concise Analysis of problems facing new teachers Term Paper

Pages: 16 (4576 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Education

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] The theory and practice course has helped me to become a good teacher by helping me to know ways of applying and utilizing educational theories, expanding or rejecting them and even constructing a few of my own based on concepts I have learned in class. The course is like an experience camp where you learn how to teach and act like a professional and experienced teacher within a few months instead of waiting for years to reach that stage.

Learning about educational theories also helped me to conclusively answer some pertinent questions that I had had for a long time. For example, I got to know how children learn, why individual learning is better, and how to incorporate new learning scholarships into my teaching techniques. It is only through understanding teaching and learning theories and all other related educational theories can one make significant progress as an accomplished teacher.

Practicum Observation Lessons

When I commenced my practicum, I was of the opinion that the teacher was everything in the class. He or she acted as the puppeteer directing each and everything that happened to the puppet (class). However, I came to realize that this is not the case. As a teacher, I don't have to always direct everything. I have come to see things differently and to look at lessons from the learner's perspectives so as to plan well in advance for better learning experiences. This has exposed me to a new reality -- the fact that there are times when I may not need to be at the front of class directing things or giving instructions. Nowadays, I am more comfortable walking around class just helping students do group work or showing individual students how to work out or understand certain concepts based on the information I have gathered on that particular student's understanding. At first, I was worried about not having full control of the class but now I am only active if I really need to be.

My practical experience has also helped me to witness how students' groups work efficiently when they are given the materials and clear instructions on what to do. In the school where I was working at, students get clear instructions on what to do on a task sheet. The teacher has to briefly explain what the students have to do. He or she also has to set out the materials required (games, worksheets, or books) and divide the students himself or herself into groups. The students then work on the group activities on their own. Some students work in class and others find spaces outside at other times depending on how soon the work is needed. Even though it got noisy a few times, most students were industrious and always got the job done in one way or the other. I believe that these types of learning activities make learning fun for the students and significantly contributed to the students' achievements.

I also found double periods to be important for teaching the harder concepts as they provide enough time to expound on the topic and answer any questions from the students. Learning for longer without interruptions also kept the students focused which made it easier for them to understand the more complex topics.

Strengths of Observation Practicum

From the observation of his or her students' behaviors, a teacher can collect and analyze important data to enrich their learning experiences. If a teacher doesn't occasionally do this, he or she will be ignoring a rich source of information. The purpose of collecting information by observation of learners helps teachers to not only informally use such information to better their teaching, but also to formally report their progress.

One of the main arguments put forth in favor of using observation in assessments is that it increases assessment validity courtesy of the fact that it extends the range of possible examinations or assessments. This makes teacher observation assessment more comprehensive, contextualized, authentic and holistic. It is comprehensive because it ensures that all learning outcomes are taken into account. Connected because it is closely linked to various learning context and adapts from pedagogical planning and learning experiences. It is contextualized in the sense that it considers the effects of deriving assessment from different occasions and situations, authentic in the sense that it is interesting, meaningful and challenging to students and holistic in the sense that it stresses relatedness between various aspects of learning. Even though I was a little nervous, my observation assessment went smoothly.

Limitations

Information collected from teacher observation activities will only be valid to the degree that the proof is accurately and properly recorded, analyzed and interpreted; i.e. the report correctly shows the learner's performance, and the judgment is justifiable. Precise recording of information requires transparent and unbiased view of the learner's performance. A justifiable analysis or interpretation of a learner's performance refers to taking into account any factor that might have affected the learner's performance. In other words, the observation and the subsequent interpretation of evidence should be defensible and reasonable. The analysis of the data should also be consistent with what another teacher of similar experience obtains.

Another major drawback I found out, to the use of observation, is that there is a strong possibility of an instructor prejudging or being prejudiced against a student. Prejudgments, in our case, are opinions formed prior to collecting observation evidence by getting prior information from other instructors or based on a learner's previous performances records. However, in most cases, such information is irrelevant to the observation assessment being made. Still, prejudging or prejudicing a student may negatively influence an instructor and blind him or her to a learner's actual current performance.

Post-Observation Conference and Recommendations

After my observation assessment, I was quite nervous to head over to my supervisor for that day because I was not sure of what her opinion was about the lessons. I personally felt that the lesson was a success! However, I doubted that whatever I had done would be good enough considering her immense experience. However, to my surprise and relief, she said she was generally happy with the lesson and impressed that it had followed the lesson plan I had drafted before the class. She also commented that compared to the last time she had seen me teaching, I had provided students with more learning opportunities. I agreed with her because the last time she had seen me teaching I felt that I needed to impose my authority in class. But this time, things were different. I had put myself in my students' shoes and taught them from that perspective. This made it easier for me to teach and them to understand. One of the things I changed after putting myself in the place of my students was to slow down every time I introduced a new topic. I was happy she noted this too in our post observation conversation as she had noted it earlier and suggested that I make improvements in that area, which I did. This time she also made recommendations. She said I seemed a bit too tight and that I should liven up to make the class friendlier. I guess that this is true because I was kind of nervous being watched by her during the lesson. However, I think I am usually lively and more relaxed when I am alone with the students. She also recommended that even though I was less authoritative than last time, I should be even more non-threatening to make the class fun and the kids to feel free to ask questions. I think this too was a result of the anxiety of being observed by my supervising teacher but I will make improvements before the next observation class.

Problems Facing New Teachers

New teachers face significant challenges which they must overcome to be successful in the teaching profession. Understanding the challenges and preparing to face them is important to succeed in overcoming them. A problem or a challenge in the teaching profession is anything that can prevent or slow down a teacher from doing his or her work. The transition between finishing training and settling in one's first teaching job is normally quite challenging as one moves from the classroom ideals taught in training to the harsh reality of day-to-day life in the classroom (Menon, 2011). Various studies show that the main challenges for new teachers include: organization of classwork, relationship with parents and guardians, motivating students, tweaking lesson plans to suit individual learning needs and classroom discipline. In some other cases lack of sufficient teaching resources and problematic students have also been cited as challenges (Whitaker, 2003).

Classroom Discipline

A large body of research on the problems experienced by new teachers points to classroom indiscipline as the leading challenge for new teachers. Still,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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