Teachers returning to school will be facing big challenges especially in New York City Public Schools.The goal of public education in America has changed, the education system has not had sufficient time to retrain teachers and make the colleges and universities aware of this change. Many teachers in the system have been unhappy for the last few years, many do not understand what is going on and some are not prepared to handle the major changes expected from education. Schools have been shut down, half of the teaching staff removed, and the principal relocated. This is done for school failing academic review. Educators are floating on the rubber chicken system, either sitting in administrative offices, or shifting from school to school on a daily or weekly basis. Teachers are burnout and depressed but voiceless. Those who are returning to burnout, or new to the system, this essay is for you.

Spiritual Formation for Teachers.

 

             Teaching is one of the biggest con games of the last 100 years. Individuals are hired as teachers, often with minimum reqquirements with the unwritten and unspoken task of keeping the poor in their place and out of the best jobs, environments, housing and economic opportunities of the choosen few. Maintaining the status quo is the role of the teacher.

Problems occur when some teachers decide to make changes in the status quo, and discover they have the power and ability to transfor lives. Teachers have changed the face of America because some have elected to teach outside of the box of stratification. History is the means through which students are taught the roles of their fathers and grandfathers, and their obligation to continue the family tradition. Whole groups of people are educated to the bottom.

If somewhere along the way, some individuals stop and make decisions to educate up rather than down, miracles happen, and those miracles are what made America great. Who and what you are as a teacher is a spiritual awakening, and the decision to follow a different path will involve sacrifices, and financial expense out of your own pocket. Success bring great happiness and fulfillment.

Teaching is a challenging experience. By the end of the first year, the romance has gone out of teaching. Those who entered to save the world are looking for another profession. Those who did not pay attention to education courses are now wondering what is wrong with the children. The students will not sit still to be taught the ineffective and often crushed pearls of wisdom the teacher is not prepared to give them.

Children know when they see an unprepared teacher unsuited for the assignment. The children can see the deer caught in a head light look in the teachers eyes representing frozen fear,[1] which often renders ineffectiveness.

There is a spiritual demension of teaching, which enables teachers to meet the unwritten challenges in the field of education. There are individuals who will eventually leave the profession in defeat and frustration, and then there are those who gather strength from a separate and powerful resource center, which enables them to stay in the teaching profession. The task of teaching will not be any easier than it was for those who decided leave, than it will be for those with the spiritual courage to stay. Children will still come into classrooms presenting the challenges, presented to them through the position of their birth. They will have different learning styles and behavior curves, the teacher, however, equipt with the skills of spiritual formation teaching will be able to bless them to their levels of high achievements and expect those high achievements from all children depending on their individual capabilities.

They are the ones who stay. Who are these teachers, and from where do they get the strength to turn challenges into opportunities and opportunities into victories. Who are these people who are on the battlefield for excellence and life. Jesus called twelve to follow Him.

God calls the teacher. First above all other, know yourself. Know who you are as an individual. Know your strengths and your weakness. If you on a subconscious level do not like yourself, and consider your self an unworthy failure, you will bring that image into the classroom, and project it on to your students. If diversity and tolerance were not big selling points in your family, and the teaching profession was selected as the quickest and easiest path to economic stability you may stay, but you will be miserable and make all those around you miserable.

The second, and equally important variable required of an effective teacher is to know your craft. You cannot teach what you do not know, and students will know when you know a topic and when you do not. Solid teacher preparation courses are a basic requirement for teaching. You cannot wing teaching. You must have a solid liberal arts back ground.

Liberal Arts courses provides experience in thought formation and expression of well rounded opinions.

Academic areas that are included within the Liberal arts include:

             Completing these courses are only the beginning, you must also have methodology course work in how to break down this information, and explain the information to others, this is teaching. Just knowing a subject does not always qualify an individual to teach the subject. Sometime great scientist, artist and athletic superstars are the worst teachers; they may know their skill, but lack the ability to help others to understand the dimensions of the skill. The teacher’s role is to break down information so that the student can develop the skill. This is professional training; this is pedagogy.

             These are the basics skills a teachers must walk into a classroom with, in order to insure some degree of confidence in a classroom.

