Portrait of a Teacher

10 October 2016

A teacher is supposed to be the image a child gets of learning new things- mostly non-academic. The portrait the child has of the teacher determines how well they get to understand the concepts they are taught in class. The teacher should ensure that their activities and conduct are in accordance with the portrait of the teacher so as to improve how students perceive learning. One trait that the teacher is supposed to portray is that of a person who understands how to solve problems and more so how do solve them using critical thinking.

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This means that in a class, the students will be keen to see how the teacher solves new problems that arise. To the students this is a sign of how good their teacher is. It should be noted that problem solving and critical thinking as pertaining to this trait goes beyond the academic things. For example when a teacher is dictating letters of the alphabet in an elementary class and then a bumble bee flies in, the children will be distracted but how the teacher reacts to this distraction is a test of how well they can solve problems.

In such a case, the teacher can pause what they were saying and explain something new about the bee. The same would be expected of the teacher if an animal such as a spider, which children fear, is spotted in class. The teacher would be expected to stay on top of the situation and calm the students. Critical thinking by itself is a process that demands a person to ensure that their way of thinking is devoid of any emotional bias; and this should be the case in a teacher. In all situations they should ensure that rationale and logic prevails above emotion.

At times this demand to act devoid of any emotion conflicts with what a teacher may want or is good for them. For example, when a slight earthquake shook our school while I was in eighth grade, we all ran towards the teacher and clang onto her. This by itself limited her chances of escaping in case anything happened. This example is one of the reasons why I believe that at times, the demands placed on the teacher are conflicting with what is good is for them. As a teacher I will strive to ensure that I promote a democratic environment in my classes.

I will do this by ensuring that I involve the students in making decisions that affect them and in which I believe that their participation in decision making will not compromise the quality of education they get. This is necessary as it would help in making the students feel responsible and for their education and hence calling for their increased participation. For example in high school our math teacher used to ask us to set the date when we wanted to take a continuous assessment test.

This was different from other teachers who set the dates for us. What happened is that we all put a lot of emphasis in studying for math as we did not want to fail for an exam we had decided when it would be given to us. This is the kind of democracy that I intend to promote in my classroom as it will help improve student performance by motivating them to take charge of their lives at an early age. This is important as most students end up finishing college while they are still looking up to their tutors to make decisions for them.

So when there are no tutors around, the students end up making wrong decisions as they were not well prepared for decision making in school. What a teacher portrays is useful in determining the quality of education the student gets. I intend to portray a good image and to ensure that my students see me as a symbol of critical thinking and problem solving. I also intend to promote democracy in my classroom to ensure that my students are well motivated and also learn how to take charge of their lives.

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