Be an inspirational teacher

How to Be an Inspirational Teacher

from wikiHow – The How to Manual That You Can Edit
This article will show that any teacher can be inspirational. Inspiration, by definition means: The action or power of moving the intellect or emotions.[1]

Steps

  1. Have Empathy. Probably the greatest quality a teacher can have. Creating empathy is about bonding with your students. Cry with them, laugh with them. Try to be on their wavelength. Get to know their emotions and understand their feelings. Young people are easily stressed and sometimes under great pressure, but all you might see is anger, aggression, bad attitude or impatience. At this time you need to be compassionate and understand some bad stuff is going on in their lives. Search for the real person underneath and when you find them they will open up to you.
  2. Develop a Positive Mental Attitude. Teachers are human like anyone else; however, the stresses of working with young people especially those with attitudinal and behavioural problems can sometimes be immense. This is the time you need to be strong. To keep a smile on your face when things get tough. To see the bright side of things. To seek to find the positive in every negative situation. To be philosophical. Why? Because your attitude is contagious. You have the choice to bring a light into your classroom or cast a shadow.
  3. ‘Grow’ your Verbal Skills. Every great teacher is a great orator. If you can keep your students focused and interested just by talking to them then you are doing a great job. When was the last time you spoke about something and you could hear a pin drop? ‘Just talking to them’ means using passion, emotion, great eye contact, animated body language, voice modulation and feeling. Talk with conviction. Believe in what you say. Take your students on a wonderful journey every day.
  4. Show Respect. Respect every human being that is in your classroom. Talk to them like you would talk to your closest friends. No one is more important in this world than anyone else. A great inspirational teacher is a human being who respects everyone no matter their attitude, colour, religion, creed or country. Every one of your students has a place on this earth. You can help them make a positive impact on it too. You have the power to change their lives. The Law of Reciprocity (you reap what you sow) will ensure that the respect you give out will come back to you a hundredfold.
  5. Remember that your students are Individuals. Know your students inside and out. Do not pick on reward/punishment for all students, because they are all different individuals. Talk to your students and be involved in their lives. Use different teaching styles and strategies within the classroom, because everyone learns differently. Have options for big projects or presentations within your class. Most importantly, let your students be creative, do not limit them. Also, do not judge them. Do not have your own thoughts about them before they walk in your room, or after they leave. Look for the deeper meaning behind actions, instead of getting angry or upset.
  6. Know that teaching is a noble profession. The day a teacher realizes that they have been given a great gift – the power to change lives, is the day an inspirational teacher is born. You have a choice either to believe you are a mediocre teacher teaching a boring subject to boring kids. Or, a human being helping other human beings to realize their full potential and go on and make a positive difference in their world. Your beliefs create your world.

Tips

  • Be Different
  • Be Humorous
  • Be Kind
  • Be Patient
  • Be Respectful
  • Be Understanding
  • Be Helpful
  • Be Loving
  • Just be the very best human being you can be
  • Be Fair but discipline students, this will help you get respect, as well as help your teachings be more memorable/inspirational.

Warnings

  • Don’t be a pushover when teaching. Students may like you, but they won’t remember what you say after the course is over.

Sources and Citations

  1. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/inspiration

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A wordle for media literacy:

Media literacy is the key to successful learning in the 21st Century. Since I find this concept very important, I am re-emphasising it here with this word cloud. This word cloud was produced with Wordle. Feel free to use it.

What’s PLE again?

At the beginning of this PLENK2010 MOOC, I was very negative about the perceived ‘freedom’ of one in his/her Personal Learning Environment. And now, even though I am still critical of the whole PLE idea, I cannot deny the fact that it has definitely influenced both my belief and approach to teaching (and learning). To me, this MOOC is one event in which I’ve found myself learning a lot on my own through exchange and critique of ideas.

I believe the minimal direction provided in the MOOC, though frustrating at times, provides an excellent breeding ground for questions and offering of diversity of ideas.

Before this MOOC, I was totally unaware of the existence of many free web-based tools that I could use to improve what I do in the classroom. I was aware of blogs and twitter but tools such as SNAPP, I think I must thank George Siemens. Though I am still bounded within the walls of my LMS, I feel more liberated just by knowing that I could do a lot more if I am outside the boundary. This is just the second week in this MOOC and I think, I’ve learnt a lot of new stuff. I am looking forward to the last week.

I think I have a better picture of my PLE now.

Deschooling or re-schooling: PLEs, the good shake for formal education

Rita Kop’s presentation on the Design of Personal Learning Environments is to me a very thorough one. She has thoroughly discussed – in a balanced way – both sides of the issue and it would be nice if more educators listen to the presentation and offer the views on the many good ideas Rita talks about..

I will comment on one important concept that Rita touched on –  the radical idea of deschooling education.  I agree with this idea to a great extent. In my opinion, the modern school or any other formal educational institution has become more important than learning/education.  The inflexibility of the school routine, curriculum, assessment, etc is not helping many students learn.

Rita Kop on the design of PLEs

This is a good slideshow by one of the facilitators of the PLENK2010 massive open online course.

PLE…is it real?

Based on what I’ve read thus far on PLE, this idea is basically about shifting the design of education from focusing on the ‘course of study’ to the learner through the use of more liberal values and non-restrictive tools (such as Web 2.0 tools).

PLE is a beautiful idea. In the formal classroom, every responsible teacher’s dream is for her/his students to be able to understand the core concepts and principles in the course of study and be able to apply that understanding in the wider context of their homes and communities. Collaboration is also encouraged in the formal classroom. Learning management systems are adopted to improve students’ learning of the current content of the course of study.

But is PLE capable of educating a population larger than those that are used in projects and research studies? Is it going to be cheaper to the average person? Can PLE be totally independent of the existing formal education design? Is there a good reason for having some control over what is learnt by our children through the use of courses and LMS?

I may sound like an old schooler and traditionalist but the more I reflect on PLE the more I wonder about its long-term practicality. The majority if not all of us came through the traditional ‘formal’ design of education, and we understand why there is a course of study to be ‘followed’, and why there are curriculums, classrooms and schools.

To me, the formal curriculum, or a course is the reflection of society’s needs and aspiration.  I use the word curriculum here to refer not just to the documents and books but also the experiences and human elements of education. Is PLE a reflection of society’s aspirations?

I believe that the design of education that we have today is the result of evolution of many designs which began from a model that was more-or-less ‘informal’. But with my limited understanding of PLE, I am asking myself whether we are trying to reinvent the wheel – but by using the available modern technology?

Is it possible to have learners without teachers (or courses)? It is responsible to have completely unrestrained learners or learners in uncontrolled environments? Should we be more concerned about the individual learner’s learning needs/wants or the individual learner in the larger context of the common good of society?