Teaching is commonly referred to as an art. Those teachers who can; bring their students to new levels of academic achievement, challenge them in ways that causes the students to critically examine themselves, become critical and higher-level thinkers, engage their students in a level of learning that is liberating, provide an environment in which learning is valued and diversity of thought is affirmed, and have a genuine concern for the individual student, are truly teachers who have mastered the craft, the art of teaching.
Personal Aspirations for Teaching
While in many cases, I consider good teaching to be good teaching. I have make great efforts to bring my students to a level of learning that moves them beyond the view of teaching as a simple, uncreative, banking system of learning process (put into students what you want them to learn). I strive to engage my students in a process of learning that will encourage them to think more critically about their practice and produce more quality educational experiences for their students. When I consider my responsibility as a teacher, I give serious thought to the educational experiences that I want my students to encounter. Students enter a classroom that:
Ø fosters an engaging pedagogy;
Ø centers around cooperative learning;
Ø practices critical pedagogy;
Ø encourages students to reach new heights in their learning and teaching through challenging expectations,
Ø places emphasis on culturally relevant teaching (presenting material that in a manner that is culturally relevant for the Otterbein student);
Ø integrates and provides students with innovative lessons; and
Ø affirms the individual.
As an educator, it is critical that I also learn from my students. So often, students enter my classroom with a “tell me what you want me to know” attitude and “please don’t make me think” mind-set. However, much to their surprise, they are presented with theory and methodological practices in a way that truly causes them to think and begin to engage in the learning experience. If we are truly about transforming the education children are receiving in the classroom I believe that I must present my students [Otterbein students] with a learning experience that directly places them in a classroom environment that is an example of teaching as an art, teaching as a liberating experience. I must be in tune with my students in order to begin to implement a form of theory into practice that is meaningful for the student. I want them to leave my classroom with an enthusiasm for teaching and learning that will be infectous in their classroom. I want to teach and prepare teachers in a way that is reflective of a changing world. With a more complex understanding of meaningful teaching and learning, higher expectations, increased knowledge, and a greater sense of the individual student, I [teachers] can begin to guide classroom experiences that will lead to student learning. I expect to provide students with a learning experience that they enable them to embrace their own teaching as an art form.