Knowledge is a double edged sword. I feel a sense of gratification that I am now more equipped with knowledge than I was several weeks ago. However, there was also a feeling of shame as the knowledge I gained also exposed my malpractices, assumptions and misconceptions regarding the teaching process and the profession.
This course had challenged my belief system as a teacher. Now, every time I think about a concept, I also question if it’s a theoretical concept, if it’s based in research or just an assumption. I learned to hunt my own assumptions and to use lenses in understanding where those beliefs originated from.
I now firmly believe that the teaching process will be effective if reflective practice is being applied. I started using reflection as part of my daily routine after learning the module. I ask myself “why” even before I would teach a lesson. Why would I use this certain strategy or activity? What do I want my students to learn? Even when I’m in the middle of my teaching and talking, I reflect and observe how my learners respond to the lesson. Reflections in action and on action are two of the most powerful strategies I learned in this course.
Personally, I see the immense significance of learning these principles and concepts because 1) they reveal all of our epistemological assumptions that affect our teaching 2) they correct the wrong practices that we’ve been doing 3) they improve our teaching practices 4) they ensure that teachers will have a solid foundation entering an education field.
The school that I’m currently working at has curricula with embedded contemporary teaching and learning approaches. This alone had helped me become aware of the array of contemporary pedagogy. Yet, there were still so many concepts/principles that I didn’t know that this course had presented. The teaching perspectives such as being culturally responsive and creating an inclusive learning friendly environment were very impactful for me.
It is my goal as an educator, to provide a holistic approach to teaching. I believe in developing not only my students’ intellectual abilities, but also their social, physical, mental, spiritual dimensions. I want my students to act with social and intellectual maturity. I want them to demonstrate flexibility and a creative approach to problem solving, develop and maintain relationships, reflective, strong and effective communicators.
The only way for me to achieve my goals is to continuously seek professional development and growth. I need to keep learning and participating in learning communities. Through these, I get to share what I know and learn new ideas from other members of the community and be a whole teacher.
Lastly, I need to change my perspective that my duty as a teacher is to not only INFORM but rather to REFORM and TRANSFORM lives and communities.