Is Teaching a moral effort as much as an Intellectual enterprise?

Slater (2008) stated the following: “Teaching is as much a moral effort as it is an intellectual enterprise.” Is it?

Teaching is as much a moral effort as it is an intellectual one. Although teachers cannot and sometimes do not profess their moral choices in the workplace and in the classroom, they often exhibit characteristics by how they live and operate. A popular motivational speaker noted that people groups and organizations take on the personality of their leader (J. Maxwell, personal communication, summer 1997). When a teacher is leading a group of students in class, building relationships with them as a group, and teaching them on a daily basis, students begin to take on her personality and act in similar ways. These actions are characteristic of an early childhood classroom when young children imitate the teacher and begin saying similar things and acting in similar ways. They want to be the teacher.

The teacher’s values are reflected in her teaching practices by how she conducts herself and how she reacts to classroom situations. If she has a high-energy personality, she will react with more energy than someone who has learned to see the full picture of situations before reacting. A teacher with good values and high morals will likely react at a calmer pace rather than make quick responses. Regardless of a teacher’s values and morals, she must present herself in a professional manner that students can respect and pattern themselves to follow. She is a leader in a professional organization and must put aside strong feelings and be able to present both sides of situations and cases. By teaching equally to both sides, she is teaching and allowing students to think for themselves and make educated decisions based on facts, not feelings or thoughts from others.

I was surprised by the statistic in the article about most teachers being in the 40s age group and the median age of teachers being 46 (Slater, 2008). I would have thought that if teachers graduate from college with a Bachelor’s degree at 22 then the average age would be lower. However, Slater (2008) did state that teacher tenure is about 14 years, so that would land teachers near 40. One major question that comes to my mind about the short teacher tenure is about how colleges are preparing teachers for the field. Are they giving them an adequate picture of teaching requirements and a full view of teacher expectations? Many times beginning teachers enter the classroom with strong goals and ideas but are shut down because of restrictions and guidelines to follow and complete. They feel their creative spirits are stripped away to get through the required standards and testing requirements. Teaching is a creative field, and teachers must demonstrate their creative work by meeting student needs individually (Bramwell, Reilly, Lilly, Kromish, & Chennabathni, 2011). All teachers are creative and must juggle creative needs to meet student needs based on their own values as well as student values. Teacher values show in how they interact with students in dealing with each individual need and situation.

References

Slater, R. (2008). Education Next. American Teachers: What Values Do They Hold? http://educationnext.org/american-teachers/

Bramwell, G., Reilly, R. C., Lilly, F. R., Kronish, N., & Chennabathni, R. (2011). Creative teachers. Roeper Review, 33(4), 228-238. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.library.capella.edu/docview/1283786991?accountid=27965

 

Dreyfus Model of Skill Acquisition

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The Dreyfus Model of Skill Acquisition categorizes individuals from novice to expert. I classify my work as competent because teachers are intense learners and always have room for improvement and growth opportunities. As a new leader in early childhood, I am competent because of the constant additions of new rules and developments. I have been teaching and working with early childhood students for many years, therefore, feel almost expert in my knowledge of teaching and child development. In the administrator role of my position, I only feel at the competent level because of the need to know many business and accounting practices. Educators are not trained in business, therefore, are ill equipped to succeed in that role. I am forced to train myself in much to do about business practices.

In an ideal work setting, individuals would be qualified for positions based on knowledge, education, and experience at a higher level than novice, yet continue to learn, grow, and develop toward the expert level. However, many individuals may never achieve expert level because of new advancements in the field. Experts will be deeply involved with the environment and identify with scenarios with which they are involved (Ajay, 2003). Individuals reach each level through skills and mastery. The teaching and learning experience is tied together to enrich the student-teacher experience. Through these experiences, individuals move through the Dreyfus levels of mastery. To climb the Dreyfus Model, individuals must be self-directed learners with motivation to grow from the lower novice level to the higher proficient and expert levels.

References

Capella University (Eds.). (2010). ED8222—Professionalism in the 21st century. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. ISBN: 9781118029558.

Ajay, B. (2003). Student profiling: the Dreyfus model revisited. Education For Primary Care, 14(3), 360.

Rhyme to Read app review

The following is a review of the Rhyme to Read learning app written by a mother of preschool-age home schooled children:

Rhyme to Read is an app designed to help children learn to read using rhyming words. I downloaded this app for my 4-year-old daughter who is currently homeschooled. The app includes one book of words free and subsequent books may be purchased. Strong knowledge of the alphabet is required. Each book contains a series of short vowel words that rhyme (pat rat cat).

My daughter enjoys using Rhyme to Read. She used the app for three days for about 20 minutes each day and recognized all of the words in book one. We agreed that she had to know all of the words in the first book before we purchased book two. This became a very big incentive for her. She was very excited to move on to the next book. While using Rhyme to Read, she learned how to sound out words. The voices in the app sound the words out as the child touches the part of the word. I feel this is a very important early reading skill for her to gain. It is a skill we are now able to use in other areas of learning.

Pros: Very user intuitive. She opened the app and after very quick instruction, she was able to use on her own.

The incentive to learn new words by opening new books was a big plus. We have used other apps that give a “sticker” or similar reward. This app made her excited to learn.

The design and graphics used in the books was minimal and simple. This was a good thing for me as I prefer my children to not require constant bells and whistles to learn.

Cons: The only con I had was the size of the text. At times, I had a hard time touching the correct part of the word. My daughter seemed to do fine with her little fingers.

Overall, I recommend this app. It is a free download that includes one book. Other books come with a cost per book. This app and learning tool appeals to young learners of the iGeneration.

 

My Story. A Guest post

I guest posted my story in the Danger Days series. Click here to read my story and how God has never let go and His love never fails.

What do a can opener, a pencil sharpener, and a lock have to do with Jesus?

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Where do we go when things get too tough and get to be too much for us? How do we relax and keep our focus on Jesus?

Use this object lesson to teach how Jesus got away and knew how to keep his focus on His Heavenly Father.

Materials: a can opener, a can, a pencil sharpener, an unsharpened pencil, a key, a lock, a bottle, and a bottle opener

Choose 4 children to each hold on to one of the following items: the can opener, the pencil sharpener, the lock, and the bottle opener.

Choose 4 more children to choose one of the remaining items in the bag: the can, the unsharpened pencil, the key, or the bottle.

When each child chooses an item, ask him to choose which of the other objects his item goes with, which object the item works, opens, or operates.

Once the children decide the correct item and object, talk about how appropriately each item matches the correct objects. It would be silly to try to sharpen the pencil with a bottle opener or unlock the can opener with the key.

Each object was made for a purpose and has a direct job to perform. Say that the children knew which item goes with which object without much help at all. But sometimes we all need help. Where do we go for help? Where did Jesus go for help?

Luke 5:16 explains that Jesus decided to go away to a quiet place and talk to His Father. Jesus knew where to go to ask for help. He knew He needed time away to listen and pray.

As often as possible Jesus withdrew to out-of-the-way places for prayer.We all must learn where we can go for quiet time and learning.

The Power Bible Review

powerbibleIf you are looking for a way to get children interested in reading and the Bible, the Power Bible is a different choice for them. This Bible story book is written like a comic book with colorful pictures and images.

The chapters are divided into sections to cover individual Bible stories. There are creative characters in each story drawn as cartoon characters.

Many of the characters are drawn to look like children themselves so children can place themselves in the stories and feel a personal life application as they read.

 

Published by Green Egg Media, the Bible story book is written on a younger elementary reading level with easy-to-read words and language.

 

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