“To enable their joy!”
Every action I take as a teacher is directed toward the above statement. Without attempting to overreach or go “over-the-top”, I hold this statement as fundamentally true and vital. To the best of my knowledge, ability, skill, and experience, every aspect of encounter with me is my attempt to enable a student’s joy, now and in the future, no matter the subject, nor the task.
Students may even dispute that this is what is happening. That is the absence of experience and wisdom talking, but I am patient. How could anyone contemplate teaching, in reality, without patience. Impossible. Whether recognized or not now, and I am willing to try and explain where beneficial, how what I am able to do now comports to the above maxim.
I want to be able to take part in the development and enrichment of students’ lives as they prepare for their futures, encouraging them to excel in all that they do.
An important motivator for student learning is for me to build a clear expectation of success, encourage the students in all that they do and provide fair and beneficial assessment. I need to ensure that the curriculum directly links to the learning outcomes/essential learnings of each key learning area while recognizing and acknowledging achievement.
As a professional I respect my peers and will teach students to respect others by being a good example. Respect is vital, especially because there are many social and cultural differences in schools.
I believe that as a teacher I play a huge role, not only in the development of students for their future but also to build their confidence, purpose and personal sense of responsibility. Therefore I need to continually reflect on what I have said and done in the classroom to correct any errors and to learn from successes.
Teaching and learning online is more difficult, in my experience, both for student and for teacher. It is a “limited bandwidth”, in terms of human emotion and pathos, method, and therefore can be more easily frustrating to the student. It requires an additional level of maturity for a student to be successful learning online. I will not be physically present to any student, by definition, to encourage, cajole, ensure, motivate, etc. Students must assume greater responsibility, while more convenient, for engaging actively in the pedagogical exercise, and reaping the recognition of performance thereof.
I provide exercises and pedagogy, upon experience, I find appropriate for the student in front of me. I grade accordingly, fairly, and impartially. To earn an “A”, it must be earned. To earn an “F”, it must be earned, etc. I try to provide very timely feedback and encouragement and precise direction to students, so that, of their own volition, they may correct course in a timely way to most benefit their studies and the results thereof.
Matthew P. McCormick, 1/16/18