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Philosophy of Teaching

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Introduction

When I used to attend school I was taught that teacher is a noble profession. A teacher shares his/her knowledge with those who need it, but still constantly has to learn something new him/herself. I thought that this profession must be a great challenge. Later when I grew up I realized it was a very rewarding activity as well, as there is nothing to be compared with the feeling a teacher gets once the students are happy to study the subject he or she teaches, when they are interested in it and make progress, when at the end of the class they do not seem tired but eager to learn more.

Nowadays millions of people want to be able to speak English, since it is the most widely used language in the world for business, technologies, art, and science. Thus, I thought that working as an English teacher would be a great opportunity to meet a large number of interesting people, and, what is more, to be able to help them achieve success in different spheres of their lives.

Arguments

There are two main statements I think about before starting a class. The first one is “Students should feel as if they were in the surrounding where the language they study is the native one”. This statement has been developed on the basis of the fact that the easiest way to learn a language is to visit the country where it is spoken. For this purpose, my students and I prepare posters depicting famous places, popular people, traditions, houses, and holidays in Great Britain, and hang it on the walls of our classroom. Although the people I teach are not young children anymore, it is still fun and pleasant experience, as it both relaxes the students and helps them remember necessary lexical units faster.

Apart from this, we speak only English throughout all our classes. I also encourage my students to communicate with their peers who are English native speakers via social networks. It was very pleasant for me to hear that they liked the idea very much. They say it is very interesting to learn about different cultures from their representatives and to share the information about our country as well. Besides, it is a good way to learn colloquial variant of the language, which differs a lot from the formal one usually taught at schools.

I also believe it is important to develop different aspects of language acquisition at the same time, including listening, writing, and speaking. Modern technologies are of a great help for this purpose. Already mentioned communication with native speakers via the Internet is suitable for the three aspects. We also watch different videos and listen to music popular in the English-speaking countries.

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When I have an opportunity, I invite guests from the United States and Great Britain to come to our classes, since new people with interesting stories always bring bright emotions and willingness to work on language harder in order to be able to speak it properly.

My other statement is that the students should like what they do and know how their knowledge might be beneficial. At my first class with every new group I ask everybody one by one to tell why they have started learning English. Then they put down what they say on the very first page of their notebooks, so that every time they open it they recall what they want to achieve. To my mind, it is impossible to do anything without setting forth any purpose. I want my students to know that they do not study the subject for marks or simply because everybody does this. They should realize it contributes to their future, since wherever they go in the world, they will always be understood and be able to express themselves. Sometimes we joke at classes that English is even helpful in buying clothes: one should always check what is written on their T-shirt.

It is also important to constantly keep learners interested in what they do. Thus, diversity and creativity are vital in the teaching process. I try to implement my ideas or ideas of other people and check what works best. I often discuss new teaching methods with my colleagues, since we all have different experience, and exchange of the ideas always proves to be useful.

Once I gave my students home assignment for the weekend. They had to go to the town center and pretend they were tourists from abroad. They had to ask people in English how to get to a certain place, which places in the town are worth visiting etc. Then, on Monday, when we met again, they told what happened while they were doing their assignment. The students were all full of impressions and they were willing to learn more.

Asking students what they like and what they would like to change in the process of learning is vital. It is necessary that each of them feels he or she does not have just to obey. Every single member of the group should feel that he or she is important and that his/her opinion counts. At the same time, such strategy also helps keep learners interested in what they do. I try to link the tasks with the students’ personal interests, such as music, films, and sports whenever it is possible.

Every teacher is also a spiritual guide. We serve as examples for students, so we must behave in the way that would encourage them to follow us. A teacher must be an actor to some extent: politeness, good mood, and cheerful smile are beyond the question. Besides, it is necessary to be able to control your emotions, since you have to deal with different people, and sometimes difficult situations arise.

It is obvious that one cannot continuously make good progress. That is why my strategy always tells how easy every task we perform during the classes is. When students see I am sure they can do something, then they cannot question the fact themselves, and do their best.

However, there is certain material which some students cannot understand from the first time, especially grammar rules. In such cases I encourage them to come to me with their questions right after the class or during the break time whenever I am at school. They can also email me, and I explain the material over and over again until they are sure they understand it. I find explaining the information on examples to be the most effective method. I also encourage students to provide their own examples to check whether they have understood everything right.

My main purpose in teaching is that after every class all the students know something they did not know before they entered the classroom and remember it for a long time. I share all my knowledge with them, but I always learn something new, too, since there is no static language in the world – all of them are constantly changing. I also try to teach them how to learn a language and provide them with all the necessary tools, so that they can continue their studies.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is worth saying that both my students and I continuously learn something. They learn English, and I learn how to teach them. In the world where the environment and people’s minds always change, teaching methods cannot always remain the same either.

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