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September 1, 2012

Essay Paper on Theories of Millikin University

11:47 AM

Shows Evidence of Active Learning
How does the teacher show evidence of his/her enthusiasm and how does the teacher create learning experiences that engage students? How would your teaching differ or mirror what is happening in this classroom?

Bonwell & Eison (p.1, 2010) describe active learning as a method that teachers adopt in creating a healthy learning environment. Mr. Creighton in this regard, always has seen of using this tool very closely in his teaching style.
Starting from the cooperative study plan of Mr. Creighton that includes delivering lectures in the form of questions, and then using different speech style to confuse the listeners of whether the lecturer is asking a question or giving an answer. Having done this, then repeating as to what the lecturer stated earlier.
Apart from this, Mr. Creighton was also seen of being involved in building a healthy learning environment, by injecting humour, between the lectures, so that everybody got their part of break and were always seen of being attentive. Hunt & Mays (p.109 1997) with respect to this also justify that this style of teaching further assists in building up a positive learning environment for all.
This style of teaching of Mr. Creighton would for sure be adopted by me. Where from my perspective, interaction with the audience counts a lot, rather than acting as a public speaker, that itself is unaware of whether he/she is being listened by all or not.
However, to make sure information is always delivered in the class, especially to the back benchers, a strategy that accounts for continuously walking from front to the back, and using high pitch in between the lectures, can also be said as being useful in creating a healthy active learning environment. And if that’s not enough, then delivering information through series of games, whereby grouping people and awarding the group, that secures highest marks in the game, would for sure bring in more student involvement and later would assist students well in retaining knowledge.
How did the teacher relate this content area to other subject areas or to the life experiences of the students in his/her classroom? Were the connections made relevant to the students and were they able to relate? How would you have made the material relevant?
The interactive session that carried questions, repeating key facts and a little bit of humour as discussed above, for sure thrilled the class, whereby also showed me in an indirect way the vast knowledge of Mr Creighton. That being from wide range of examples, as shared with students who found it difficult to understand, to a more in-depth knowledge as shared by Mr. Creighton , with those students who were left with some ambiguity .
However this did not rest over here, as Mr. Creighton also used different ways of teaching style. Where randomly choosing articles and asking students to read and fill the blanks as presented in a pre written conclusion. This was being done, because most students were found of being weak in grammar or if not that then weak in writing.
Followed by this, several other brainstorming sessions were also conducted, where students were told to think of other best possible answers that would fit well in the questions. 
The teaching style however by most would be regarded as being best, but, from my perspective there were still some points that I feel should be known and brought in the system, to bring in further improvements.
From my perspective the class was found of having poor grammar and not so good knowledge of how to write a proper essay. Over here students should be given more help in writing a good short essay independently, where being a teacher, I would tell my students the basics of constructive writing and how an essay is divided into three main parts, this being the introduction, body and conclusion. And how each part is different from the other one, and what tone should a writer set before writing an Essay. Followed by this I would also use random spelling contest, and then reward students on the basis of marks, where the high achiever not only gets reward but also teaches other of how he achieved this. This way spreading the tacit knowledge to others and later assisting the weak performers in improving their spellings.
However one most significant point that needs to be raised is that the class is of social sciences, hence the teacher should focus more towards social science studies rather than too much focus over ways of how to improve grammar and writing skills of the students. As the later one is the English teacher’s job.
Creates a Community of Learners
How were different levels of student development evident in the classroom? How were these levels of student development handled by the teacher?

Like every other classroom, this class too seemed to comprise of students as falling under different skill level. From those who needed a lot of attention, to those who needed just supervision. Based on my observation, the class never carried a 50/50 ratio, where this being on the bases of brilliant students to those, that were not. On the contrary, brilliant students were seen of being overconfident, where those who needed much attention were found sometimes of not being that confident to speak up front.
With such an indefinite proportion of students, based on skills, Mr. Creighton had a good control over such a situation, where leading with a cooperative learning style in the class, students both with high skills and those with low were grouped together, and then were given a particular task to be completed in groups.
This interaction of the brilliant and not so brilliant students, helped the group to understand their areas of mistake, that later having consulted with friends, were again rechecked by teacher, that being from the answer what the group used to come up with. This way further identifying the not so brilliant candidates, and staying updated as to which person needs more attention. Followed by this it was also seen that, Mr. Creighton having known of the class situation, always kept the lessons to its basic level, where making sure underachievers also understand it well. Where even if this technique failed, then Mr. Creighton followed by his assistant along with me, also assisted students through personally mentoring students after the class, if in case a need was felt by student or assumed by the lecturer.
However Mr. Creighton’s concern was never seen to de-motivate the brilliant students, but to make sure they don’t get overconfident series of challenging questions were given to them, whereas basic questions were asked from those who needed much of the tutoring. This way maintaining a fair deal policy, where no one felt deprived but everyone seemed eager to learn and compete with one another in a healthy way.
How did the teacher maintain control of the classroom? What were the methods used to maintain consistent control? Were they effective? How might you have handled things differently?

