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The openness of the incoming teacher applicant to real-life situations in the class can help improve teaching style. This practice attempts to reach the applicant early on in their practice, and expose the applicant to experiences that exceed many aspects, styles and approaches to teaching, with the hope that applicants might grow in awareness of their own personal preferences while they have choices to make in regard to their direction of study. Duck (2007). As teachers, they have the legal obligation to provide our students with a safe, orderly and well-disciplined school (Yell & Rozalski, 2008). Yell & Rozalski also speak widely about the rights as teachers we have in regard to securing such an environment for our students. “In loco perentis”, a Latin term translated literally as “In place of the parents” was introduced in American courts and is derived from the English Common Law.“
According to this principle, parents give school personnel a certain measure of control over their children when they place their children in school”(Yell & Rozalski, 2008). While this may not mean that schools have absolute authority to do with students as they please without due process, it gives the teacher the right to “ impose minor forms of classroom discipline, such as admonishing students, requiring special assignments, restricting activities, and denying certain privileges, without being subjected to strictures of due process”(Yell, Rozalski, 2008). 21 The subject of classroom management involves with many issues. Although, as teachers, they have the right and the duty to create an environment that is conducive to learning.
Teachers must be prepared for possible future problems to come and reflect on some methods. With providing what is useful or necessary our more experienced group will learn the best practices. Teachers must maintain positive behavior towards situations that might not be difficult to do. “No prescription or cure-all exists that will guarantee success in the classroom” Palumbo & Sanacore (2007). Nevertheless, through tutoring, early practice, knowledge of both rights of the teacher and rights of the students, and a positive thoughtful point of view, a starting teacher may be able to eliminate some of the initial annoyance and difficulty out of their early years. “Classrooms have not changed much if at all over the last one hundred years. Students still sit at desks, are expected to listen to their teachers, and at the end of the day go home and do the work assigned to them.” There are couple of remarkable contrasts in a 1920's classroom and the classroom of today. This is a grave worry of a hefty portion of the present teachers. The Organization together for Brilliant Instruction has advanced their proposals about the adjustments vital for our obsolete training model to advance keeping in mind the end goal to make classrooms by and for the understudies. MDRC, a national research association that spotlights on instructive and social arrangement inquire about, sited that a standout amongst the most difficult parts of failing to meet expectations school is that their learning surroundings need personalization and are unconcerned with get ready students for their future beyond school (MDRC, 2009) (Alliance for Excellent Education, 2008).
Linda Darling Hammond claims that impersonalized classrooms and lack of preparation are exactly 22 why these schools are failing and why we need to create classrooms that are more personalized with teachers working in tandem with students in a supportive nurturing environment (Alliance for Excellent Education, 2008). If students see the learning environment as a safe place, where they are given personalized attention, as well as encouragement to try more, students will be more motivated to learn and be successful (Tapola & Niemivirta, 2008). Tapola and Niemivirta support this claim through their research into the field of student motivation in connection with classroom environments. In their investigation of 208 6th grader's student objective profiles, inspirations, and student inclinations, they found that student accomplishment and inspiration are reliant upon the classroom condition. In this way, their exploration demonstrates a requirement for our classrooms need to appear to be drastically unique to address every single student’s issues; conceivably prompting a more separated model of guideline for a customized learning condition. Customized learning does not mean, in any case, that principles are brought down. In fact, the Alliance asserts that standards of rigor must be maintained. With the emergence of technology in these rigorous learning environments, classrooms that are more student-centered indicate a greater ability to meeting students’ needs in a much more diverse way. Technology can assist in meeting students’ diverse individual learning needs by providing a multitude of methods for students to demonstrate their learning and understanding. Students do not have to be limited anymore to pen and paper, but can demonstrate their understandings through PowerPoint, VoiceThread, PhotoStory, etc.
