Before I was an NEH teacher trainee, I tried to explain the entire lesson, without making time for students to practice, considering their needs, and managing the classroom.
I only focused on ways for them to get a high score, making them recite paragraphs and do homework. I thought this was the teacher’s responsibility, as it's normally done in my country.
But in the last 3 months, as I've been training under NEH, I've gained more knowledge and skills and learned that teaching methods are of enormous importance. I think the teaching methods I'm using now are not normally used by other teachers in my country, particularly in rural areas. For example, students here have to study English from kindergarten to Grade 11; however, they are not able to use four skills (reading, writing, speaking, listening) well. In comparison, some students in other countries can already use four skills well in middle school.
For these reasons, I think the teacher's role is to guide and facilitate learning for each of his or her students. This involves managing the classroom, meeting the parents if necessary, and preparing lessons. When we plan each lesson, it takes at least 2 or 3 hours. We have to consider how the students will be engaged so that every class activity works well, and we're not wasting time.
Good teachers are also learners. They think about their teaching, about what worked and what didn't work. They are not afraid to try new things and learn from their mistakes. This makes teaching new and interesting both for themselves and their students. Not only do teachers need knowledge and skills, they need the right attitude to teach effectively.
NEH Local Teacher Trainee
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