Having a deep concern to know of how a teacher could best manage the class, I asked Mr. Creighton in common room and also in cafeteria, over number of ways what he uses to control the classroom. Mr. Creighton having heard this, replied ‘this is one of the most important things what a teacher should master in, and for that it involves lot a patience and a lot of creative thinking to make it happen’. With this being said Mr. Creighton told me, to observe as to how he manages the class in his sessions, whereby also giving me freedom to criticize over how can he further improve over his way of controlling the class.
It was observed that, Mr. Creighton always used to make sure that no student was seen of sitting idle. He always used to give students different set of tasks, whereby kept a strict eye over whether the task were being followed up or not. He used this technique on a daily basis, where the challenging part of this technique was to come up with new tasks every now or then. According to Mr Creighton’s, this thing was considered as being a challenge because, from his experience he told me that, students best retained knowledge if they felt the need to learn anything happily rather than being told to learn forcefully.
Another important thing, what Mr. Creighton used in order to control the class was, to inform students well before of what they all will be taught in today’s session and assigned breaks at different intervals, when one part of the lesson was seen to have been delivered completely. This way playing with student psychology that paid more attention, since all were given an incentive of 5 minutes break after the lecturer finished his one part of lesson. And if that is not enough then, telling the class to copy the lecture in their notebooks, while he was seen of marking the attendance sheet or seen of distributing piece of information to students itself.
Often this way of informing class before, of what will be taught in today’s sessions, according to Mr. Creighton was seen as being a useful tool to observe the reaction of students, over a particular topic and if seen of being filled up with not that excitement, then devising up ways of how still a person could manage the class, through either involving mini quizzes or series of other group work.
However, apart from all the techniques that were being used by Mr. Creighton, to control the class, there were some students too who even after all this were seen of not paying full attention in the class. Where having seen that, Mr. Creighton used to make it quite clear in the class of how important the topic is and those who are not listening are missing something very important. Having said that, if still some students were found of paying less attention, Mr. Creighton would call out that student to shift places from back or middle bench to front bench and would now keep a more thorough watch out over his/her activities.  This way breaking groupies in class, and making sure no one gets affected from whispers and gossips, what some students used to be involved in, when a lecturer was giving lectures.
Followed by this, Mr. Creighton’s strong body language that showed what confidence he had when delivering the lecture, further resisted others in trying not to disobey rules of classroom, where everyone knew that Mr. Creighton’s continuous eye movement and movement from one place to another would never leave a student of being left unsupervised in the class.
After the session was over, I asked Mr. Creighton, why he never yelled or scolded students who disobeyed the general class rules. Having said that Mr. Creighton replied, for many yelling can be said as an active tool to control the class, but in reality it is not. It is something you would also learn with experience and what my experience has taught is that, this type of behaviour results in portraying an even negative environment in the class, where students become more hesitant and lose confidence, just of fear that they could be insulted in the class and that too especially in front of their friends. And upbringing confidence of students takes many years, whereby destroying it would take just a matter of seconds, and this is what no teacher would ever like to do. 
Since the session seem to hold a lot of control by Mr. Creighton over his students, I would in this regard take much of the tips from Mr. Creighton, but would strongly disagree over not using a little harsh approach when badly needed. As a teacher, I would handle this situation by either by demarking students who are involved in mischief or if not that, then giving them even more homework to be completed, that shall later be told to be presented in front of the class.
This way knowing that the student has done his homework by himself, and later makes the student realize, of how difficult at times it can really be when one is supposed to present information to the audience.
Facilitates Learning
How did the teacher monitor learner progress and adjust strategies in response to learner progress?  How did he/she adjust the learning strategies in response to the learner’s behaviour and needs? Were the expectations reasonable and were the students able to meet the expectations?  How did the teacher use her voice to help her with managing the classroom and to motivate students?  Were the words pronounced clearly and precisely so that students were easily able to understand?  How could this have been done in a better way to facilitate the learning? What were some teaching strategies that the teacher used in order to engage students in active learning? Was there evidence of critical thinking and problem solving being required of students?

