There is a general term that school is the second home. This is true, school is the second home of both students and teachers, and at that home, they all share common things. A teacher’s job is not just teaching students the subjects in the curriculum. A teacher is a good leader, facilitator, supporter and analyzer. So what a teacher is expected to do is to be a good model for his or her students and to keep good interactions with the students. Moreover, a good teacher should know his/her students enough to refer to their interests and meet their needs. In this sense, for a teacher, we can question what are the steps to know his or her students well and to construct a good teacher image?
The first and the most essential thing that a teacher should do is learning about the pupils. What I mean with “learning about the pupils” phrase is that learning their names, their characteristics, their interests, their relationships with the others etc. I can list many of them, but I just want to touch on some. For instance; learning students’ names. This is really important since the students want to see that the teacher cares them. Calling a student with his name makes the communication between the student and the teacher warmer and more intimate.
What about learning their characteristics and interests? Since each student is a separate individual, they have different learning and communicating styles. While teaching, a teacher shouldn’t get stuck in just a way. S/he should appeal to the whole class trying different methods and strategies for different type of learning styles. The teacher should choose the topics according to the students’ interests and needs. For example, imagine that there is a student in the class who doesn’t like even hates writing, and the only thing that concerns this guy is sports. A good teacher can deal with this student’s writing problem with appealing his interests such as giving him a task requiring his gathering information about a specific sportsman and writing an essay or a few paragraphs about this person. Learning about the students’ relationships with their families, classmates or peers also gives much information to the teacher about his/her students. A good teacher knows the reasons underlying his/her student’s success or failure. Most of the time, the main reason or the factor affecting the student is environment including his family and friends. So, I think just observing their relationships and sometimes interviewing with the family members, a teacher can learn about her student and follow his development.
The other important thing that makes the teacher a good teacher is having and using good sense of humor. I don’t mean being a class clown; but, having fun with the students and making jokes are effective ways of developing a good teaching-learning environment since enjoyment increases both the students’ and the teacher’s motivation. On the other hand, a good teacher should be cautious since making jokes insult or offend a student. In this point, again knowing the students helps the teacher since s/he makes jokes according to the students.
As I listed, there are many things to learn about the students. Knowing the students closely not only facilitates the teaching process but also helps the students and the teacher to construct good relationships. Being aware of this fact, I try to learn about my students in my observation classes.