Why do I teach?
I enjoy teaching because it is rewarding and fulfilling. Long story short – before I found teaching, I was not happy to work in the area of sales when I was living in Australia. So one day, I called it a quit, and fast forward, the opportunity came along to teach English in Brazil. When I reflect upon the whole thing, I feel very convinced that teaching is a gratifying and noble job, and there is nothing else I feel but joy.
What do I teach?
As a teacher, I primary focus on teaching medical, exams preparation, and business English —of every level or grade of student —to equip and empower learners, so they may become successful in their respective fields and pursuits – whether at school or work. However, I believe in not to simply teach a subject, rather build students up to their independence, so they may be able to transfer their learning in real life.
How do I teach – statement of teaching philosophy?
I think the answer is not merely what methodology I use, rather what influences and motivates me as a teacher. For example, what I believe in as teacher, what I want my students to accomplish, what they themselves want to realise, and where I hold them in my heart – all of these parametres play distinct roles as I go about why I do my job.
Although my classes are student centred, I make sure that learning has occurred in the classroom and that whatever they have learned and acquired can also be transferred. I achieve this by engaging students into activities with increased difficulty and laying out assessments that are usually peer graded.
To further illustrate, I create activities and assessments that involve creativity, technology, reflection, and choice. Discussion and participation are a must in my classes, and I want learners to create their own languages—be it a through conversation, self-discovery or writing—so that they feel confident at the end of the class of their abilities and skills. Additionally, I am firmly convicted that technology can add a certain dynamics to a class if used correctly, besides I like to conduct tests and quiz, and assign projects that require using mobile devices or computers. My lesson plans facilitate implementation of higher order cognitive scales (associated with Bloom’s revised taxonomy technology ) as I infuse SAMR (Substitution-Augmentation-Modification-Redefinition) stages into them.
Apart from that, in my classrooms, I usually use small group work, debate, authentic materials, realias, writing exercises, and a lot of eliciting in the form of reflections indicative of Communicative and Task Based Language Learning Approaches. I believe in a student centred classroom environment where learners should feel in charge of their learning. However, I can switch to Direct, Audio-Lingual, and the other methods of instruction if I have to.
Besides, I am a firm believer of formative assessments and that said, I do conduct summative assessments during mid term and end term. Speaking of formative feedback, my students normally carry out assessments at the end of the class, but the works and outcomes of an assessment take place throughout the class. I utilise creatve rubrics to set standards for peer reviews.
Why I prefer Formative Assessment?
TESOL course – with all sincerity – has introduced me to a new world of how students can be better assessed using formative assessment. Before taking this course, I only knew of summative assessment conducted at the end of a semester; however, I realised formative assessment works, and students do enjoy it.
If you are new to this concept as I was once, this kind of assessment is used to form students learning and to provide opportunities for improvement; it generally can be conducted throughout a course/module and is reliant upon prompt, feedback etc.
Since my introduction, I have become a regular user of this type learner appraisal method, and also, I usually conclude a class with a task which provides immediate feedback. These days, I usually incorporate a mid-class quick quiz which provides students with the ability to track their progress and understanding of the lesson. And, the quiz is not only about memory learning, but also about learner reflections on a topic or lesson. Apart from that, all of my students wholeheartedly anticipate for the end class assessment – whether it is a role play or writing task or impromptu speech – “the main event”. This event, 99% of the time, is peer assessed with a well thought rubric which engages learners into consideration of everything that has been taught and practiced prior to the task. I often infuse technology – as mentioned earlier – into this style of teaching making then class dynamic and student centred.