom.
    High quality teacher-student relationship is equally important for all students. Every student must feel important in the classroom. A positive climate in the classroom is created by focusing not only on improving your relationships with your students, but also on enhancing the relationships among your students (Charney, 2002; Perry & Weinstein, 2003).
    The language discourse used by the teacher also plays a major part – the teacher must use inclusive language. All students develop at different rates and we as educators should be aware of this. Learning and lesson content must be adapted to the developmental level of the child – differentiated learning using multiple teaching strategies related to inclusive education while taking into account the mixed abilities of the students.
    Hence, technology is essential, but technology isn’t like ‘a magic wand’ which can create the perfect environment and promotes learning for our students. It is just a tool that we can’t live without in our modern society; however other factors must be taken into account!

  16. I completely agree with what you have written in this post. I strongly believe that a teacher is not just there to teach the curriculum content. In all honesty, I think anyone can follow a list of topics that need to be covered and feed students information about each one. What makes a good teacher is the ability to be creative with the content that needs to be covered, using whatever resources available. A good teacher should be able to individualize lessons to make them appealing to a particular class of students. Teenagers tend to lose interest in things very quickly, and school subjects are no exception. So a teacher must to be able to engage students and hold their attention. She or he must sell the subject. I think one of the marks of a good teacher is the ability to make students look forward to future lessons.

  17. I agree with what everyone is saying. The teacher ultimately have the greatest influence on the class. It is the role of the teacher to interest the students with the subject and also to create an environment where s/he promotes collaboration and support. The relationship between the teacher and the class and the way the teacher portrays the subject are essential for motivating students to learn and wanting more. So although technology helps a lot to make the students interested in a subject, the teacher have to do his/her part as well to contribute in maximising learning. I think that if we go into a classroom with the idea that the students are the audience and we are the actors it would become easier to promote the subject and engage our students.

  18. I totally agree with the statement that “a teacher should entertain – a teacher should engage – a teacher should animate.” A teacher should be the person in the class that motivates students to engage themselves, and to do so, there must be someone who breaks the ice. This person will most probably be the teacher. During my teaching practice, I tried to encourage students to take part into a role play, and from what I noticed, it was a success. Students were motivated to participate and enjoyed this exercise. With this post, I’m asking myself what would it be for the students if I participated into this role play? A teacher being an actor in class would be possible even without technology. It’s all a matter of willingness and motivation in front of others.

    Maybe some teachers feel more confident with technology as they are not the main subject of the class, and students may have something else to look at. There must be balance in a classroom, and resources must vary between the traditional and the technological. Students will get bored having always the same type of lesson, and even technology may do so. Being what you really are in front of students will let you get more familiar with them.

  19. I would like to add that I am in accordance with most of the views that you and my colleagues have, regarding the role of technology and the teacher in the classroom.

    Until a few years ago, the distance between the teacher and the student, used to be emphasized in the sense that (for the sake of utilizing the same term that you used), the teacher used to act and serve as the ‘orator’ in the class: the one who dictates the lesson.
    There was little or no room for student participation and the teaching style in the classroom was more authoritarian rather than authoritative.

    Nowadays, the emphasis is upon giving students the opportunity to engage, to have an active role in the classroom and to be able to analyze their learning and identify their learning style.

    I also need to point out the difference between a ‘teacher’ and ‘an educator’ as the former word entails, a teacher is there to teach, to teach the subject, to teach values, to teach manners. The latter, however, in my opinion, gives a more holistic view of our irreplaceable role in the classroom. The word ‘educator’ implies that we are there not just to ‘teach’ but to educate our students, not just academically, or simply through lecturing them but through being active role models who fully engage in their learning experience.

    I really liked the analogy some of my colleagues used to explain our roles as educators in the classroom. I agree that an educator should present her/him self as an actor in the classroom. To put it more clearly, as you said, an educator should animate the students and should be aware of their needs both as a group and as individuals.