Also, through these technological innovations, schools can provide a much more diverse curriculum to their students (Alliance for Excellent Education, 2008). It will not matter anymore if a student is 23 physically in your classroom. Students can attend classes wherever they desire as long as the technology is available via webcams, videos, and collaborative learning tools. Students are able to be members of personalized learning environments at Colorado, Stanford, MIT, etc…, learning about subjects that are relevant and meaningful to them. Additionally, students in these new technologically enabled classrooms will potentially have their needs met more efficiently and effectively because teachers will have the ability to access current data about how students learn best and have the tools available to meet each student’s diverse needs. Through the help of the teachers and students, these classrooms can move to a more student-focused learning condition. Similarly as classrooms have not changed much in the previous one hundred years, instructing has not adjusted much to the innovative developments of our general public either.
Although much research has been done in the areas of student learning and effective teaching, teachers have been resistant to that change because of the uncertainty of what changes will be most effective in the future, of teachers changing themselves, and the importance of technology in this change. Why and what can be done about it? As previously stated, by changing the classroom environment to a more student centered learning environment, the role of the teacher must adapt as well, “Teachers have the single greatest in-school impact on student achievement…” (Alliance for Excellent Education, 2008). And directly following from this, there needs to be a shift in teacher preparation as well as teacher evaluation. The Alliance also suggested a shift in the conversation from “highly qualified” to “highly effective” teachers Jones’ (2008) work in the area of out of class support strengthens this argument.
In his research of 594 graduate students that were assigned to one of six hypothetical situations, students responded better in stressful situations with teachers who were highly supportive offering out of class as well as in class support. Students who saw their teachers creating personal connections with them were more motivated. Jones writes, “… this finding provides further evidence that student state motivation is a modifiable condition that teachers can influence not only with the messages and behaviors they use inside the classroom but those outside the classroom as well…when a student experiences stress and seeks assistance from a teacher outside the classroom setting, an opportunity emerges for the teacher to provide OCS (out of class support) which ultimately will lead to an increase in the student’s state of motivation” (Jones, 2008). Teachers who increase student motivation create students who are motivated to succeed and feel successful. This can occur through teachers taking the time to develop more personalized instruction in a collaborative, student-centered classroom. With the emergence of technology in classrooms, this shift is easily obtainable, and through constant learning and reflection by teachers and students, the shift can occur. Teachers, however, cannot be expected to do it alone. Instead, many researchers are calling for a focus by learning communities in schools where teachers support each others learning by examining best practices in order to meet all students’ needs (Riel, M. & Fulton K., 2001). There is evidence that teachers should not lower their expectations, but maintain the demands, rigor, and relevance in each student’s education (Alliance for Excellent Education, 2008). Compare this with the position of Tapola and Niemivirta (2008), who support the idea of giving students difficult and challenging work, as well as the previous claim concerning 25 personalized instruction.
Tapola and Niemivirta also found that when students received personal encouragement from their instructor and choices in their learning, they were much more motivated to learn. Their study also indicated that students who received individualized instruction respond better to more challenging material. Tapola and Niemivirta are quick to indicate that they are not advocating “…that the learning environment should be arranged to each student’s preferences, but that more attention should be paid to the reasons that underlie students’ different perceptions and preferences” (Tapola & Niemivirta, 2008). Overall, when teachers create connections and take a personal interest in their students, students are more motivated to be successful. This can occur through shared values and goals by creating a collaborative, student-centered learning environment where teachers and students work together. Although student motivation has been shown to result from a wide variety of sources such as teachers, peers, or learning environment, one of the most significant factors is a student’s own motivation to succeed. Some studies point to the importance of intrinsic motivation that students are often lacking. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the theorist who created the concept of “flow,” to describe the process of creative work shared some extensions of his ideas into education. “It is not that students cannot learn, it is that they do not wish to…if educators invested a fraction of the energy on stimulating the students’ enjoyment of learning that they now spend in trying to transmit information we could achieve much better results” (Csikszentmihalyi, 1991).
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