“Plants are shaped by cultivation and men by education. We are born weak, we need strength; we are born totally unprovided, we need aid; we are born stupid, we need judgement. Everything we do not have at our birth and which we need when we are grown is given to us by education. ” (Jean Jacques Rousseau) It can be seen that education is one of the most important factor of our life. It is the tool that shapes us intellectually, socially, emotionally and personally. The kind of education that we receive depends highly on the educators that we encounter.
A positive or negative encounter can impact our entire life. Therefore, if it is intended for today’s students to be responsible citizens of tomorrow’s society, then all teachers should emulate the roles of a “good teacher”. A good teacher is one who is knowledgeable of learners and their development, knowledgeable of subject matter and curriculum goals, creates a good learning environment and……. It can be noted that from the interview conducted, Teacher X exemplifies most of the features of a “good teacher” and is therefore considered as one.
Before entering in a classroom, a “good teacher” should be highly knowledgeable of the subject area they will be teaching and have a clear understanding of how to organize the curriculum in order to meet the need of the students and the objectives of the school. The interview highlighted that Teacher X is one of the chief writers of the curriculum for the examination body of her institution. It will be ones belief that a personnel would not have been bestowed such privilege if she was not competent in her subject area.
She also outlined that her learning objectives are based on the knowledge, ability and skill of the students. This further exemplifies her since Darlington-Hammond and Baratz-Snowden (2005) states that based on the learning needs of their students, teachers must make a wide variety of curriculum decisions, ranging from the evaluation and selection of materials to the design and sequencing of tasks, assignments and activities to the assessment of learning to guide further teaching.
The development of the curriculum in light of the students’ interest fosters intrinsic motivation and stimulates the students’ passion for learning a specific subject area. If given the opportunity for input, students’ will generate ideas and set goals that even the teacher had not thought of. At this point teachers should embrace the fact that they do not know everything and should be willing to learn from their students’ in the process. A “good teacher” must take the time to know her students. Know not only their names or facial representations, but their readiness level, learning styles and interest.
Students are all individuals who learn at different rates and in different ways. Tomlinson (2001) outlines that students learn better if tasks are a close match for their skills and understanding of a topic (readiness), if tasks ignite curiosity or passion in a student (interest) and if the assignment encourages students to work in a preferred manner (learning style). The classrooms of our society can be extremely diverse, so teachers must be able to differentiate intrsuctions to meet the individual needs of each student.