    Technological resources will enhance the teaching and learning experience on a number of different facets: It will make it more interactive, more engaging and after all more fun, however as you pointed out; the most important thing is HOW the educator transmits the knowledge.

    For learning to be effective and engaging, educators should make sure of sociometrics to be aware of the peer interactions in the classroom. Moreover, they should educate and transmit values to students to be able to put the concept of ‘collaborative learning’ into practice. The introduction of ‘peer tutoring’ is a very good concept through which educators will demonstrate how peers can help each other during classroom tasks and hence, allocate more room for individual attention.

    To conclude, I would like to close with an analogy that has just popped into my mind.
    Let us compare the use of technology in the classroom and the way the educator transmits the knowledge with a plate of pasta. Each one of us is aware that when we go to eat in a restaurant and choose a plate of pasta, we choose the sauce with the ingredients we like…the more the ingredients appeal to our taste buds, the more we will enjoy eating it. However, we also know that it would not be very pleasant if the waiter would just serve as a plate full of delicious sauce, without any pasta.

    In this analogy, technology in the classroom is the delicious pasta sauce and the pasta itself is the way the educator educates and her/his personality in the classroom. The pasta on its own is still edible and so is the sauce but on their own they will not be enough to satisfy our hunger. The same goes for technology and educators – The way the educator engaged him/her self in the classroom is the main ingredient and technology will enhance the teaching and learning experience in various ways.

  20. Media and other technologies are merely tools, designed to facilitate our lives. However, it is the person behind the particular technology who makes it smart and useful. Therefore, technologies do not replace qualities or do the work of a teacher. Rather, I would say they prove the abilities and competence of the teacher in the way he/she uses the tools (technology) at hand.

    Thus this shows that technology does not change the role of a teacher but it highlights it.

  21. I totally agree with the very last statement in the post which says that ultimately the teacher’s personality will be that which will have a personal influence on the students. As good educators, I believe that teachers should consider it their duty to educate and train students for life and should feel responsible for it. As humans, sometimes teachers do things that are not correct however they always have another chance to do it better. Therefore as future teachers, I strongly believe that we need to show respect, care, become role models, and guide our students through the road of success….And speaking of success, here is a 30-second message from Bill Gates talking about the impact teachers have had on his life and career:

    “Invest in the future, Inspire a child, Teach!”

  22. I totally agree with what you have said in your article. The teacher must motivate his/her students. There must be an effective interaction between the student and the teacher. They are not two separate islands. There must be a mix of both. The student must involve himself without fear of failure, express his ideas and challenge the teacher with his new ideas. On the other hand the teacher must provide a safe environment where these developments can be possible. Technology will enhance learning if it is used in a positive way and not for the sake of passing time. Teachers need to be responsible and render their teaching student centred and not subject centred.

    As teachers we need to consider the transformative model where the student’s learning is at the centre. One does not learn just for the sake of extrinsic aspects, just to re-project your knowledge during an exam. The students must be assessed throughout their academic year. Students are human beings who think, ask and develop their own ideas. The teacher must use strategies to help them learn new knowledge which they can be able to apply in their daily life. In this clip which I attach, the teacher can learn some tips on how to engage students during lessons and be more effective with regards to classroom management. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9yOOw GYYfU. Teachers must be positive and never lose hope that they can learn about and use modern technology.

  23. A teacher who gives a lecture to his students is a bad teacher in my opinion and does not consider the interests of his students at all. A teacher can use various tools and techniques in class in order to encourage students to participate during the lesson. Technology and with this term I include the use of laptops, televisions etc can help a lot but is not everything. The teacher needs to be prepared in her subject and give support and guidance. Technologies motivate students and make it easier for a teacher to deliver the lesson but “the teacher should entertain – should engage – and should animate” or the use of technology would not make sense.

  24. A teacher has many roles to fulfill, and has to cater for the various students’ need not just the intellectual. For my personal experience as a students I believe that the way you act and NOT what you say mostly influences children. If you gain their trust they will respect you, and as time passes one realizes that students remember the teacher’s behaviour much more than they remember the content which was taught. So let us be careful when prioritizing… a significant relationship with students should never be sacrificed for the sake of curriculum.

