Among numerous changes which take place in the contemporary world changes in pedagogical area are also rather considerable. Estimating the whole situation in the world it can be said that the contemporary school became more free and liberal. The teacher in today’s pedagogical structure isn’t just an executor but an important participant of collective project. The research below is dedicated to the highlighting of the most frequent teachers’ mistakes. Also some most useful practical advises will given as theories and practices are often almost antonyms in pedagogic science. In conclusion the most general outcome will provided in order to direct teachers’ activities in the right way.
Today’s teacher uses not only traditional methods and practices but has to reveal his analytic and experimental skills. In other words the modern teacher is not just a lecturer but a kind of practicing analyst. The society, in its turn, also has changes its stereotypes regarding teachers’ role. The teacher of now days is required to be a real professional who is able to analyze and cope with any situation. The principle purpose of today’s teacher is the establishment of his relationships with the students. That is not just explaining of a subject, checking and estimating of the tests but the involving of the students into the activities of the classroom, individual talking and meetings with parents. Precisely teacher’s relationships with his students are the main scale of teacher’s professionalism measurement. Some time ago the most important skills as to the teacher’s role were the cultural experiences, knowledge of the subject, scientist’s skills. But today the most important thins for teachers are their pedagogical skills. Pedagogics today aren’t a profession only but a kind of art.
Actually, the status of a teacher has always been especial and respectful. Moiz Amjad in his “Role of the teacher” (1995) says that “all nations in Muslim history, teachers have not only distinguished themselves by their profundity in knowledge and research, but also because of their character, piety and abstinence from immoral acts.” (n. p.). And the most appreciated skill by a teacher is the skill of making his subject interesting for all students. Under this condition many problems are disappearing as the negative traits of some students do not become active as these students are interested in the subject and consequently, are not motivated for revealing their negative activities. For that purpose the teacher has to know and understand the motives and skills of all his students in order to find the way to make the subject interesting for each of them.
The quantity of theoretic pedagogic books and manual is enormous. But it is completely other things when realizing teaching in practice. As it was already mentioned the important thing for a teacher is to provide good relationships with his students. But it is well known that even under condition of good teacher’s experiences sometimes it rather difficult to provide the appropriate communication with students. Moreover, the more severe (or more gentle) the teachers’ behaviors become the more difficult becomes to control the classroom, to keep on with establishing efficient studying atmosphere. As to the beginning teachers, they also have big difficulties in finding the right way of communication with students. Many young teachers suggest that their presence in the classroom only is enough to ensure the fruitful work. Nevertheless, it’s not so simple.
So, what can help teachers to have good relationships with their students? The reasons of bad contact may be quite different. Those can be personal students’ problems which influence the present situation in the classroom, problems issued by established relationships between class groups and so on.
Any experienced teacher knows that it is necessary to care about the psychological comfort in the classroom. Precisely psychological comfort is the main base for other teacher’s activities. Psychological comfort means that all the participants of pedagogical process feel to be in safe. For example, when all students are sure that their names will be pronounced correctly, without mistakes. Or when a student is sure that he won’t get an unpleasant or rude replica from the teacher’s side. In order to create the safe atmosphere in the classroom the teacher must know what the student’s problems can be issued by. For example students which are noted to suffer some kinds of fears usually behavior in an aggressive manner. They try to provoke other students’ negative attitude. Therefore, the situation becomes out of control. The teacher must understand here that such a student isn’t eager of breaking classroom discipline. He is just trying to get rid of internal tension he has. Precisely this tension bothers him and doesn’t let him act himself in a proper manner. So, what to do with such students? It is well clear that abrupt and rude attitude will only deepen the student’s problem. The teacher has to find some kind of compromise in this case. For example, many adolescents are often writing or painting something on the desks’ surface. It will be not helpful just to make him stop doing that in a rude manner. It will be more efficient to allow him to keep on with writing but not on the desk – on some other student’s draft. During the break the teacher can attract this student attention by some kind of question or just to talk to him about something.
