Can you imagine a society with no art? No form of creative expression? Inherent in human beings is the desire to create and the desire to express. As teachers we would be amiss if we did not provide outlets for students to let their creativity shine. Creativity is a vital part of solving problems and to develop creativity is to develop problem solving skills. To exclude art is to remove a part of the human spirit.
Have you ever sat through a lecture and suddenly realized that you had no idea what was being presented? Maybe some keyword triggered your mind to wander off topic and you started daydreaming, maybe you can’t picture what exactly the speaker is trying to explain and have become frustrated, or maybe the lesson just wasn’t geared toward teaching you as an individual. There have never been two students who are exactly alike in every way, yet so many classrooms operate as if every student can be taught with the same one-size-fits-all methods. Enter the differentiated classroom where learning is centered on the student, rather than the material and more students can learn in a way that best meets their needs.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Children are all foreigners.” It is with this in mind that I take to the task of teaching them to read. Teachers must go about teaching students to read without assuming that they already know anything. We should start from the most basic building blocks and work up from there. This being said, I think that the best method for teaching children to read would be a very comprehensive approach that includes the best techniques from either strategy, whether it is “bottom-up” or “top-down”.
A wise man once told me that we can only discipline to the extent that we love. The beauty of this statement is that it challenges the one who is disciplining to love the one being disciplined. Discipline, when done effectively, is a crucial part of shaping a child into a well adjusted adult. What is effective discipline in the classroom and how does one recognize it? Effective discipline in the classroom is consistent, logical, brings about an awareness of how one’s actions affect others, and is focused on ensuring that the one being disciplined knows what is expected of him or her.
Someone once said, “A good teacher is like a candle – it consumes itself to light the way for others.” In light of this idea, my view of teaching is that it is a noble and high calling that requires sacrifice to be successful. A reputable teacher will usually have certain attributes: a natural bend toward communicating ideas, a personal commitment to professional development, and a desire to bring about positive results in students.