We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started, and know the place for the first time. – T.S. Eliot
Through my reflective practice, I become an explorer of learning. By reflecting on my teaching, I discover that I have much more to learn. Teaching and learning are my ouroboros.
This blog itself is a celebration of my ouroboros, and the theme of the final celebration of this three part series. You’ve celebrated teachers and learners, and now it’s time to celebrate the experiences these two create.
For the final round of celebrating, describe what you’ve learned about teaching or learning via your blog, email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Facebook, and I’ll post your stories here to this entry. (scroll down to see entries) Thank you so much to those who have participated, and to those who have expressed interest in this series. It’s been a fun process, and something I hope to try again in the future.
Once again, below you’ll find some learning moments my participants shared in their writing assignments. I feel so happy and proud that they are discovering their own ouroburos.
“I would like to be a supporting tree to my students from my heart. They would visit the tree, me, at any time when they face hardship on the way to their future. They can take a rest for a while having a small talk, make a confession whatever it is and grow their dreams under the tree.”
“I believe the key to developing a good teacher –student relationship, is to be open-minded and supportive of students needs. In addition, I will endeavor to communicate with students on their level. Then I’m sure that I can build a good relationship on the foundation of trust with them.”
“I really hope that my students will work for the world peace with grand aspiration, grow the beautiful world with open mind, and meet and make friends with other people in other countries.”
“By using proper compliments and responses, I want to create comfortable learning environments which enable them to use English without fear of making mistakes.”
“I think that students can be changed when teachers are changed.”
“The last important thing (characteristic of a good teacher) is to have an ability to develop students’ confidence. To have the ability is being optimistic and believing in students and their ability. I think that it doesn’t matter how much the teachers know or how much the teachers teach. I believe that the students who have confidence will succeed whatever they will do or wherever they will go. (…) Furthermore, the positive influences on students can last their lifetime.”
“Lastly, the third one (characteristic of a good teacher) is teachers’ power to give some inspiration to the students. It could be a little idealistic, but I think the students can be easily touched by our trivial behaviors or meaningful words. Looking back to my school days, the impressive teachers remained in my memory for a long time.”
“I have a rule that if anyone tries to sabotage my class, he or she should be punished. To my surprise, however, my own rule doesn’t necessarily work favorably for me, but my dictatorship only made the relationship with my students worse. Therefore, I came to conclusion that I needed to be more generous to their misbehavior, and easy with their mistakes, because somehow they have great chances to correct themselves with time.”
“…having expertise in English does not mean that I am a ‘good’ teacher; I also need to be resourceful and well-informed about life. Teaching, I believe, is not solely imparting subject-related knowledge to students. Rather, it is about being spontaneously involved in a whole process of them becoming fully humane…”
“I want to have a passion for teaching which is triggered by loving the subject that I teach; however, it goes beyond that and often needs a love for teaching itself and teaching skills.”
– One of my new favorite teacher trainers here in Korea, Kristina Eisenhower, celebrates what the process of learning and teaching means to her. Thank you Kristina!
“It is my belief that the processes of learning and teaching are interdependent, and those involved in such a professional realm should approach the environment with great ebullience, optimistic attitude, strong commitment and a sincere passion for being a part of a cooperative work community. Essential for successful teaching is not only a dignified fortitude for the profession, but also a respect and empathy for learners, and a mature affinity for the overall educational experience. By engaging students with attentive and affirming instruction, pertinent and practical content that you are passionate about, and appropriate and genuine materials and resources, the education experience results in a rich and rewarding journey whereby learners become teachers and teachers become learners and all become well-prepared leaders and living legacies of the institution, society and the nation. That’s what I have learned about teaching AND learning! Oh yeah, and thanks to this celebration, I also learned a new word, “ouroboros”. I think we should make it our signature toast — so I raise my glass to you, to Throwing Back Tokens and to the honor of being a teacher and learner — Ouroboros!”