  25. ‘…bear in mind that your charisma and your personality, ultimately will be that which will have a personal influence on the people you have in front of you.’

    I totally agree with this statement. Teaching is so nice because it involves human relationships – face to face interactions. This statement reminds me of when I was in secondary school. There was no sophisticated technologies used in the classroom. This does not mean that none of the teachers inspired me, showing that teaching goes beyond technology.

    There was one particular teacher – my English Literature teacher – that used only a DVD player with respect to technology, but her charisma during the lesson, her dedication, the enthusiasm with which she thought the subject made me love English Literature. It was mainly how she presented the book we were reading – she helped us understand the beauty of reading Shakespeare, which for us at the age of 13 considered quite boring…. but no, I loved it!

    Teaches make a difference because they care for the students infront of them.

    Be a wonderful role model because you will be the window through which many children will see their future

    Thomas Mckinnon

  26. I totally agree with all the comments posted. As we all know, an effective teacher is one who shows dedication not only to deliver a lesson properly but also to show care and respect for her students. In fact, I’m sure that most of us, if we were asked about our best teachers, we would firstly recount how the teacher made us feel before mentioning how much we learnt. A teacher’s interpersonal skills are the basis for creating strong working relationships and a positive classroom climate for learning (Wubbels, Levy & Brekelmans, 1997). During my secondary years, I remember this particular teacher who used to engage humour with his teaching, thus creating a very positive atmosphere in class and among us. The more positive and enthusiastic teachers are about teaching, the more likely their students will be enthusiastic about learning. Nowadays, teachers have the opportunity to make use of the technological resources found in each classroom and therefore create stronger relationships with students as one can relate the subject to real life situations and experiences. In that way, as someone else already said, the use of technology, highlights more the positive qualities and characteristics of effective teachers.

  27. I agree with this, but I also believe that this is not as easy as it looks. We also have to bear in mind that we are not just teachers during the 45 minute lesson we have, our personality especially on the school premises, will reflect and set examples on our students.

    During our first TP, at first, I found it difficult to deal with all the different things we were taught. However, I was most satisfied with the relationship and good rapport I established with the students. So if that is important for me, it must be really important for the students as well.

  28. I think that is absolutely right. Technology can go a VERY long way. But it can’t go the distance alone. Take this analogy:

    Q: Can a car get you to your destination?
    A: Sure, that is, if I have a driver who understands the car, how to use it and the dangers of the road. Without the driver, the car is useless.

    It is the same with technology in the classroom and the teachers using it, I feel. The teacher needs to keep in mind that the technology being used is merely a means to an end. It should not be completely at the centre of life in the classroom and it, by far, does not get all the credit even if it does its job right. The teacher needs to know what type of technology would be useful, what type would be stimulating, what type is straight to the point, what fulfils the lessons objectives etc. And for this to happen, the teacher needs to gauge the student as a person. She/he needs to understand what they want, what challenges them, what makes the tick, what interests them, and use all this information to her advantage in terms of lesson planning and construction and to the students’ advantages in terms of learning. We are, at the end of the day, human beings. I feel this is a basic point to keep in mind, during the good times and the bad times of teaching.

