does being a skillful teacher mean to you? Is it the same as or similar to
being a powerful teacher? Are there any expectations inherent in unravelling
any difference between these two perceptions?
Stephen Brookfield, a scholar in adult
education, is someone I look up to because his focus is on helping adults learn
how to critically think about internalized ideologies. He believes that we teach to change the world
and that being a sincere and reflective educator can be complex but that we
need to be aware of those complexities in order to learn and empower our
students (Brookfield, 2015). I have always enjoyed learning about his perspective
and determining how I can use it in my teaching techniques.
Teaching techniques have been expanding and unfolding with
ever-evolving paradigms that make the teaching profession demanding, and, at
times, it can be difficult to maintain your passion for teaching. Drawing from
my own experiences of teaching for the past ten years, I have compiled a list
of ways to help you keep the passion in your teaching.
Do you feel uncomfortable when you visit a new place? I imagine how our
students feel when they arrive to Canada. Not only are they here to learn
English, but they’re also here to adapt to an unfamiliar culture.
Speaking from experience as a current ESL teacher and a former ESL
learner, I thought I’d compile a short list of the top five ways that teachers
can support their learners in their transition to help them adjust and become
confident and effective learners.
I came to Canada as an immigrant from Bosnia – a war-torn country – which, to this day, is difficult to return to when I want to visit family. Not only do I remember things no child should, but physical remnants remain at every corner of the country itself. My family was one of those that escaped with a random truck driver in hopes of getting out and not being denied entry into Croatia, which was safe.
The role of critical reflection is very important in action-based
approaches to problem solving. Reflecting allows us, as researchers and
educators, to think about what can be done after an observation of a particular
method and how action can be taken to fix or alter the process of the method to
make it more effective. “Being able to explain what you are doing and why you
are doing it also enables you to be clear about its significance for your
field, which is important when it comes to saying why your research should be
believed and taken seriously by others, especially peers” (McNiff, 2011, p.