My conception of teaching and learning
When I was a student, I did not have a good feeling in English classes. First, I did not know why I should learn English. Then I had to learn new words and new structure in order to pass my exams. Before Exam, my brain was full of new words and useless structure and exam sheet was empty and after the exam every things changed, the exam paper became full and my brain became empty. I would get a good score, but I forgot almost everything after a day or two, and the next year, again, this meaningless story would be repeated. When I became a teacher decided to change somethings.
First of all, as a teacher I have to pay attention to the fact that learning and teaching processes will be successful if education can cause any positive changes the behavior of my student not just transferring information. As an English teacher, I should know I am not Vocabulary teacher, I am not grammar teacher and my duty is not to start the teaching a book at the beginning of the course and finish it at the end of the course. I am an English teacher. It means that at the end of the course my student should have some new communicative competence. Because the aim of language teaching as a means of communication is enabling students to communicate in written and spoken form.
Another important thing is that students should know why they have to learn English. Learning without motivation is boring for students. In addition, they need to know that they are important to the teacher, the teacher likes them and their success is of great importance. In this case, they trust the teacher and consider the classroom as a safe environment. In such an environment, the teacher can provide the conditions for the emergence of students’ creativity and talents. A classroom is one of the best places for emergence and growth of creativity. When the child enters to school, the socialization process begins in the educational environment. Many factors, such as: too much homework, emphasis on memorizing, implementing non-flexible programs, not paying attention to individual differences, and eventually ignoring or neglecting the characteristics of creative children, will slow down their creativity.
Another important thing that I should remember is that not all the students are the same. Their learning style may vary greatly. If a student performs poorly in performance with his peers, it does not mean that he has less intelligence, or he is a lazy student. Individual differences can have several reasons, such as multiple intelligences, psychological characteristics, and family status. Having a proper relationship with students requires awareness of such differences.
Some say that the teaching method in each class should be different to another class. I say, perhaps it is not unreasonable to say that the teaching method to any student should be different to another student.
A description of how I teach
In my opinion, the greatest defect is teaching is too much Teacher Talking Time (TTT). I know that students do not focus on my lecture more than 15 or 20 minutes. If the time for my lectures is longer than that, they certainly will snap in the rest of the class with open eyes. Therefore, instead of talking from the beginning to the end of the class, and teaching everything, I provide the conditions for my student to explore and discover. In my class, the student is not abandoned at any moment of the class without a program. He is not a passive listener. At any moment, with my guidance, he takes a step toward the goals of the lesson. My role in class is not just to transfer of information, I play my role as a facilitator. I create questions in their minds and raise their curiosity, then show them how to find the answer of their questions. I really believe to Blaise Pascal that says “People are generally better persuaded by the reasons which they have themselves discovered than by those which have come in to the mind of others.” After a few years of teaching inductively, I found some drawbacks of an inductive approach. It was alittle time-consuming and energy-consuming, and it could lead to misunderstanding of the rule or reaching a wrong conclusion. It could also be frustrating for learners with a less analytical learning style. Some of my students could not be able to answer the questions raised during the tutorial, despite the tips they receive. So, I tried a new model of teaching. I read about the advantage of deductive and inductive model of teaching again and combined the best of each. I started a modified inductive approach. In this model there is exposure to language first, followed by the use of inference, and at last an explicit focus on rules and practice. In other words I start my teaching inductively elicit the rule from student write them on the board and in this way finish my lesson deductively. I found considerable benefits to this approach. Some of them are as below:
· Encouraging analytic learning
· Improving critical thinking
· It involving students in problem-solving tasks
· Participating actively in the learning process
· Understanding and remembering better
· Providing natural language learning environment
· If done in groups, it provides better group working culture and collaborating
· Increasing student participation
· Increasing motivation
Sometimes some of my colleagues ask me what you do with the naughty students, how do you control them? I answer in my class, no one have any time to be naughty. They work all the time in the classroom. I use guided discovery model.
All aspects of language
Each English language teacher knows that language instruction is not just grammar and grammar. The student may know too many words. It is also possible that this student can explain all the grammar of the English language. Such a student might be able to get a good grade in a multi-choice English test. But can we say with certainty that he knows English? Can you be sure that such a student knows what he / she is writing well? And whether he can use English as a communication medium in different environments. I think the answer to these questions is definitely negative. Knowing the form in a guaranteed language is not meant to understand the meaning and use it. It may be necessary to know the conditional form, but surely the condition is not enough. When I can be sure that my teaching has been effective, my student, in addition to the form, also understands the meaning and means of using what is learned. So, in addition to the grammatical and lexical form, I also need to teach the meaning of the sentence and the use of language at the level of the discourse. For example in order to teach structure, I introduce new points in a context such as a conversation, followed by controlled practice of main structure of the lesson. Then, I continue with free, picture-based practices to convey meaning and finally finish my teaching through social interaction activities such as a dialogue or a paragraph writing.
I have learned that when the students learn something some steps take place in the brain. These steps include input, perception, comprehension, intake, recall and finally output. Many teachers recognize that learning is over in the comprehension phase, and after this stage, they expect the student has learned the lesson and finishes the process of teaching. Sometimes they may take a test, and if the students have a poor result, they will be punished or are blamed. Some of our colleagues ignore the fact that the stages of training have not yet been completed. The intact stage is a stage that is usually neglected and therefore, what is taught will be forgotten soon. In order to move from the stage of comprehension to the intake stage, repetition of the material is essential. This repetition should be meaningful (no mechanical) and also shoul happen in a real life situation.
In my opinion, evaluation is not something apart from the process of learning and learning, but it is an important part of the learning process. Contrary to some who beliefs the purpose of education is testing, I think evaluation should be at service of education. A teacher’s view of the assessment should not be the view of the accused and the prosecutor. The main objective of the evaluation is not just to determine the student’s rejection or acceptance (summative assessment), but it is to identify the weaknesses and efforts to improve the condition (formative assessment). The goal of assessment is to monitor student learning to provide ongoing feedback that can be used by instructors to improve their teaching and by students to improve their learning.
Once I imagined that I was the best teacher and my teaching method was the best of all. After attending to the university for the second time, every things changed completely. By reading every book and by attending in each class, I found out that there were so many things that I did not know. I concluded that a school should be a learning system. A system that all its components should learn constantly.