The learner-centered learning paradigm tells us about a new attitude towards students. They are no longer considered only within the educational program as a student or a client. They become the customer and initiators of this learning process. The student decides everything: where to study, when, why, and what. Teachers are only assistants, and their goal is to make the student as independent as possible in obtaining knowledge.
Today, the teacher helps to build a personal trajectory for students, provides them with resources for continuous learning, and models an environment for development so that even after graduation they continue to acquire knowledge and apply it independently. Consequently, each novice teacher, sooner or later, faces the problem of becoming a teacher who is expected, loved, and respected by students.
I have a few life experiences that led me to consider teaching as a career. However, I would like to start with kindergarten school as far as I could remember when my teacher only catered to students who could comprehend more accurately than some. I remember it like it was yesterday, and I said to myself that I am going to become a teacher one day when I get older. I could help students learn and become better; that was the first reason why.
The second reason was that I am passionate and patient about helping others learn. I make sure I have an open mind about everyone’s ways and upbringing, because not everyone comes from a politically perfect environment. I learn to understand that by growing up in a less fortunate home. I also learned that I was taking advantage of my very own uncle as a child as he was my babysitter. Also, after that incident, I always said to myself that I am going to help protect, advocate, push, and help other children. Today my personality is relatable, and I am very understanding, transparent, loving, and caring.
I was a Sunday school young teacher for seven years which gave me an opportunity and experience to work hands-on with the youth. This gave me an even deeper desire to become a teacher. At that time, I was being mentored by a great woman in the community. She had imparted so much wisdom into my life that I was able to share with the youth. Today my abilities and skills are sharpened because of the great woman who mentored me. Lastly, my son losing his legs and fingertips at the age of six gave me a great experience and passion for becoming a teacher. For months I had to be his teacher after he was released from the hospital. It was then that I knew that I was born to teach.
Learner and Future Teacher
Some learning and teaching experiences influenced my decision to become a teacher. First of all, being a teacher is not just a profession. For a child, a teacher is a kind of reference point that helps in revealing all the facets of this fantastic, different, and not always friendly world. It helps students reveal their potential, live in harmony with the world, and get out of various difficult situations intelligently and with dignity (Ramos et al., 2021). Moreover, the teacher not only educates but also learns every day, receiving a response in the form of children’s eyes burning with delight.
In addition, working with children to a certain extent makes you stay young. Not only physically but also from the perspective of the interests of children and adolescents that change according to time. The path of a teacher is continuous improvement, spiritual and creative development. In addition, teachers constantly have to cultivate such qualities as diligence, purposefulness, courage, perseverance (Mohamad et al., 2020). This work is a constant search. After all, without your professional progress, it is challenging to attract children.
Of course, as a future teacher, I set certain goals that I would like to achieve. First of all, this is the desire to master specific skills that would help me become a memorable teacher whose lessons students strive and want to come to.
Here it is worth noting such essential qualities as the ability to build relationships on trust and respect. The teacher should not impose his opinion on the students, but try to understand their interests, help express themselves, not order them, but advise how best to act in a particular situation (Mohamad et al., 2020). Also, it is necessary to strive to develop your professional knowledge. Teachers should be able to “humanize” knowledge, conferring it as their views on the world and not just present book formulations (Ramos et al., 2021). I set goals for myself to master skills that will help develop sensitivity to students. These include professional vigilance, observation, intuition, and the ability to empathize, put yourself in the student’s place.
First of all, it should be noted that several points have been reflected in my educational experience. Hence, the interaction with students should be put forward in the first place (Sousa & Tomlinson, 2018). This is reflected in the construction of training and the education system itself. The need to implement such principles in which students will be aware of their importance. Changes should occur in all areas of training. Schedules should be adapted to the needs of students, so you should consult with them to develop the learning process.
Several studies have influenced my views as not only a teacher but also as a student. The concept of goal-oriented learning is dictated by the digital era, where the possession of information is less valuable than the ability to navigate the subject, filter the information flow and focus on the result. Education is increasingly focused on developing skills rather than the usual memorization of knowledge (Ramos et al., 2021). This is true not only for adults. Children also need practical orientation. For example, they study to enter a university, then to get a good job. Students expect not only knowledge and skills but also a ready-made portfolio as a result of the modern learning process.
When designing educational activities, a teacher or methodologist should consider how a person will be able to apply knowledge in practice (Ramos et al., 2021). Of course, there are subjects whose purpose is to broaden your horizons, learn more about history and culture. However, even in this format, you can lay down a practical application: how history relates to reality, whether the past helps analyze the present, and what context this phenomenon is embedded in now.
Also, in my future work, I would resort to such a model as Self-directed learning. The essence of this step-by-step model is that the student moves in the learning process from “dependence” to “self-direction.” It is a gradual process that begins from the first stage when students depend on the teacher: they still have little knowledge and expectations from the subject, the learning goals are not formulated yet (Mohamad et al., 2020). Gradually, step by step, students become “self-directed” and full-fledged co-authors of the educational process.
Summing up, it should be noted that now students are becoming more and more independent. They are developing faster, and their knowledge is becoming more extensive. Thus, as teachers, we need to set goals for the continuous development and improvement of our skills, both professional and personal. For students to become more and more attracted to coming to classes, they must become active participants in creating educational activities. In this process, the teacher should be helped by new learning models designed to change the traditional approach to learning. Students strive to get more applied, practical knowledge. In this case, the teacher should competently dispose of his life experience, helping children navigate the modern world.
Mohamad, N., Halim, L., & Abd Talib, M. (2020). Self-directed learning curriculum: students’ perspectives of university learning experiences. Malaysian journal of learning and instruction, 17(2), 227-251. Web.
Ramos, A., De Fraine, B., & Verschueren, K. (2021). Learning goal orientation in high-ability and average-ability students: Developmental trajectories, contextual predictors, and long-term educational outcomes. Journal of Educational Psychology, 113(2), 370–389. Web.
Sousa, D. A. & Tomlinson, C. A. (2018). Differentiation and the Brain: How neuroscience Supports the learner-friendly classroom. Solution Tree Press.