I am an educator and a life coach by profession, but if I ask my heart it wants to be a lifelong learner. In other words, my head teaches/coaches and my heart learns and this has proved to be a great combination that is leading me continuously towards being a 21st-century teacher and keeping alive my aspiration.
“Your heart is slightly larger than the average human heart, but that’s because you’re a teacher.” -Aaron Bacall
Teachers are the makers of good citizens
I can never forget the motivating words of my school principal Mother Bernard who, according to me, was a woman of substance. She was a refined lady with grace in her demeanor and kindness in her eyes. Whatever she spoke was always impressive.
I’d love to share a small section of the message she conveyed on the day of commencement, which still echoes in my heart and mind and inspires me to be just like her:
“Now life will automatically put you into a competition mode…yes…you heard me right COMPETITION! Don’t follow the traditional style of competing with others to be better or best, maybe you are already better than them, so the best person to compete with is YOU. Be your competitor and your progress is surely guaranteed because you are a unique and special person… May your journey be filled with dignity, peace, and success…”
“Those who know, do. Those that understand, teach.” -Aristotle
A solid educational foundation is an essential factor in a successful life. As Karl Marx’s base and superstructure concepts are very important in the formation of human society, the same thing applies to an individual’s personality. The school and college education builds a strong base in the student’s life, so quality education, from the very beginning, is compulsory.
Accolades and applause are vital for professional growth, but for an educator, the job of building the foundation of their students is award-winning in itself. According to me, a student’s progress as a learner and as a human being is the best reward a teacher can ever receive.
“No kid is unsmart. Every kid’s a genius at something. Our job is to find it. And then encourage it.” -Robin Sharma
Appreciating the educators, who taught me and guided me during my educational or professional period, is a way of paying forward because I’ve learned a lot from them, and at this point, I want to share some of my experiences to keep up the aspiration of those teachers who are towards their goal of educating their learners.
Some helpful tips for a 21st-century teacher:
- Apply important skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, cooperation, creativity, and leadership in your teaching.
- Integrate different approaches in your teaching and plan your lessons according to your class requirements. Stay up to date and be capable of tweaking your old plans to match the current requirements.
- Expand your repertoire of teaching strategies and experiment with new ones. Have warm-ups, fillers, and a backup plan ready at hand.
- Make your teaching flexible enough to welcome changes, newness, and spontaneity when needed.
- Create a friendly and disciplined atmosphere in your classroom. Concentrate on educating children for the future to make sure that no child is left behind.
- Pay close attention to what is happening in education and try to address the problems head-on. Feedback on your teaching strategy helps you to develop further.
- Consider your present or previous workplaces as the school of your experiential learning.
- Attend Professional Development Workshops to enhance your capability to be more creative. After all, learning is a lifelong process. Count your strengths, you will overcome your challenges by being a learner.
- Use technology as a smart device to lessen your hefty tasks. Being a teacher in modern times means you need to adjust to the constantly changing tools and techniques that are being adopted in the classrooms.
- Create a positive digital footprint by setting an example for students on how to use social media correctly.
- Believe that failure is an event, not a person, so take your or your learner’s failure positively.
- Share your work with your colleagues and co-workers, learning becomes more effective when you share your expertise with others. The learning and teaching process includes sharing your knowledge and experience, communicating with others, and understanding your team too.
I believe in educating my students instead of simply teaching them. Our students are the future generation that can fulfill our dreams of an ideal world.
“Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids to work together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important.” -Bill Gates
Happy Teacher’s Day to all!