“All students can learn and succeed, but not on the same day in the same way.”
~William G. Spady
I believe that learning is continuous throughout one’s lifetime. The role of the teacher is to serve as a facilitator in the learning process. Through scaffolding and differentiated instruction, the teacher should help the student reach his/her fullest potential. A good teacher understands the developmental stages, respects various learning styles, and is extremely patient while working with students.
An educator should also foster diversity and creativity, and should create a classroom environment in which all students feel comfortable, welcomed, and accepted. Students should be encouraged to ask questions and to take risks with their learning; the classroom should be a place where growth and development of knowledge takes place. The classroom should also be student-directed rather than teacher-directed, where the teacher simply serves as a facilitator aiding in the learning process.
As a teacher, I am responsible for the success of my students, and I can only be successful if I am able to address a diverse group of learners. In order to do this, I must differentiate my instruction by offering concept maps and graphic organizers for the logical/mathematical learner; charts, graphs or pictures for the visual-spatial learner; and poetry, short stories or word games for the linguistic learner. I must effectively reach the hands-on learner, the auditory learning, and the visual learner in my classroom. The only way to do this is to vary my lessons and materials in order to ensure that all learning styles are addressed.
The teacher should also be able to successfully elucidate difficult concepts to the students. If students struggle with a concept, the teacher should use an alternative for presenting that concept, and should translate it into a clearer idea for the students. By grasping new concepts, the students will be able to continue their learning while using higher order thinking skills. Teachers must also activate prior knowledge to help the students understand new material. By relating their prior knowledge to the new concept, the students will have a deeper understanding, and will have more insights, as they are already familiar with the material.
In order for students to learn, they must be challenged. I am aware that the students will be on different levels, but my goal as a teacher is to challenge each student individually in order to ensure growth and success. Not every student can achieve an A; however, if the student is working to his/her highest potential, then I have succeeded as an educator. For those students who struggle, I will provide additional instruction, and I will give effective feedback to help the students learn from their mistakes. The feedback will always be consistent, timely, and meaningful. Students cannot improve their knowledge if they do not learn from their mistakes; therefore, it is my role as an educator to help the students understand their errors and to prevent them in the future.
Education not only consists of the teacher, but also the school community, the parents, and the student. Everyone must work together to help the child achieve success. We all share the responsibility of helping the student grow as a learner who will be literate, self-disciplined, independent, and confident. Each student is unique, and therefore, I am responsible for creating a classroom atmosphere that is open to all learning styles and personalities in order to help each student prosper.