What is Teaching Really Like? (1.3)
"A teacher can never truly
teach unless he is still learning himself. A lamp can never light another lamp
unless it continues to burn its own flame."
The Realities of Teaching
- Reality : The Unpredictability of
Outcomes...The outcomes of teaching, even in the best
circumstances, are neither predictable nor consistent.
- Reality: The Difficulty of Assessing Student's
Learning ...It is difficult to access what students learn
as a result of being taught.
- Reality: The Need for Teacher-Student
Partnership...The teacher's ability to influence student
behavior is actually quite limited.
- Reality: The Impact of Teachers'
Attitudes...With the role of teacher comes
the power to influence others by example.
- Reality: The Drama and Immediacy of
Teaching...Interactive teaching is characterized by events
that are rapid-changing, multidimensional, and irregular. While working with
students, a teacher must be able to think, deal with behavior problems, keep
all students on task, monitor students for signs of confusion, and respond to
- Reality: The Uniqueness of the Teaching
Experience...Teaching involves a unique mode
of being between teacher and student-a mode of being that can be experienced
but not fully defined or described.
Domains of Teacher Expertise
Subject Matter Knowledge
|Teachers know the subject matter they teach and make it
accessible to learners.
|Teachers consider their goals for student learning and their
knowledge of students and the subject matter as they develop and sequence
|Teachers address learning goals for student learning and
their knowledge of students and the subject matter as they develop and
sequence learning activities.
|Teachers collect varied kinds of information related to
learning goals and involve students in assessing their own progress.
Classroom Management and Discipline
|Teachers establish and maintain safe environments that
promote fairness, respect, and responsibility
(Adapted from California Department of Education,
1997, and National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, 1998.)
Six Realities of Teaching
Observe the teacher and students within the classroom environment that
you are working in. Look at the domains of teaching. As your mentor is
"teaching" is he or she demonstrating one of the domains listed? Which
one?For instance, if your mentor is giving a test, then the domain that is
covered is "assessment" . Choose one of the "realities of teaching" that
are stated above. Observe which domain your teacher is completing within
your classroom observation, and look for one of the "realities" that we
discussed. For example, if during the test, a student finishes early, and
earns an "A", can the teacher assume that he or she taught the subject
well? (reality 1)Are there other factors involved? Write a paragraph about
what you observed.
teaching-actual conditions teachers face in the classroom;
the demands as well as the rewards.
Interactive teaching-teaching characterized by face-to-face
interactions between teachers and students in contrast to proactive
Proactive teaching-the stage of teaching when a teacher
prepares to teach or reflects on previous teaching experiences in contrast with
Teachers thought processes-the thoughts that guide teachers'
actions in classrooms. These thoughts typically consist of thoughts related to
planning, theories and beliefs, and interactive thoughts and decisions.