  29. Naqbel. L-ghalliem ma jridx jipprepara xi haga bhal presentation jew itellgha blog, biex ikun tellghu u biex jidher li qed jaghmel sforz. Jekk dak hu l-kaz hadd mhu ha jiehu xejn minnu, la l-ghalliem stess u lanqas l-istudenti. It-teknologija hija vasta u ghandha hafna rizorsi imma mirakli ma taghmilx. L-ghalliem irrid jara x’inhu l-iskop li qed juza xi haga teknologika, u jrid issaqsi lilu nnifsu l-istudenti x’se jiehdu minnha? Kieku m’uzajtiex kienu jkunu fl-istess ilma? Ghax jekk minghajr dik ir-rizorsa jew le, l-istudenti ser jibqaw fejn huma, mela x’inhu l-punt? Ma nahsibx li l-istudenti tal-llum ghadhom bhal meta konna studenti ahna, li ghax tuza il-kompjuter fil-klassi hija xi haga gdida u innovattiva. L-istudenti tal-llum xebbaw juzaw it-teknologija, ghax hija kullimkien f’hajjithom, u hafna drabi ikunu jafu juzaw certu affarijiet iktar minna. Kif iddiskutejna fil-module l-iehor ma’ Philip Bonano, ahna irridu inkunu lesti nitghallmu mill-istudenti taghna, specjalment fej jidhlu dawn l-affarijiet. Allura irridu nahsbu sew bhala ghalliema x’inhu l-ghan li qed nuzaw it-teknologija fil-klassi. Irridu naraw kif se nisfruttaw din ir-rizorsa hekk vasta biex intejbu il-kwalita tat-tghalliem li noffru u mhux biss biex inkunu uzajna it-teknologija biex nghalqu halq l-istudenti u ta’ haddiehor.

    • what worries me in this kind of comment, is that, certain people might interpret it that since students deal with all kinds of great technologies in their everyday life, you might then ask, so what’s the use of making use of it in the classroom, especially when this would never compare to the fantastic digital games which they play? I think this is not the perspective of a “digital native”. You don’t have to really look for a great purpose for the refrigerator in your home, or your mobile phone, or the TV, or even the car, do you? You use them because without them you are less free living your life. In the same way, you have to keep an open mind to what is happening around you. Part of your profession as a teacher, is no longer, simply going home, laden with copybooks or files and correcting….nor is it going home and preparing charts, like we used to do, way back when I was training to become a teacher. Nowadays, just like having a mobile phone, part of my profession is that of going online, whether I am home or at work, and finding stuff which might interest my students… because my belief is that if students learn something, and have fun in the process, then I am doing my job.

      • Li ridt nghid hu li billi l-istudenti il-hin kollu juzaw it-teknologija ahna bhala ghalliema irridu naghmlu pass iehor u nuzaw it-teknologija b’mod isbah, kreattiv u nnovattiv. irridu nghollu l-kwalita’ ta’ l-affarijiet li nipprezentaw. Nuzaw it-teknologija bis-sens.

        U ghalhekk hemm bzonn li nsibu raguni ghalxiex nuzaw certu affarijiet fil-klassi. Ghal kollox hemm skop. Jien nuza il-frigg ghax l-ikel jihzien barra, nuza il-mobile ghax ghandi bzonn nikkommunika man-nies. U l-istess nuza it-teknologija fil-klassi biex naghmel il-lezzjoni iktar interessanti u interattiva. Pero nistgha naghmel il-lezzjoni sabiha anke jekk nuza affarijiet ohra, li forsi jitqiesu bhala iktar tradizzjonali. Irrid ikun hemm bilanc u rridu naraw bhala ghalliema liem hu l-ahjar. Jekk ghal l-iskopijiet ta’ lezzjoni role-play hija ahjar milli nuri video (ghal mod tal-kelma) ha nuza ir-role play, jew vice versa.

        Ghalhekk qed naqblu fuq il-fatt li l-lezzjoni ghandha tkun interessanti, u ahna bhala ghalliema ghandna nahdmu, u ehe, anke wara is-2.30pm biex nippjanaw lezzjonijiet tajbin b’ rizorsi tajbin. 🙂

  30. “Your charisma and your personality, ultimately will be that which will have a personal influence on the people you have in front of you”. This is a very wonderful statement. I think technology, and the teacher personality (as many of us also pointed out) goes together. It useless to try to use technology in the best possible way with your pupils, but then you are too strict and keep a distance from your students. On the other hand, since teens love technology so much, we can’t only show charisma with them, without incorporating some technology into the lessons.

    We often hear younger ones, especially primary students, who by mistake call their teacher ‘mummy’. I did as well with some teachers who showed me respect and who cared for me as if I was their daughter. I don’t imagine a boy/girl who mistaken his mother with a teacher who is only subject-oriented, and who forgets all about being nice to him/her. It is important that we show care and respect with our students so that they engage in the lesson even more, while feeling comfortable to be in the class.

