I was wondering about teaching styles. I have learned so much from the JA teachers this last year. You know, I was very linear about observing and not judging last year. Well, I would debrief at night with Yvonne. But I really feel like I am in a position this year to share with the teachers a few things that I believe in:
This I do Believe:
1. Each child is capable of learning.
2. That teaching should be student centered.
3. That positive reinforcement works better in most cases.
I believe a lot more than this. But my challenge has been to convey these beliefs to the 10 teachers and principal that I work with.
I think I have some credibility now--in my second year. Last year I modeled these behaviors. I remember more than once teachers watching me teach; focussing on the student, praising where deserved, reprimanding when needed. I really felt that I was doing some good.
So last week I was scratching my head again, why do the teachers insist upon humiliating the students? What I think is that they feel it will motivate the student. So one of my colleagues calls me over to a little grade 1 student she is testing. The teacher wants to show me how the little girl doesn't know her alphabet. I am dying for this child. She is silent, can't ID any recognizable letters. I want to cry, but say to her. "It's OK honey, we will teach the letters and together with your teacher, mother, brothers and sisters you will begin to learn to read." AND then the teacher picked up on the new encouraging theme and tells the little sweetheart, "yes, baby, we will all work together."
What works for me is modeling, I know other volunteers use other styles. Each person needs to find that technique that works for them.
I also want to say how much I love these teachers. They work hard and love the children.