 

 

  1. Methods of Teaching Reading
  2. Methods of Teaching Math
  3. Methods of Teaching   Science
  4. Methods of Teaching Social Studies, which include, history, geology, psychology, sociology, map and globe skills, anthropology, ethnic diversity, American culture and traditions, including religious celebrations, which are part of American traditions, ancient history, African history, European history, American history, Asian history, Middle Eastern history, Religions of the world, and Traditions of the world.
  5. Methods of Teaching Art
  6. Methods of Teaching Music
  7. Methods of Teaching Normal and Special need children.
  8. Methods of Developing and Teaching Early Childhood Programs
  9. The History of Education in the West
  10. Childhood Development Theories and Practices
  11. Methods of Classroom Management
  12. Methods of Lesson Planning
  13. Methods of Instructional Preparation
  14. Methods of Instructional Delivery
  15. Methods of Evaluation/ Statistics/Measurement and Evaluation
  16. Methods of working with Technology
  17. Strategies in Conflict Resolution
  18. Strategies in Developing Cooperative Learning Groups

 

Spiritual Transformation Teaching

 

Teach the students you have and not some perfect idea of what a student should be. Teach your students to be the students you want, teach them to be your students. If you do not like your students, then no one else will like them. Make them teachable and likeable. Perfection comes in what you do to make students. Become the best teacher in the school, and let the student know that they have the best teacher in the school. They will be encouraged to work to make the belief a reality. Students want the best and the better, help them to know how the best and the brightest operates.

Project an air of professionalism and perfection in all areas and interactions throughout the education environment. Do not permit anything or anyone in the environment to demean or diminish your authority or your professionalism. Your authority to teach comes from how you are perceived in the environment. Do not permit anyone to disrespect you whether supervisor, colleagues, parents or students. If colleagues or supervisors disrespect you will not receive respect from students. Students are the unofficial observer of the politics and culture of the entire educational environment. It is necessary to clarify lines and methods of communications before successful interaction with students. There are role assignments in a school building. The principal is a teacher with a supervisory role. It is a professional role. The teacher is a professional and must never submit that professional role in any form of submission. The new teacher teaches coworkers and supervisors how to treat them. If a new teacher has negative views towards the students in the environment, the people in the environment will respond to the new teacher with the same view. A teacher who does not know the craft will not be respect. Teacher preparation programs may focus on the theory of teaching, and may have a weak program in the practical requirements and the nuts and bolts of effective classroom teaching.

A new teacher may have to learn the craft from working in religious education programs or community base programs. It would be helpful to new teachers to volunteer some time working as camp counselors, Sunday school teachers, sports coach, or scout leaders. Activities that involve the movement or supervision of groups of children will be beneficial. These types of activities also help new teachers to understand the spiritual dimension of working with young people.

Teachers must train children how to be students in their classrooms and in the school building. Teaching is not a shared responsibility, is a role responsibility and an expectation responsibility. The teacher has a trained role that he/she is expected to carry out. Students have certain roles that they are expected to carry out. The issues of roles are not debatable. A teacher cannot teach a disrespectful student. Students cannot learn if he/she does not know how to solve problems. It is the role of the teacher to give students acceptable role behaviors in their classrooms. Establishing roles of behaviors begin two weeks before the teacher enters the classroom. Class registers should be given to the teachers before the entrance of students into the classroom. Teachers must know[2] their students, and have behavioral rules[3] for the entire group, and have strategies to help confused students comply with the rules. Do not adjust rules of behavior to students. Help students learn how to understand rules and conform to acceptable behaviors. It is the role of the teacher to help the students to understand the rules and traditions of the society in which they live. Help them to understand the reality of living, functioning, and excelling in the school environment and the world.

 

Understanding the role of the teacher.

           Teaching is not a submissive role. Teaching is a professional career. It is important for the teacher to remember the preparation process and the certification process. Enter the classroom as a professional who has been granted certification and a license to teach based on training and qualification.

Do not surrender that qualification at the school doorway or the school classroom. Enter act with supervisors, colleagues, parents and students from an understanding of that professionalism and its responsibility. The culture of the environment will present challenges, you the teacher teach people your position and the respect you require and will accept.