According to the pediatrician guide “Keepkidshealthy.com” (2002): “Some students may externalize their feelings, which can lead to acting out and behavior problems or becoming the class clown. Other children will internalize their feelings, and will develop almost daily complaints of headaches or stomachaches. A thorough evaluation by an experienced professional is usually needed to correctly diagnose children with complex problems.” (n. p.) It is very important to find out such “disturbing” students on time. It can be done in the following manner: the students are being given a task according to which they must draw their main fear and then to discuss the results of this task within small groups (7-9 persons). Students which are not disturbing will be easily involved in this process. The troubling students will oppose and, hereby, can be distinguished by the teacher from the very beginning of studying process.
The most frequent mistake by teachers is that they are not able to reveal the very essence of a student, his main characteristics. Therefore, they can’t elaborate the right attitude regarding certain students. For example, both severe and gentle attitude can be efficient but it is necessary to know exactly when to resort to these or that method. For children with dissipated concentration it is not good to use liberal, soft measures as they will get used to cope with those things which are interesting for them only. But at the same time it is necessary to feel the limit between kind and severe methods. As Honolulu Community College (2005) states “good organizer is not an autocrat. He or she does not make all the decisions or try to tell everybody in detail what to do and how and when to do it. A good organizer, however, does not simply behave like any other member of the group, without any special rights, privileges, or powers. The group needs positive leadership in order to function effectively, clarify its purpose and achieve its desired results.” (n. p.)
Another serious pedagogic mistake is that some teachers do not keep the necessary distance with the student and treat them like friends. It is mostly proper of young teachers who are eager of gaining students’ trust.
Sometimes students which are considered to be not very successful in their studies start making significant success when changing teacher. That means that the previous teacher couldn’t find his “key” to this student. For example, some teachers when seeing that the student is talented start demanding too much from him and it results in that this student looses his interest to the studying as he starts perceiving studies as a hard obligation. That is also a serious mistake.
There is also no way to form the feeling of guilt in a student. Some teachers often blame a student in front of the whole class thinking that it will be helpful. That is wrong opinion as such case is a rather a great stress for as student. In most occasions it provokes negative feelings in student. He resorts to an aggressive position trying to demonstrate that the teacher isn’t able to influence on him.
The students’ class is a stable, practically closed group. Students are not just study together but are involved in a whole range of personal and professional relationships. Does the teacher need that the class be rallied? It is well famous that it is more difficult to cope with the students if they are rallied as they try to support each other. But at the same time the rallied group of students acts like an entire organism. It contains all the adolescents’ problems but it has some kind of collective spirit and its center. That’s why it’s easier to have deal with such a class as it is more predictable.
In the not rallied group of students you will certainly face the problems in relationships, sometimes rather serious ones. In such group the competitive motives are especially strong. The not rallied class is usually divided into small groups which are not connected between each other. It is difficult to establish stable relationships with such class. If you find mutual understanding with one small group you’ll loose the other small group’s trust. In these classes the studies can be broken because of negatively directed activities of 2-3 persons but the class can’t influence on these infringers. Therefore, the mutually related and rallied collective is more favorable for the teacher. So, he must pay special attention to the following points:
-note and support the mutual understanding and help in the class; not to provoke competition between its members; not to compare different students’ achievements (better to show his earlier and present achievements to one student); to help to find the way for self-improvement
-teach students to ask for help their classmates; it is very important from the very beginning of studying process to organize students’ activities first in pairs , then in small groups in order to get the final general results
-resolve the conflicts without time-consuming searches for the guilty person. It is just can be described the general scheme how to act if some conflict takes place in future
-support those students who act separately from the collective; usually it takes place because of the lack of pleasant and safe relationships but it’s not worth to make them join the teacher; it’s better just to show them that they are always welcome in the collective and can join its activities at their conveniences.