    While some primary students call their teacher ‘mummy’, some of the secondary students may see a particular teacher to be their ‘friend’. We have to be friendly with them, but being friendly is not the same as being their friends. We have to show them this distinction.

    We can’t be robots in the class. Being friendly with your students does not make you lose your control over the class. The teacher has to be firm but nice. I think that this is what makes a good teacher. When I started to think about becoming a teacher, I just wanted to be with students, before I actually thought about the subject to teach. I had two choices, either to teach Maltese, or to teach PSD. Thinking that PSD will give me a better opportunity to be part of the students I chose to teach PSD – without claiming that this is impossible with other subject teachers. 🙂 😉

  31. This is a very good point to bring up, I believe that more than anywhere else ‘leave your troubles outside the door’ applies immensely to the classroom. Students can gauge their teacher’s mood and if it is a positive mood they will be infected by it too. I found this video on youtube (linked below) and I noted all the qualities that the students participating said they expect to find in their ideal teacher. These include ‘enthusiastic, friendly yet firm, personal involvement, inspirational, relates to students’ context, good communicator, has fun, achieves balance, is respectful, and responsive’. The video ends with a quote ”think fro your students’ perspective”, and that I think is the most important lesson for us to learn as student teachers. I believe that a relationship of care and respect with students can foster the most positive attitude towards learning, much more than an obsessive concentration on grades. In fact, this is the type of relationship I wish to have with my students, one that treats them as individual learners with different capabilities but all able to succeed. Succeed in becoming good communicators and autonomous learners. Because the love for knowledge for its own sake is something they will take away with them for life.

  32. I completely agree. Teaching is ultimately a vocation, you either have it or you don’t. You also need to be passionate about the subject you teach and the students you face. You are not simply a teacher during those 40 (or so) minutes, in that you do your hours and simple leave the school and your commitments behind. Teaching is ongoing.

  33. I totally agree with what you said in the above – Teachers should not stay at the front of the class giving instruction and explanation whilst students in their desks, receiving the information. Rather in my opinion teacher should make use a constructive approach in learning , where students are to be engaged in collaborative activities and inclusive strategies. Also students are to be let to explore and construct their own knowledge.

    True, that technology on it’s own is not enough, it has to be related to the subject content. Also in my opinion the activities and resources used are to be interesting, interactive and challenging for all students. The teacher should keep in mind the different abilities that are present in the class, when s/he is creating such activities, in order for everyone to be included and equally motivated.

    In my opinion, the personality and the charisma of the teacher are two important factors in teaching students. The teacher has to show that s/he is organised, lessons are planned to detail, gives the right amount of attention to each student, and creates a democratic classroom environment where students can freely express themselves, without any students feeling as the ‘other’. Also the teacher should create a warm, caring environment for the students to feel safe and secure. This will contribute to the effective learning of the students.

  34. I totally agree with the above statement. Teaching does not equal filling up empty vessels (i.e. the students). Rather it should be a mutual approach – both teacher and the student learn from one another. Also making the subject interesting to the students might be a difficult task – but teachers need to spice up their subjects and make them relevant to students’ lives so that they can learn more and apply it to their life. Learning is not just about studying and studying for the exam. One needs to use the acquired knowledge and use all life long. I found this article asking an important question whether teachers can be taught to teach better:http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/03/can-teachers-be-taught-to-teach-better/
    It is interesting that once teachers are assertive and have that charisma to teach their subject then students will obey, participate and it might reduce negative behaviour.

