Friday, June 13, 2008

WORKSHOP #7 - Becoming a reflective teacher

On June 6th, Luciana Moura Colucci de Camargo talked to us about the importance of being a reflective teacher. Luciana teaches English and Literature at UFTM. Unfortunately I was absent, as I was on our second immersion. However, I took some time to reflect over my short English Teaching experience. I have been a teacher for over 8 years now and I have taught all ages, from 8 year-old "adults" to 70 year-old "kids". I don't really see myself as teacher now. I feel I'm somebody who teaches, not a teacher yet. I'm working on it. I still have a long road ahead if I want to become a good teacher, but for now, I humbly accept my limitations. And when I say I accept my limitations I mean I still have to grow a lot as a human being and as a professional to be considered a good teacher. Exercising this ability to reflect over our practices can be very useful in order to keep up a good job or to change something that hasn't been working very well. During her speech, Luciana said that "teaching is learning twice." I believe she missed some "times", cause teaching is learning a thousand times. I usually say, and I mean it, that we learn much more when we become teachers than when we are only students.
Luciana tried - and I guess she made it - to show how important it is to frequently re-think our behavior, ideas and specially beliefs, when it comes to English Teaching. We then listened to"The Wall - Pink Floyd" and and she suggested we watched "The Emperor's Club" which is an excellent movie about teaching. Both references address us to the real role of a teacher in our society nowadays: we must not only teach them into a competence, we must also sponsor and support the birth of a real man or woman, a human being. These ideas led me to another interesting reference for that: another famous movie called "The Dead Poet's Society". As in "The Emperor's Club", here we have an example of how teachers sometimes go beyond the simple task of giving students information, reaching their hearts and minds. Certainly, this is the kind of teacher I want to be: not a role model, nor a master, but an inspiration!!!

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