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What is it like to be a


What makes teaching
demanding, exciting,
rewarding, and uplifting?

Reality 1: Unpredictable
“The outcomes of teaching, even in the best
of circumstances, are neither predictable
nor consistent.”
Teachers, unlike other professionals, cannot
control all the results of their efforts.

Reality 2: Assessing Students’
“It is difficult to assess what students learn as a
result of being taught.”
It is very difficult, perhaps impossible, to
determine precisely what another human
being does or does not understand.
What students learn may be indeterminate and
beyond direct measurement.

One the one hand, then, teachers must
recognize their limited ability to determine
what students actually learn; on the other
hand, they must continuously work to become
aware of the latest approaches to assessing
students’ learning.

Reality 3: Limited Influence on
Students’ Behavior
“The teacher’s ability to influence student
behavior is actually quite limited.”
“the teaching-learning process indicates the
extent to which classroom events are ‘jointly
produced’” (Doyle 1986, 395, as cited in
Parkay & Stanford 2007, p. 26)
At best, a teacher tries to influence students so
that they make internal decisions to behave in
the desired manner

Reality 4: The importance of
teachers’ attitudes
“With the role of the teacher comes the power
to influence others by example.”
“as teachers, we ‘teach not only be what we
say but also by what we do” (Ormrod 2003,
342, as cited in Parkay & Stanford 2007, 26)
Teachers should set as an example that learning
is an ongoing, life-enriching process

Reality 5: The unpredictability and
the immediacy of teaching
“Interactive teaching is characterized by events
that are rapid-changing, multidimensional,
and fragmented.”
Preactive teaching – preparing to teach or
reflecting on previous teaching
Interactive teaching – face-to-face interactions
teachers have with students

Reality 6: The uniqueness of
“Teaching involves a unique mode of being
between teacher and student – a mode of
being that can be experienced but not fully
defined or described.”
You will gradually develop your capacity to
listen to students and to convey an authentic
sense of concern for their learning.
There is no precise, easy-to-follow formula

What teachers do is to influence not only by
their thought process before, during, and after
teaching but also by student behavior and
student achievement. This complexity
contributes to the uniqueness of the teaching

Parkay, F. W. and Stanford, B. (2007). Becoming
Teacher. Boston, MA: Pearson Education