Enjoy teaching and make your students enjoy learning!
Enjoyment! This is what I adopt as my teaching philosophy. Since I am still a student, I am familiar with the students’ psychology much, and since I am a just a prospective teacher, I am familiar with the teacher psychology too. What I have observed during my own classes and my teaching classes is that the most efficient lessons are the ones in which both the teacher’s and the students’ motivation is high. Then, what makes the motivation of the teacher and students high? I know there are many factors effecting the motivation but referring to my observations, I can say that having fun of lessons is the most effective one. Students learn best and teachers teach best while they are having fun of lessons, and they both cannot understand even how the time passes in the class. Yet, this fact should be underlined: Having fun of the lesson doesn’t mean disrupting the class. It simply and clearly means combining sense of humor with the topic or the subject of the lesson. Actually this is what I desire to do in my classes.
About this using sense of humor issue, I want to give examples from my experiences. As a student, when I make presentations, I see that the parts of my presentation which are listened carefully by my classmates are those in which I tell jokes. People really like laughing and they don’t forget easily the things which they laugh at. I also notice that, I am more successful in those lessons of which instructors make sense of her or his humor while teaching. I know having a good sense of humor is something related to personality and every teacher cannot have it. Yet, every teacher can make use of the students’ sense of humor letting them color the lesson while giving examples or sharing their experiences and opinions.
Additionally, various types of activities also help teacher make his or her students enjoy the lesson. People like variety and a good teacher should be able to make use of this fact. Again I want to give examples from my experiences. When I am teaching my students both in my teaching classes and in my private courses, I choose different activities for different tasks such as games, songs, drawing and painting, preparing posters, role plays, playing with puppets etc. And while doing this I let my students use their creativity as much as possible. I also include myself in the activities. I play with them, I draw with them, and I sing the songs with them…I tell them stories or my experiences related to the lesson using my sense of humor and I let them tell theirs. We share common things and at the end of the lesson I can say with a peace of mind “I have succeed to teach them today”
It is no matter that the students are young learners or adults. A teacher should be able to make use of different techniques or strategies to adapt her or his teaching to different types of student profiles. Thanks to my ELT classes, I have learned well how to do this. I can adapt my techniques to my students and this is the evidence of being a teacher. On the other hand, I don’t adopt just one approach in my teaching classes since I know every approach has pros and cons. I just pick up the pros and the effective ones, and I integrate them according to my students and their needs. Yet, I believe that it is really learning if a language is learned in order to communicate. I give importance to improve communication skills in my classes. Isn’t it the aim of the language to provide communication between people? So, I can say that I take the Communicative Approach into consideration a bit more than the others.
Before end up my writing I want to add something more. It is about cooperative teaching. Recently I have noticed how perfectly cooperative teaching works in the classrooms and I have adopted it as a part of my teaching philosophy. Since Turkey is a multi-national country, teachers easily come across with students from different nations such as Kurdish students, Gypsy students (I couldn’t make up my mind to use the appropriate wordL for this “Gypsy” issue, so I hope it isn’t an offensive one), Arabic students, Circassian students and so on. It is difficult for a teacher to integrate these students from different backgrounds with the other students. Yet, cooperative teaching is a good solution for this. Making students responsible for the learning of each others, a teacher would kill two birds with one stone: students will learn the subject, and they will develop a closer relationship with their friends. For this, what the teacher should do is just to be a good guide who observes, motivates and controls his or her students attentively. I believe that cooperative teaching will help me much in my teachings, and so I am planning to use it as much as possible in my classes.
That’s all about my philosophy for now. I say “for now” since I know that composing a philosophy is a long even everlasting process. As the day goes on, I will add something new to my philosophy and it will be greater day by day.