A Good Teacher in Every Classroom


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A Good Teacher in Every Classroom

  1. 1. Article Critique A Good Teacher in Every Classroom: Preparing the Highly Qualified Teachers Our Children Deserve The National Academy of Education Committee on Teacher Education edited by Linda Darling-Hammond and Joan Baratz-Snowden Teacher preparation is always a multi-dimensional process as numerous aspects and factors need to be addressed in order to prepare teachers for their teaching positions effectively. This paper discusses teacher effectiveness in terms of several critical factors—namely, the issue of enactment and practice, teaching as a complex job, and the promising practices upon which teaching should be based. These factors can be used to identify effective teaching, but teaching should be contextualized as context is a fundamental concept in teaching and learning. This paper discusses teachers' effectiveness after they complete their formal learning process. However, as an EFL teacher, I have a different perspective of this connection. Effective teachers should be prepared from the first day they pursue their college education. In addition, not all candidates for admission to teaching and education programs should be accepted just because they meet the minimal admission requirements. These candidates should have to meet special requirements that ensure a multiplicity of teaching, thinking, social, and cultural faculties to be available in candidates who want to become teachers. This initial step should mark the start of more comprehensive professional development, as it is not plausible to wait until student teachers graduate to
  2. 2. develop them professionally. Although this professional development rarely happens afterwards. In addition, for educators working in the field of language learning, they should focus on developing both competence and performance. I agree with the author of the paper, who emphasized the issue of enactment and that knowledge should be parallel with practice. However, the author failed to mention much about how this equation would be achieved in reality. I fully admit that a separation exists between knowledge and practice in our local environment, especially with novice teachers, due to the fact that the college curriculum still focuses more on providing student teachers with extensive theoretical information and readings but minimal opportunities for practical hands-on experiences. The process should be systematic and not subject to superficial circumstances. Effective teaching skills and personal qualities are the most critical characteristics of a successful teacher. Yet the qualities of effective teachers can be a dynamic concept that changes over time. How a student perceives a good teacher could be very different from the qualities teachers believe are important for succeeding in educating students, which could result in noticeable gaps as strengths are mismatched with expectations between a teacher and her/his learners. A learner might expect the teacher to show sound teaching skills and possess constructive personal qualities (e.g., patience) whereas the teacher might believe in reflecting on his/her own teaching and keeping up-to-date as being more necessary qualities to cultivate. Such a mismatch can cause tension in the classroom as the teacher works to fulfill his/her own expectations, which students might not appreciate.
  3. 3. The author of this paper proposed that pedagogies for teacher education such as performance assessments, student teaching, portfolios, case methods, and practitioner inquiry are good strategies for teacher education. However, the most important factor here is that teachers' needs should be identified in advance, whether the teacher is a novice or experienced expert educator. As an educator, I believe that novice teachers need special education focused on teaching behaviors and maximizing their subject matter knowledge. Meanwhile, expert teachers should be able to use modern technology and recently developed teaching methods. For stance, I know some expert teachers who do not know how to use blogs, text messaging, or CALL in teaching because they adhere to what they have always used in their classes. They do not seek to update their pedagogies in order to match modern inventions. Therefore, teacher preparation programs should be tailored to educators specialized needs. Successful programs in similar countries can offer meaningful guidance for developing teacher-training programs. For example, one of the Arabic countries follows a teacher development system called teacher cadre in which teachers move from one stage to another in their professional ladder according to the their professional progress and academic certification. Although such an approach might not work effectively in all cases, strict regulations should be in place to avoid any violations. Teachers should also be involved in the curriculum development process as they can have a considerable effect on the quality of the teacher education. A curriculum planner is one of the essential roles that the teacher plays in the educational process in addition to his/her roles as a reflective practitioner, a researcher, and an observer. Teachers have significant experiences with school activities and are highly cognizant of the pedagogical
  4. 4. needs of their students. However, teacher involvement in the curriculum development process is not well articulated our context. Teachers should be trained and involved in the process of curriculum development. The reforms should start from the roots, especially with teachers who are in the field and know what and where changes are needed. This will prevent teachers’ reluctance to participate in the process of curriculum development. There must be appropriate structure for the teachers so that their productivity can be enhanced and they can be effective players in the quality of education.