In order to ensure the successful development of all students of the class the following strategy will be helpful for teachers:
-it is necessary to learn the name of all the students and to know exactly how pronounce each student’s name
– inform the students the name you would like to called by
-when giving back tests it will be better if students will come to teacher’s office by themselves; it will give the possibility to talk to the students in not official atmosphere
-not loose the contact with students if they are absent; call them by phone; when coming back to discuss with them their absence and make-up work
-carry our personal interviews with all students during the students
-pay attention to any students’ activities; show that you respect all of them
-do not cut student’s initiatives even when they are not too correct; use the method of adding your opinion to their ideas, not refusing their ideas at all
– it is not worth to be afraid of showing that you don’t know all the answers to students’ question; if some students say something in confidence it’s necessary to respect that confidence
-walk around the class when talking or explaining something; such circulating all along the classroom makes teacher closer to students; do not sit behind the desk all the time
-on the first day discuss with the students the goals you would like to reach during the studying course; explain what you expect from them and how you intend to proceed with teaching
-make you pedagogic techniques various: lections, debates, discussions and so on
There are many other similar advices on teacher’s behavior. But first of all the teacher must remember that student is a human being first of all. Therefore, he also has general human needs: food, clothing, safety and so on. Student must have all these needs satisfied if we expect him to learn. These needs are suggested to be covered by parents. When students come into class they are suggested to have all these needs covered and the teacher’s work starts here. But there are also such needs which are to be satisfied in the classroom as well. Those are Love, Power, Fun and Freedom. The first of the needs is Love. Love means that all of us need to belong to our families or friend. If student fails to meet this need in a positive way it results in attempts to meet it in negative ways. For example, when the troubled teenage girl who wants nothing more than to have a baby, or the young people who turn to gangs in order to find acceptance and feel that they belong to someone.
Regarding Power, all of us are looking for worth, influence, or importance. People need to feel that they are in control of our own lives, and that they are able to control something about them. Students also need to feel that they are respected for their character or for their knowledge. To gain knowledge is the best way to help students meet this need. When students know that they are learning, and that they have good ideas to contribute, their sense of power will be satisfied. People who are not meeting their need for power often feel hopelessness. As a result they have low self-esteems, and do not perceive themselves as positive contributors to the environment around them. Often, when not having met their need for power in a positive way students turn to violent behavior. This type of behavior certainly can make them feel powerful, but that makes harm to other people around them.
The need for Fun is also a common need. It is fun that gives students rest from their work and their worries. In this way the organism responds to pleasurable situations and circumstances, and learning is improved when such situations occur. Educators don’t need to worry about entertaining students in order to meet their need for fun, however. Fun refers to anything that is pleasurable and makes learning interesting. Even hard work can resulted to be funny if the classroom environment permits that.
The final of the four basic needs is that of Freedom. Students’ basic need for freedom should be satisfied in the classroom. Freedom in this sense does not mean to be free for all when students are free to do whatever they want, whenever they want. Just students need to be allowed to make choices about their learning. They need to take part in decisions made about their classroom. Students should be the ones to decide what they want their classroom to be like- how it should be run, and how people should treat each other. Students should be involved in as many aspects of classroom development as possible.
The cost of teacher’s mistake is too expensive. If he isn’t able to build up the appropriate environment among his students, therefore the students’ skills can not be developed in a proper manner. So, teacher’s mistake is not his own mistake only, it’s a great social problem which influences human fates.
Regarding the advices which can be given to the teachers regarding improvement of their professional skills it must be said that the psychological component is the most important here. Teachers must develop their psychological experiences along with their scientist’s skills. Of course, there exists a huge quantity of various methods and schemes and some of them have been enumerated above but those are only theory. In practices when the teacher faces a student he creates his own theories in an instant. Each student is a personality. Some of them are stable but some have not stable attitude. Therefore, it is practically not possible to classify all students according to certain pedagogic theories. The main advice which can be given in conclusion is that the teacher must perceive each student as personality and feel how to act himself in this or that case, quickly understand what strategy to choose. Precisely this skill distinguishes a real teacher from simple lecturer.
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2. Pajares, F., Urdan, T. (2006) . Self-Efficacy Beliefs of Adolescents. Information Age Publishing, Greenwich, CT .
3. No author (2002) . School Performance Problems. Keepkidshealthy.com. Retrieved March 25, 2006, from http://www.keepkidshealthy.com/adolescent/schoolperformance.html.
4. Pat Herr (2000) . The Changing Role of the Teacher: How Management Systems Help Facilitate Teaching. The Journal. Retrieved March 25, 2006, from http://www.thejournal.com/articles/15113
5. No author (2005) . The teacher as an organizer. Honolulu Community College. Retrieved from March 25, 2006, from http://honolulu.hawaii.edu/intranet/committees/FacDevCom/guidebk/teachtip/organize.htm.
6. Moiz Amjad (1995) . Role of the Teacher. Retrieved March 24, 2006, from http://www.crescentlife.com/articles/education/role_of_teacher.htm.