Saturday, June 8, 2013

Who do I want to be as a teacher?

In answer to the question posed as "Who do I want to be as a teacher?"
By nature and adaptation, I've become quite a syncretist and I am very okay with that.  My professional practice of adult education has a great deal to do with the theory of social constructivism.  Given the insight of our teaching style assessment, I'd also like to be true to my natural strengths or preferences in continuing to utilize my dominant styles of both personal and facilitator styles when most appropriate for the learners needs.
Outside of those commitments or perhaps informed by them, I want to mirror my future educational practices around the notion conveyed by Rita Pierson in her TED Talk "Every kid needs a champion" because I fundamentally believe that what she said is 100% accurate.  Rita told her fellow teacher:  "The children don't learn anything if they don't like the teacher."  That being said, I want to build the most effective relationships both individually and collectively with my students.  In this, I'm holding true to my personal style of teaching by making the teacher/student relationship primary in my thoughts.
Secondly, I am committed to being a little inspirational in my teaching style as I'm perfectly centered in the Jesuit motto of ad majorem Dei gloriam (all for the greater glory of God).  In this, I want to leave room for the Holy Ghost to work in the hearts and minds of my classrooms.  This is where I get very passionate and humbly declare I want to be an AWESOME teacher, where Awesome equals its three As as explained by Neil Pasricha in his TED Talk "The 3 A's of Awesome":  attitude, awareness and authenticity.
Lastly, I want to acknowledge my belief that the purpose of my teaching is not only to promote the learning of the students but to leave the world a better place.  In this I want to acknowledge the creative processes underlying both teaching and learning and honor a commitment to education as an essential platform for problem-solving in life both personally and socially.  Here my facilitator style comes in quite nicely and I'll stretch to use more of the delegator style as my emerging awareness of SOLE takes root in my practice.  SOLE stands for self-organizaed learning environments and demphasizes the roles of the teacher by elevating the mastery of the students themselves.  In this, I'm thankful to not only my nun friends but appreciative of the teachings of folks like Peter Senge at MIT and Sugata Mitra in his TED Talk "Build a School in the Cloud".
I am grateful for this really great question from Dr. Harvey at Saint Louis University!  I believe that great questions in themselves produce the critical and creative thinking that produces the best learning outcomes.