As a student I have experienced effective, dynamic teachers to ineffective, poor performing teachers and a lot of in between. The teaching profession is a noble job, which encompasses many jobs within itself. When I began my teaching career, I knew that teaching involved more than just teaching, planning a lesson, managing a classroom and reporting the progress of students. Teaching involves administrative tasks as well. Teachers develop relationships, they communicate with fellow teachers, administrators, parents, coordinate class trips and contribute to special education meetings. The teaching profession pushes teachers to continually strive for stronger and applicable lessons. As an instructor my objective is to create lessons that stimulate interactions which foster engagement and understanding to the students. It is my sole responsibility as an educator to determine exactly what my students understand, then facilitate the learning curve to every student. My philosophy in teaching is that first it is a “powerful” job. It requires extensive collaboration within a school building. Secondly, teachers must foster a learning environment by identifying and implementing effective learning strategies. The teaching profession is a powerful job due to its “powerful interactions.” There are two important goals for powerful interactions. Firstly, they allow teachers to build a deeper relationships with each student. According to researchers, meaningful and lasting learning depends on a strong personal relationship between teachers and learners. Secondly, teachers move children’s learning forward in small steps, like the ladder of success. For example, using interesting language such as asking questions, accomplishing the engineering design process, create a thesis statement and attain the meaning of a word by using context clues. You are engaging the student’s curiosity and extending their thinking habits. Students will appreciate this and discover the pleasure and excitement of being a learner. I would like to make a connection which has occurred in my science classes; this year we have been implementing the engineering design process. The objective for the students is to figure out a new and innovative idea to an existing problem, this opportunity is powerful to students. It enables them to ask questions and define problems. Students develop and use models, plan, carry out investigations, analyze, interpret data using mathematics and computational thinking, constructing explanations and design solutions. A project based learning idea such that of the engineering design process can tap into the multiple intelligences and hone a student’s joy for learning. The process gives the kinesthetic learners the ability to use their body to make something, also the communication of partner groups give the interpersonal intelligence an opportunity. Giving students opportunities to learn, in itself is differentiation. “Teaching is about making some kind of dent in the world so that the world is different than what it was before you practiced your craft.” (Brookfield 1990).
The school as a community of learners is the “coat rack” on which are hung many supporting components and to which all the pieces are fastened. A good school can become a great school by everyone teaching and everyone learning. Teachers, administrators, and students are all teaching and learning. A school culture of such will create immense gains in the school ecosystem, or as stated by Aesop, “Union gives
strength”. A community of learners implies that school is a context for everyone’s lifelong growth, not just for the growth among K-12. Some critical changes we have noticed in the science department is the organization of the professional learning community. In the meetings, each teacher shares their views and ideas on the curriculum, potential planning, student artifacts, classroom management strategies and a whole abundance of agenda items. As one piece of the puzzle, the science department is on the right “coat rack.” “Teacher growth is closely related to student growth.” (Barth 1990) One of the hardest things teachers face today is classroom management. It’s imperative to create a conducive learning environment for both the students and teacher and it is important to instill management uniformity in all classes. A strong classroom management system will drive effective instruction, according to Harry Wong, “the bottom line is that classroom management has a tremendous impact on student achievement.”
In order to gain a strong classroom management you have to implement rules, procedures, routines and a safe, clean working environment. Students will respect this atmosphere and will embrace it. Students seek structure and constitution in the classroom and school as a whole, especially in a middle school setting. Clear and assertive classroom management will induce student accountability which hence lowers discipline issues.
Barth S. Roland. “Improving Schools from Within. Teachers, Parents and Principals Can Make the Difference.” Jossey- Bass Publishers San Francisco. Oxford 1990.
Brookfield, Stephen. “The Skillful Teacher: On Technique, Trust, and Responsiveness in the Classroom.” Second Edition. 1990.
The iLearn Teacher of the Year Program honors excellence in classroom education and provides a forum to showcase many outstanding educators whose efforts and example have inspired their students, their colleagues, and the communities they serve.
iLearn Schools Teacher of the Year is the highest honor that iLearn Schools can bestow upon a teacher. This program annually recognizes and rewards teachers who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and excellence in teaching.
Every spring each campus selects a Teacher of the Year and amongst them, one iLearn Schools Teacher of the Year is selected. The one teacher that is selected as the iLearn Schools Teacher of the Year may represent iLearn Schools in the Governor’s Teacher of the Year and the New Jersey Charter School Association Teacher of the Year programs.