Tuesday, November 17, 2009

You practice teaching

Last semester, my Teacher’s Behavior Inventory (TBI) was one of the highest scores last semester. No, I was not THE highest. If I’m not mistaken, the Biology professor or the PE teacher or the sole male HRM professor got the highest. I can say that the test is credible mainly because these professors are so good. Honestly, the Biology professor is very good in his craft. He’s very good not solely because he’s from UP and is still connected with UP, but because the difficulty of the subject matter is equated with his good natured personality.
Well, in the case of my result, I felt honored. It was an encouragement for me to improve my craft. Honestly though, I AM NO GENIUS IN THE FIELD OF MATHEMATICS EDUCATION AND EVEN IN MATHEMATICS ITSELF. Gauss, Archimedes, Newton, Hawking, and the likes (yes, the last two are into physics but they’re credited in the development of Applied Mathematics). I can not even enumerate the teaching strategies to be used. I forgot how to do differential and integral calculus, plane and analytic geometry.

First, it’s all by God’s grace. It is not possible if God didn’t give me the strength and wisdom and even time that are needed. I am no Tony Stark (Iron Man) that gives lecture while drunk. Second, I took time to read, reread, at times memorize, the subject matter before I got it here. My so-called teaching strategies are not the work of a genius (and I am not a genius anyway), it’s both by God’s help and by hard work. Third, the support of the family and sweet girl gave me added fuel.

Mastery of the subject matter doesn’t immediately guarantee good teaching, although it is a BIG help. (It’ll cut the time in half if you’re very, very familiar with the subject matter, and the time that was saved can be used on how to strategize). You as a learner are different from you as a teacher.

I can still remember what the band Eagles said during an interview before their “Hell Freezes Over” concert. They said that the key is practice. They spend significant amounts of time practicing. The same thing can be applied in teaching.
Fellow teachers, our learning institution is not perfect, not even near perfect, but we need to take time to hone our craft as a teacher. Yes, the students may not appreciate our teaching at times, but hey, we know deep within us that we didn’t short change them.

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