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Name: Eduardo Mansilla Contreras. Teacher interviewed: David Gutmann. Date: 31/03/08 Interview 1: What are the five qualities that a teacher should have to be considered as a good one? I believe that commitment to the students, willingness to listen to the students' concerns; progressive education, honesty and fairness, and diligence to a learning environment are five qualities that all teachers should have. 2. Which is the most important quality? Why? Most important in my mind would be a commitment to the students, because if the professor has the students' best interests in mind in all he or she does, the rest of the positive qualities of a teacher will naturally follow. 3. How do you apply these five qualities? These five qualities are applied by putting in the time to do your homework -- yes, as a teacher, you've got to do your homework, or optimal learning in the classroom won't occur. You've also got continue updating your own education, or you'll fall behind the times. For example, if teachers today didn't make use of the internet and computers, they'd be selling their students short on the available technological resources available that can greatly enhance the learning environment of the students. 4. How do these qualities influence learners’ learning? These influence the learning of the students by giving them the most up-to-date materials and information in there hands. Most importantly, it gives students control of their own learning, which is extremely important. As the saying goes, "You can give a man a fish for a day, or you can teach a man to fish for his lifetime." Giving students the proper tools to learn and research on their own is the most valuable asset we can impart to our students. Also, by showing a commitment to our students' learning, we can demonstrate how important it is for the teacher to have the student at the front and center of the classroom experience. 5. Are the teacher’s expectations important? Why? Yes, teacher's expectations are important, because if the students feel that the teacher doesn't have confidence in their abilities to learn and achieve, including on their own, then the student will only learn to the expectations of the teacher. If the teacher expects much
out of the students, then there is no limit as to what the student will attempt to gain and learn from the class. 6. Should a teacher be a friend of the students? I don't see any problem with the teacher being a "friend" of the students. However, the friendship should be one on the level of teacher/student, mentor/mentee, instructor/learner. If that friendship becomes one of low expectations for the student, of failing to provide a good education to the student, and one of general lack of motivation and direction, then the teacher is doing a disservice to his or her students. Just as I believe a good parent can be a friend to a daughter or son with the proper discipline, so too can a teacher be a friend to a student, so long as the proper discipline is maintained. There's no reason why a teacher can't go out and have a drink with his or her students. 7. Why is it important that teachers master the topic they teach? Teachers must be confident in the subject area that they're teaching, or the students will see that lack of confidence, and they'll lose interest and faith in what's being said by their instructor. Only through practice and experience, however, can a professor reach that level of mastering a subject area. 8. How ca teachers facilitate learners’ comprehension of the content? Through the encouragement of interactive participation by the students in the lesson, the teacher assures that the students will understand the material being taught. It's important for the teacher to be explicit in what is being taught and why it's being taught. Without such clear direction, the students will most likely not have the depth of learning and understanding that takes place when they are fully aware of the purpose and function of the lesson. 9. Can you name some techniques to keep the students engaged with the topic? Encouraging a student-centered classroom is the most effective way of assuring that the students are actively engaged in the topic. By asking - and sometimes requiring - students to participate in the class discussion, ask questions, and prepare and present the lessons in the class, the teacher does a favor to his or her students, rather than placing a burden on them. Many teachers feel that it's their job to do all the talking in the classroom, and that they're paid to talk for the full hour. In reality, many studies have shown that the most effective learning takes place when it is the students who take an active role in the lessons, whether by asking critical questions, providing observations, feedback, and analysis, or by actually leading the discussion and lesson.
Comparative Chart 1. What are the qualities that a teacher should have to be considered as a good one? Video: High expectations for the students, knowledge, instructional strategies, classroom management and commitment. Mister Gutmann: Commitment to the students, willingness to listen to the students’ concerns, honesty and fairness, progressive education and diligence to a learning environment. 2. How can we keep students engaged with the topic? Video: challenge students, support students, encourage students to do their best, provide information in an interest and organized way. To be fun and enthusiastic. Mister Gutmann: encouraging a student-centered classroom asking and requiring students to participate in the class discussion. 3. Friendship. Video: Teachers have to care and concern about students even in non-academic achievements and try to help student if they have problems. Mister Gutmann: I don’t see any problem with the teacher being a friend of the students. However, the friendship should be one on the level of teacher/student. 4. Knowledge Video: Teachers has to have vocation, affinity with the subject and enjoy the contents of the class. Students appreciate teachers’ knowledge. Mister Gutmann: Teachers have to give students the most up-to-date materials and information. If teachers are not confident, students will lose interest and faith in the topic.
I could notice that Mister Gutmann is very open-minded and have a vision of the learning process that is the ideal. I agree with him on that students should be the center of the class. As he said many teachers feel that their job is to do all the taking in the classroom but the reality is that the best way to keep students engaged is to make them take an active role. Even though I think that he is right in almost all points that he mentioned our country is not prepared to have teachers like him. In my opinion, teachers and students should not be friend or have a drink. May be, in other countries students look up to teacher even though if they are friend but in Chile, students would try to take advantage of that friendship. There are some aspects of a good teacher that Mr. Gutmann pointed out during the interview that were not mentioned in the video. The fist point that Mister Gutmann mentioned was technology. He talked about the importance of the internet and computers. I believe that every teacher should have a deep knowledge on technology because sometimes teachers try to use technological resources to
improve the learning process but the attempt becomes counterproductive because of the lack of knowledge of teachers. Gutman also said that teachers have to be explicit in what the topic is being taught and why it is being taught. I think that this is not only useful to make students to know the purpose and the function of the lesson but also to keep the teacher focus on looking for functional aims. I also agree with Mr. Gutmann that a teacher has to be honest and fair. I strongly believe that a teacher has to be a model for their students. So, if the teacher shows that they are honest, fair, respectful, modest, etc, students will copy that kind of behavior. It is a pity that teachers can’t progress in some aspect because the resources are not enough, the students are not prepared and our country don’t want to make a deep change in the educational system.
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