If teachers had been treated with respect, there would have been no need for the United Federation of Teachers. Respect your Union and provide it support. The Union stands between the teacher and unbearable working conditions. The Union gives the teacher permission and support to be a professional and not a field hand. The Union will help you get through your first years without tears, and the tears will not come from reaction with the children. Your greatest joy will come from your student and your greatest pain will come from the adults in the environment. Before entering a school building, stop by a faith institution to get the strength and the courage to do the most important job in this country. Unfortunately, the teacher preparation programs do not prepare an individual for the reality of the teaching environment. Many teachers enter into the profession hoping to save the world, only to find out that they do not have life saving skills and worse than that, they cannot even swim. Academic courses are necessary but the practical aspect of teaching is equally important. Before leaving your college or university environment, ask your self the following questions, check off your answers, and make sure to have corrected any deficiency while you still have access to your professors. Professors will expect you to get out get a job, and learn on the job the skills necessary for your craft. It does not work that way, and you are setting yourself up for a very difficult experience, and many times a life changing experience. Principals and supervisors will be hostile towards you when they learn they have to teach you how to teach and carry out their own role assignments. Your co-workers will resent you and your students. Your students will feel cheated, and their parents will be very angry for your lack of competence. Get answers to these questions before leaving college and entering the teaching system.

Job Ready Competency List.

  1. Did I pass the Certification Test
  2. Can I write a lesson plan script for each subject I studied in college?
  3. Can I make a class list?
  4. Did I complete my Identifying Child Abuse workshop?
  5. Do I know how to command attention of students?
  6. Do I know the procedure for handling an emergency?
  7. How do I keep parents from becoming upset?
  8. Do I know how to handle an upset parent?
  9. Can I keep record of each event, which happens in the classroom?
  10. Can I read and understand the invisible politics and culture of this school?
  11. Do I know How to Manage Student Behavior?
  12. Do I know how to prepare a lesson?
  13. Do I know how to present a lesson?
  14. Do I know how to evaluate students to determine if they are learning?
  15. Do I know how to get my student into the classroom and out of the classroom?
  16. Are my basic math skills sharp?
  17. Are my basic Language Arts skills sharp?
  18. Do I have an effective plan for teaching reading and reading strategies?
  19. How do I handle special needs students?
  20. Do I have a method to nurture myself through difficult days?

Your college professors will have told you that teaching is a partnership arrangement, they were wrong. Teaching is a spiritual arrangement. They would have told you that the teacher and the students must come to an agreement about the rules of the classroom, they were wrong. Students want guidance, they want and need to feel that someone is in control and understands the process. They may have told you that it is the role of the teacher not to frustrate the student, but to adjust the teacher’s behavior to conform to the needs of the student, they were wrong. Education is a transformation process. In America, the school is the doorway to a different and exciting future. Teaching and education transforms the reality of a person’s birth. This countries greatest export is the model through which it has transformed the lives of slaves and masters, indentured servants, bondsmen and the wretched poor of the world, and turned them into captains of industry. Former descendants of slaves have become the wealthiest and most educated peoples of color in the world, and this was done through the great educational system of this country, and dedicated teachers. Teachers believe beyond the apparent and help students to reach their possibilities rather than repeat their histories.

Professors may have instructed teachers to take into consideration, the socio-economic, ethnic, and historical events in a student’s life.[4] They may have told teachers to make allowance for unacceptable behaviors, they were wrong. A considerable amount of what college professors have told teachers is wrong for the effective education of students, especially American students, and specifically ethnic and minority students.

Ethnic families traditionally have strong family structures and believe that their children should conform to the rules and behaviors set up through those strong family structures and values. African American families have the traditional belief of God, family and education, and expect those who work with their children to support those traditional values. The media and textbook writers do not depict these strong family values, and may indirectly portray a picture of an ethnic group in struggle with itself and the society, they are wrong. It is helpful if a teacher knows his or her students, but it is more important that the teachers know themselves and their craft.

[1] If a teacher has been taught that students are incompetent, and they should lower their expectations for the student, and they find a different environment, it can be a frightening experience for some individuals.

[2] Teachers receive background information on each student; they also receive previous academic performance of students. Class list should be made before student enters the classroom. Lesson plans for where each student will sit in the classroom are made before school starts. The first week of school is devoted to face recognition and placing records with faces. Planned seating arrangements, walking arrangements and name tags are in place before you meet your class.

[3] This is not the time to have a democratic process with respect to what students want to do or do not want to do. Make the decision to the type of class structure that will be beneficial to the entire class, and promote the greatest amount of effective learning.

[4] This is stratification, founded in racism and class structure. The Past does not predict the future, and it is the role of the teacher to redirect the tracks of a student’s life.

Leave a Reply