According to the theories of Lev Semenovich Vygotsky, and Sociocultural theory, “Students should be put in situations where they have to reach to understand, but where support from other students or the teacher is also available. Sometimes the best teacher is another student who has just figured out how to solve the problem, because this student is probably operating in the learner’s zone of proximal development. Students should be guided by explanations, demonstrations, and work with other students-opportunities for cooperative learning”
– Woolfolk, Anita. 2007. Educational Psychology. Boston. Pearson
I make every effort to reach my student’s global intelligence. We learn in a variety of ways. Therefore, I try to include in my lessons a variety of activities that will help to get my students motivated. I love their essential humanity as it is expressed in their energy and wonder in the world. The beauty of their innocence and generosity is both humbling and inspirational. They generate vitality and they demonstrate a hunger for learning that rewards every effort to teach them what they want to learn. They can be distracted and impatient or they can be very patient when we, as teachers, have anticipated their needs and interests and we have striven to engage with them in their own learning process.
Teaching may be a role assumed by a trained professional modeled on well chosen standards, with measured results and reflective evaluations to improve the proponent’s skill and expertise. Yet, if the teacher’s students do not learn, then it is a failed exercise. I bring into my teaching fun and excitement and I try not only to teach the subject at hand, but also I strive to regard my students and listen and learn about my students’ abilities, needs, interests and curiosities. My intent is to get them involved and engaged and motivated in their journey of learning.
I teach in a Catholic Parochial School, so faith is something that we can explore – in any school subject. It doesn’t mean that we are teaching the catechism in every class, but the students and I can stop and reflect on deep meaningful subjects at any time that it seems appropriate. This can help to relieve stress, center our thoughts and fill our hearts with feelings we hold in common – a great way to experience a moment together and share appreciation for each other and build trust and confidence in each other. On the other hand, sometimes we just need to have a laugh or sing a song together.