Through the eyes of the teacher, the teaching and the learning are seen as complementary processes, one having no chance of survival without the other. Definitely, the role of the teacher is to teach the student how to learn, leading the student to a new and evolved status of achieved competences, as the struggle of the student is seemingly to overcome former performances and exceed in doing that, based on the educational path designed by the teacher.
Having established the aims of the struggle, I asked myself : ‘What makes a student follow some teacher’s lead ?’ Since every generation has its way, and need to disobey (remember Joe Cocker – N’oubliez jamais/ Never forget). I found the answer, looking back at my own English learner profile and I think that answer lies in every beating heart that is passionate for learning English. Must be in the many pillars of education that a teacher relies on: many years of preparation, the trend to proficiency, the awareness of self-perfecting need, the feeling of the moment’s pulse, personal involvment.
Although the educational system is marked by serious changes that occurred along the years, I have recently aknowledged that at the core of all teaching and learning stand four main pillars: Presentation, Practice, Production/Performance, Personal token. I like to see these pillars as fashion designers many a times promote the dusty little black dress that makes diamonds shine brighter when the lady is adorned. And what brighter alliance may a student wish then the classic well-worn path offered by the three Ps, beautifully adorned by technological sparkles that overwhelm our need for inspiration.
One of the greatest challenges a teacher faces is to select the most adequate sources to make the brightest presentation (images, games, songs, videos, apps), keeping in mind that shapes without foudation cannot exist, and remain a little anchored into the ‘Harmer, Scrivener, Willis’ methodology.
Furthermore, the teacher needs to provide a battery of exercises to the student, so that the internalization of the taught contents may occur. This is possible when the student fully engages to the learning process, not to mention the factor of family support, that is all the more relevant.
Finally, but not least, the student is offered the opportunity to perform in different contexts, by different means of interaction(role-play, simulation, revision games)and alternative channels of communication, the utmost reason being: tracking self- progress, observed within a necessary testing process, which ensures the transparent feedback all students deserve .
In addition to these, the fourth pillar, and the most important, in my opinion, is the Personal token, that is, the way you want to look at the educational process, your personal ‘charm’ as a teacher, or, your own volition as a student, ready to conquer the whole ‘market’.
Entering a classroom full of students for the first time, can be a lifetime lesson in the sense that behind each smile or grin, there is a story that one way or another will find the path to come up, unless you, the ‘charming teacher’ reinvent yourself at every corner in order to capture all those ‘wild energies’ ready to burst out, at any rate, and take them into your story, as charming as possible, abusing the value of words and the abundance of meanings there can be.
By that enchanting of the wild energies I don’t mean surpressing their wish to communicate, better said, I mean to channel their expression into higher grounds, that eventually higher their spirit as well.
All my life I will be learning lessons from my students, wearing their shoes everytime something is not as charming as it sholud be, giving me a warning that I should go to a different corner to reinvent myself in terms of: presentation, practice, production and personal token.