  35. I couldn’t agree more with this!! Yes granted technology offers so many advantages that if used well we could really do great stuff with it! Yes it will help learning and it will help motivate the students because they will find these new ways and methods of teaching exciting. But at the end of the day, teachers (good teachers) cannot be replaced by technology. As one of my colleagues rightly said, technology on its own won’t do miracles for children, in the end students they will turn to us teachers to explain something that they haven’t understood.
    Furthermore, as some also mentioned, teaching is not just during the lessons that you give and during the time that you are present at school. We are not just there to teach a subject but we are also there to set an example. And this I think should be an eye opener for some of us! We as teachers, even if we are young ones, should be careful even of small and simple things, like for example what kind of photos we put on our facebook!

  36. Teaching is not all about the subject. Teaching is about transferring knowledge to others who already have their experiences, knowledge and also their own personal thoughts. But most of all I believe that the way the teacher behaves with his / her students can make a whole lot of difference. During my first teaching practice I used to try (as it was not always that easy with just 45min!) to find a couple of minutes to get some feedback from the students. I used to think that most probably they would never tell me if there is something they are not liking. However I was completely wrong! And it used to be such a great satisfaction when someone at the end of the lesson would come to me and tell me: “uff Miss., issa dalwaqt ma tibqghax maghna!” Honestly, that used to mean a lot to me!

  37. I totally agree with what has been said in the above comments. I still think of the teachers who came to school with a positive attitude, cared for the students, had passion, charisma and personality and these teachers inspired me to choose this career and I look up to them. To motivate the students the teacher has to be motivated herself. If the teacher makes an enjoyable lesson it would be much more satisfying both for the teacher and the students because the students will be much more interested in the lessons.

  38. meta nisma did-diskussjoni dejjem jiguni f’mohhi 2 ghalliema partikulari. It-tnejn li huma kienu esperjenza pozittiva ferm u t-tnejn li huma inzertaw jahdmu fil-qasam ta’ l-entertainment. Kont nahseb bejni u bejn ruhi x’kien jaghmilhom daqs tant differenti mill-ohrajn kollha u fl-ahhar kont wasalt ghal konkluzjoni. It-tnejn li huma kienu artisti. Mhux artisti biss f’dak il-mument li jkunu quddiem udjenza, izda b’kull kelma u kull azzjoni li kienu jaghmlu. It-tnejn li huma kienu jgawdi mill-filosofija li jekk ghandek taghmel xi haga, mhux sempliciment ghamilha tajba izda ghamilha bi stil. Hajjithom kompluta kienet tiriffletti dan kollu, kultant b’affarijiet kontroversjali, biss dejjem gharfu jaqsmu dik l-anima u l-pozittivita li ghandhom lejn dak li jaghmlu ghax sempliciment qieghdha hemm fihom allura tigihom xi haga awtomatika.

    Dak il-mument li tkun quddiem ghandek dejjem izzomm go rasek li mhux necessarjament ghax qieghdin gol-kamra hdejk, mohhom qieghed hemm ukoll. B’dak kollu li taghmel, tghid u tressaq trid taghmlu mhux biss bi kwalita’… dik wahedha mhix bizejjed, trid issostni b’hafna attitudni u b’energija liema bhalha. Jekk jirnexxielek tiinstiga l-imagginazjoni ta l-individwu u tghinu jibda jiffoka bil-mod lejn sfera ta’ ideat li diga jafhom izda mhux konxju taghhom tkun tista mhux biss tiddirezzjonha id-diskussjoni fejn tixtieq, izda fl-ahhar mill-ahhar titghallem ferm iktar inti stess mill-esperjenza fiha li tkun ghaddejt minnha…

    m

  39. Adding with Roberta’s comment…I met a person few days ago and told me… “how come you decided to become a teacher?… are you aware of the challenges you are going to face?”

    Although it is true that the job of a teacher changed a lot and has more challenges than before, I still think that it is one of the most jobs that gives you great satisfaction.

    A teacher must be a role model for students. We must be creative. We must impress an audience. We must do efforts to be actors during lessons. Sense of humour helps a lot. I remember when our History teacher drew funny stuff on whiteboard during explanation. Today we are more lucky to exploit every technology that we find in the classroom to motivate the students. We can see it also in students, who during a particular lesson they pay attention and interact and the same student in an another lesson is very bored. The teacher and the way she teaches makes all the difference. We have to use well our technological tools and not just using them expecting that they will make miracles.

