Integrative Essay on Teacher Competency Essay Sample
- Word count: 1081
- Category: Teaching
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Integrative Essay on Teacher Competency Essay Sample
When it comes to school-based learning we usually look at the teacher as an indispensable instrument in imparting or importing knowledge to students. A teacher plays an integral and crucial role in molding the minds of and in guiding the students. Most effective and competent teachers have certain characteristics that should be taken into account when studying the different theories of education.
When can we say that a teacher is competent or incompetent? What is the barometer or meaning of competency? To answer these two questions, it is important to look at the different theories of education and reflect them with the characteristics of a competent teacher. Teaching competency plays a vital role in achieving the purpose of education, which is to imparting knowledge of eternal and absolute truth (Sahu, 2002, p.159).
So what then are the characteristics of a competent teacher? A competent teacher is someone who guides and not directs students. There are basic differences between guiding and directing. These two have different meaning and objectives. In an actual classroom setting, a teacher assumes the task of directing students when there is less student interaction and less participation in class discussions, debate, and other learning processes. On the other hand, a teacher is guiding his/her students when he/she encourages them to engage in class discussions. The task of directing student is easier than guiding them.
The purpose of guiding students is to make them active and more participative, thus developing their self-esteem, independence, and other positive traits and skills they need not merely to excel in an academic setting, but most importantly to prepare them for the real-world as well. Direct teaching means less student engagement in investigative and creative activities (Renzulli & Reis, 2008, p. 6). Thus, the role of a teacher is to guide the students by facilitating and planning enrichment activities and experiences. This is very different from what we know as the traditional method of teaching, which focuses more on the teacher rather than the students.
A competent teacher is the one who exerts more efforts and initiatives in teaching his/her students. This means that a teacher must be well-prepared whenever he/she comes to class. One of the tasks of a teacher is to remind his/her students to always come to class well-prepared. Likewise, a competent teacher should have more initiatives when it comes to giving lectures, encouraging students to participate in class discussions, and inspiring students with poor academic performances to excel. With this kind of objective characteristic, a teacher refrains from resorting to favoritism, which has negative or adverse effects on the students’ classroom and learning behavior.
Also, a competent teacher is someone who has the capacity to inspire his/her students (O’Grady, 2000, p. 241). It is harder to inspire students than to merely force or ask them to study their lessons everyday. Inspiring students does not simply mean giving them advice on how to study their lessons, how to go about their difficult subjects, and on how to pass the class. To achieve this goal, a teacher must have an objective teaching philosophy. This is because the role of a teacher is not merely to impart knowledge, but also to prepare students for harder challenges ahead.
You do not inspire by simply being good to students. A competent teacher is someone who is able to concretize this goal— by being a good example to students, by showing them concrete results, and by making them understand the value of education. There is no absolute rule when it comes to the ways and methods of inspiring students. The approach usually employed in elementary level is different from the approach that should be applied to high school students and even college students.
Furthermore, a competent teacher should be creative and resourceful. There are many ways or methods of teaching, even as there are also a lot of available materials that can be used in classroom discussions. The role then of a teacher is to make use of these available teaching resources in a very creative and resourceful manner. By the advent of new communication technologies like the Internet, computers, and other communication gadgets, life has become easier yet more challenging to both teachers and students.
A good student utilizes new technologies to obtain, produce, and operate facts, information and data for his projects and other school works. On the other hand, a good teacher uses technology to upgrade his/her methods of teaching and encourage more class discussions and participations. However, a competent teacher is able to comprehend the changes in instructional or teaching technologies, their impacts on the students, and their contributions to better classroom-based learning (Tomei, 2003, p. 241).
All of the positive traits of a competent teacher constitute several theories of education. One theory of education is essentialism, which posits that the teaching initiative must come from the teacher (Kneller & Kneller, 1971, p. 59). This theory corresponds to that trait of a competent teacher who exerts more initiatives and efforts in teaching. Another theory is progressivism which, influenced by pragmatism, states that the teacher role is to guide rather than to direct (Harmon & Jones, 2005, p.47).
On the other hand, perennialism, a theory which states that the purpose of education is to impart eternal knowledge of truth, demands teachers to inspire students (Harmon & Jones, 2005, p.47). This role of importing knowledge can be achieved by applying new technologies in order to teach students better.
Essentialism also states that the role of education is to prepare students for the real-world. By inspiring students, a teacher is actually bracing them for a higher task and goal. Another theory which is reconstructionism, which focuses on the teacher’s reconstructionist role in relation to society and democracy (Sharpes, 2002, p.447), corresponds to all these positive characteristics whose goal is to make students productive members of the society.
Harmon, D.A. & Jones, T.S. (2005). Elementary Education. Oxford: ABC-CLIO
Kneller, E. & Kneller, G.F. (1971). Introduction to the Philosophy of Education. London:
O’Grady, C.R. (2000). Integrating Service Learning and Multicultural Education in Colleges
and Universities. New York: Routledge
Renzulli, J. & Reis, S.M. (2008). Enriching Curriculum for All Students. California: Corwin
Sahu, B. (2002). New Educational Philosophy. New Delhi: Sarup & Sons
Tomei, L.A. (2003). Challenges of Teaching with Technology Across Curriculum. Hershey,
Pennsylvania: Idea Group Inc.