As my first teaching practicum approached, I was filled with, not only anxiety but also a tingle of excitement. It was the first time to see and experience the field of primary education as a would-be teacher. The relatively less steep stairs; low chairs and desks; many small and cute ornaments in the classroom; and the teacher’s desk, only barely separated from the space of the students, made me look forward to life in the school.
I was able to observe a variety of classes, each with a different teacher. Seeing the various student groups, from the 1st to the 6th grade, I experienced an assortment of teaching styles from the teachers. Many teachers who have own style exist in the school; A teacher who focuses on the words of textbook rather than on the voices of students, a teacher who shares the meaningful activities with their students, a teacher who starts the class embracing all each student instead of the words of “Hello,” and so on. An anecdote from a teacher who had an unusual view was what impressed me most.
There was a 1st-grade class well known for its high-energy, talkative students. I realized the reason for this upon talking with the homeroom teacher. “Many teachers say my students are a little noisy. But, isn’t it rather awkward to be quiet and sit still at their age? I can’t restrain my ‘children’ who have endless creativity even if it might seem absurd to some.” After listening to her, I came to think, “Is this teacher leading her students wrongly? Is this class ‘wrong’ compared to other groups that seem to restrain the excitement and keep a tight cap on the overall mood?” My immediate answer to this question was “I don’t know,” but the sure thing was that the students who could express their thoughts and imagination freely to their teacher, even if their opinions seemed ridiculous, appeared to enjoy their lesson time.
Seeing and experiencing many various classes, the thing that I realized is that each class has its own color and is different from other classes. The position of the desks, the attitude of the students, and the atmosphere of the class were so different, depending on which room I was in. I think it is a homeroom teacher who leads class’ atmosphere. The more active and humorous the homeroom teacher is, the more outgoing and active the students are. In contrast, if the teacher is rigorous and strict, the class has little chance to relax, and students tend to be sedated. Not only that; students even follow the way their teachers speak.
Considering the fact that the students mimic even the trivial details of what their teachers do, I could feel the massive influence of teachers on their students. Herty Adams said, “A teacher’s influence is forever; no one can tell where his influence stops.” What teachers teach their students often affects the way the students think and act for the rest of their lives. I saw, depending on teachers’ character, students’ personality, study attitude, and facial expression could vary. This made me think about my philosophy as a would-be teacher. I asked myself, “How can I treat my students as a good teacher?” This is the question that we should think about as the students of KNUE, so I ask you, what kind of teacher will you be remembered as in the minds of your students?
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