  40. I totally agree that the teachers’ role should not be just to teach the content in a traditional way but to apply technology and methodologies in the best possible ways. During my observation sessions i came across different examples of teachers who applied different methodologies during their lessons. Some of them were traditional and didn’t make use of technology, motivation was very low during the lessons and students weren’t engaged. However then there were teachers who were very charismatic in their lessons. They made good use of technology through videos, songs, images, games in order to motivate and teach the students in a fun entertaining way. One of the teachers which i observed used a song and a dance to teach her students new vocabulary. The students enjoyed dancing and singing and the teacher participated in the activity. Personality is fundamental during teaching. A lesson can be interesting, informative and fun even if there is no use of technology. It is up to the teacher to influence and interest the students in front of him/her and make best use of the resources which there are available.

  41. Aktar mit-teknologija, jew kull haga’ohra, nemmen fis- shih li fit-taghlim, kollox idur mal-karizma u mal-personalita’ ta’ l-ghalliem. Kelma ta’ kuragg min-naha ta’ l-ghalliem lejn lis-student ghandha dejjem hafna sahha fil-klassi u l-kapacita’ li wiehed johrog il-pozittiv ta’ lis-student, anke l-aktar wiehed antipatku u mhux kapaci, hija tassew kwalita’ sabiha li nemmen li thalli hafna frott fl-istudent!

  42. I agree with the statement “technology on its own is not enough”. I believe that much of students’ success or failure depends on the teacher. It is up to her to make the lesson interesting and make the students feel safe and comfortable in the classroom. The teacher should be an actor in the class. She needs to engage her students and keep them interested in the lesson.

  43. I totally agree with the above, we have a special role in the class room environment. We are role models. Learning requires one thing – motivation, and we as teachers have to be a stimulus to our students to arouse their engagement.

    We have to model our behavior on Inspirational people who have made a difference to people’s lives. We have to embrace their rich personality and transmit this magnitude to our students by being role models ourselves, to enable our students to become role models themselves improving tomorrow’s world.

  44. Technology indeed must not be the main resource we use when we teach. Truly, it offers great opportunity to teach in a better way, because students get engaged and actively participate, allowing for fewer disciplinary problems. However we must not rely 100% on technology in our lessons. I agree that there are many other factors and attitudes which affect teaching and the acquisition of learning by students, particularly the personality of the teacher, her way of relating to students – the ability to listen and understand them. As one of my subject lecturers recently pointed out, we are taking the risk of relying heavily on technological resources for example presentations on projectors etc and deviating away from the student needs. In the sense that lessons have become power-point based, with sequences already formulated. In classrooms, which are highly dynamic and unpredictable environments, we cannot go with this intent in mind as students will definitely surprise you with off-task question which you might have planned to tackle later on in the powerpoint presentation. The point here is that technology is there to facilitate us in what and how we teach and not to heavily rely on.

