Monday, February 11, 2013

Characteristics of a Novice Teacher

Characteristic one: Lifelong Learning To me, a commitment to lifelong learning means always seeking out new information about teaching, new methods of teaching, and continuously revising and reforming your current teaching methods. In order for students to learn the most from your teaching, you need to constantly dedicate time to learn more about teaching as you progress through your career. One way to do this is to read academic journals and articles about education. These journals can serve as a primary source of information about the latest and newest trends in teaching. The reading of these articles allows a teacher to learn what techniques are deemed effective and ineffective according to research. A teacher could also search academic journals for information about a strategy they already use and see if there is a research-backed way for them to modify and improve upon their teaching. Lifelong learning means keeping up to date with the latest research on teaching and taking the lessons learned from said research to change classroom practice. Characteristic two: Reflective A good novice teacher is reflective. This means that they are constantly analyzing and reflecting upon their own teaching and the student learning that occurs as a result. A reflective teacher looks back a lessons and determines what worked and what could have gone better. This reflection allows for the teacher to make changes and avoid making the same mistakes twice. Reflection also allows a teacher to figure out what teaching strategies work for which students and how to better teach each individual student. A good way to be a reflective teacher is to keep a journal. In the Benedum program, we are required to keep a journal and write an entry for every day in our PDS. While at times this can seem tedious, it is a worthwhile investment of time because it allows us to learn more from our teaching experiences. Reflecting upon how our lessons go is of particular importance now because we are just learning how to teach. It is important to take a look back at the lessons after we have taught them so we can get a better idea of what worked and what we would/should do differently next time. Constantly reflecting upon past successes and failures allows us to accelerate our learning as novice teachers.