  45. Naqbel perfettament mal-idea li l-bilanċ huwa essenzjali f’kull sitwazzjoni fid-dinja, l-istess fid-dinja tal-klassi. Fil-klassi l-għalliema għandha tuża kemm it-teknoloġija, li nafu kemm hija riżors importanti llum il-ġurnata, kif ukoll il-personalità tagħha. L-għalliema għanda timplimenta pedagoġija li tqiegħed lill-istudent fiċ-ċentru tat-tagħlim. Dan ifisser li l-għalliema għandha tikkunsidra l-livell tal-abbiltajiet u l-interessi tal-istudenti sabiex tiżviluppa l-metodu tat-tagħlim tagħha. Apparti minn hekk l-għalliema għandha tkun flessibbli biżżejjed biex tbiddel dawn il-metodi jkunu mibdula skont kif ikun meħtieġ sabiex b’hekk tkun tista’ tinkludi lil kulħadd fil-lezzjonijiet tagħha. L-inklużjoni hija fattur li l-għalliema għandha tqis fundamentali sabiex l-istudenti jħossuhom inklużi fil-klassi. Dan jgħin biex ħadd mill-istudenti ma jħossu inferjuri mill-bqija tal-istudenti u għalhekk iħossuhom f’ambjent sigur li jimpurtah mill-bżonnijiet tagħhom. Kull student iħossu ħieles li jaqsam ħsibijietu u l-opinjonijiet tiegħu mingħajr biżà li jiġi mwaqqaf.
    It-teknoloġija, kif semmejt qabel, tgħin ħafna lill-għalliema biex il-lezzjoni tagħha tkun suċċess. Hija riżors li permezz tiegħu l-istudenti jħossuhom motivati aktar u b’hekk jitgħallmu aktar. Iżda jidher li l-iktar fattur importanti xorta jibqa’ l-għalliema, il-mudell li fuqu jridu jimxu l-istudenti. Huwa ta’ xejn li l-għalliema tagħmel minn kollox biex tuża t-teknoloġija biex aktar tħeġġeġ lill-istudenti u mbagħad naraw li l-istudenti ma jinvolvux ruħhom u ma jipparteċipawx fl-attivitajiet li tagħmlilhom l-għalliema. Waħda mir-raġunijiet għaliex iseħħ dan huwa minħabba l-fatt li r-relazzjoni tal-għalliema mal-istudenti tkun batuta. Dan iġiegħel lill-istudenti jaqtgħu qalbhom li jkomplu jistudjaw. Għalhekk l-għalliema għandha qabelxejn taħdem sabiex toħloq relazzjoni tajba mal-istudenti tagħha fejn iħossuhom rispettati u mismugħa mill-għalliema.

  46. It is very important for a teacher to be enthusiastic about the subject and that she uses ICT because the students notice these efforts. When using ICT the students are motivated even more. However the use ICT must not be used in such a way that that it eliminates all the interaction between the teacher and the students because relationships are important for students and make them feel accepted in the school environment.

  47. 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.
    Besides the importance of ICT being used within the classroom amongst young students to increase their motivation, providing these children with facilitative yet challenging ways for them to demonstrate their capabilities, higher their self esteem.
    I predict more confidence in the children, not simply with computers, but a multitude of things. They can do things on the computers that most of their parents can’t do and that’s very empowering and exciting for them. They can sit down and make the machine pretty much do what they want to and there’s something about that that gives them an extra little boost whereby they feel ‘special’ and valued.

  48. I totally agree with what has been said in the above comments.I believe that the teacher is very important. No matter how much technology and interesting material one uses in class, unless the teacher herself/himself believes in what she/he is teaching and passes on this enthusiasm onto the students, learning will not take place. Moreover, the teacher must make sure to create a safe learning environment were the learners will feel comfortable to express their thoughts and opinions without being afraid of being ridiculed by the teacher or the other students.

  49. From my meagre teaching experience to date I can humbly say that I can make a difference! Recalling some positive instances from my stint at M’Assunta this December I vividly remember the resistance encountered when I took a particular class through what would have been expected of them throughout the ‘lessons’ to come. This reaction should be evaluated in the context of the fact that this was my very first meeting with the class who understandably did not feel like having a student-teacher’s enthusiasm turn their status quo topsy-turvy. However I took ample time to guide them through all the activities I had planned for the 4 lessons in question, reassuring them that whatever tasks they were being assigned were well within their capabilities. All in all it worked amazingly well and I was more than pleased to see that thanks to the methodology adopted the class’ learning outcomes went beyond those strictly linked to the syllabus. Rather the students harnessed their verbal and non-verbal presentation/communication skills, reflected on their contribution to a group activity, and got to express their ideas comprehensively and comprehensibly in different fora, for example.

  50. Technology is a great aid to use in the classroom but havin a positive, loving attitude as a teacher is also very important. Students need to feel loved and cared for. A healthy realtionship between the teaxher and students facilitates learning The taecher needs to believe and encourage the students making them feel and know taht tehy are capable.

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