Mr. Creighton’s strategies of creating a healthy learning environment can be seen from what has been discussed in this report earlier. That is, his efforts to involve everyone in work, followed by questioning the class randomly to make sure everyone had retained the knowledge well, and use of articles and other piece of information to let student brainstorm over different answers what a question may also seem to hold. 
Monitoring the learner’s progress was best seen when Mr. Creighton made students at times opt for group work, and observing those who seemed in being hesitant to share ideas with others. With this it also included monitoring students by giving more concern to individual based on his/her assessment, or their involvement in class whereby continuously trying level best to maintain a light but yet a very healthy learning environment.
Since the class seemed to comprise of students that showed interest to learn, followed by those who felt not that interested, Mr. Creighton’s strategy of making student change place when seen of making noise, to involving them in series of group class work, that later were then appreciated by students, contributed a lot to understand the needs of every single student as present in the class.
At time, Mr. Creighton would ask students to mark the key words, and then help him to understand of why they choose the marked key words as being that important to be learned. Followed by this encouraging cross question and answer sessions at the end of class, to make sure there is minimum ambiguity seen by student, for the topic he/she was given a lecture over and also making everyone feel they all have retained the needed knowledge that was required in this session.
These learning expectations, were thus seen of being met effectively by every student in the class, where due to active learning, there were are no barriers of not reaching forward and questioning the teacher  , the students felt easy to understand of what was required to be learned in the class and what was not.
Mr. Creighton’s strong body language, that showed the confidence within him, always convinced students that they are being taught in the right way, and especially from a right instructor. His voice that at times use to rise, when something really important was to be understood, to falling down under a normal pitch one when something needed just a general understanding. This technique always kept the class eager to know as to what the lecturer had to state, and how important it is for everyone to understand the full lecture, rather than understanding in tits and bits.
 This variation in pitch thus was observed by me as being very effective, where with clear, concise and well pronounced words from Mr. Creighton, left every class member easily understand the lecture and kept even the back benchers awake, of what was being taught by the lecturer in the class.
However, over here I feel there could have been more improvements being brought in the way information was being delivered by Mr. Creighton. This being by using basic vocabulary words, when disseminating information to students, because from my observation I think, there were some words what the lecturer used were not understood well by some student. Where this being read from their blank expression of students, that either showed they were not interested, and if not that then, they never had a clue of what was being told for which they would never ask teacher to tell them the meaning, because fear of being taunted by class members, after the session or even during the session.
Collaborates
How does being punctual, staying on task, handling materials with care, respecting co-workers, and having positive attitudes contribute to a professional attitude? Describe a professional attitude and how that contributes to collaborating with co-workers.

Be it a classroom or an office, professional attitude sums up in many different ways. Professionalism at first starts from being punctual where punctuality counts for not only coming at time but accounts for being more what punctual in adhering to deadlines as set on a particular task. Followed by this, it would also involve equally respecting the co workers in yet a very professional way, where this may involve no backbiting, no workplace politics but for sure would involve maintaining a healthy work place relation to get the task done in a yet productive way. Finally to sum up, professionalism would also involve being loyal and honest to work where keeping care of material if any possessed and being more what hard worker that does loyalty with his job.
For a teacher I would regard a good professional attitude as being important to be maintained because teachers act as a role model for students. With student’s first source of interaction, when learning something new, always starting with the teacher, it is important for teacher to realize this and then teach the students the basics of professionalism. This being how a person should be doing his work and what later a person should always avoid of not including in his/her work.
For a teacher from my perspective, being punctual delivers the correct code of conduct what the person as sitting in the class should also be abiding with. Followed by this , interacting with coworkers in yet a professional way would account for clearly defining lines of what others should be never cross whereby encouraging others for a productive talk that does justice with job.
I would regard this type of attitude as being very important to be maintained so as to create a healthy workplace environment where every member is seen of giving is maximum throughput and at the same time is seen of being loyal and target oriented with his/her work.
Further this professional environment especially in teaching from my point of view  can be said as being very much important to be maintained, because it is the school/ institution where one could say future leaders being born  and it is with this fact it becomes the prime responsibility of every member to guide every other member in the best way so that the culture of such institutions clearly state of what basics are accepted in community and how the future leaders are then supposed to carry these learned basics in the external environment.

(CONT’D)
Describe a Professional Code of Conduct. What did you see the teacher doing or not doing that would be part of a professional code of conduct? Talk about the need for privacy, confidentiality and appropriate behavior with students and how that relates to the job of a teacher.

For many professionals code of conduct may vary from place to place but still the basics being the same.
Starting off with dressing that reflects as to what personality a person seems to hold. For professionals I would state that it is important for every professional to dress up well and that to being done very professionally, where formal pants and shirts being more what appreciated and t-shirts or jeans being more what less appreciated.
However, for females teachers, from my perspective, use of clothes that cover their body parts well, followed by less makeover would indirectly convey the message of how little girls should always keep themselves whenever out from their homes. Hence it is with this importance teachers should be seen as abiding by the professional code of conduct at its best.
Apart from just dressing, teachers should be more mature and should always be careful to not be biased in workplace. Failure to do so would result in portraying negativity for that person that may later affect the culture of the institution. In this regard when talking about maturity, it can also be said that use of proper words rather than slang terms too carries a high importance. This being said because a student is there to learn and if a teacher uses slang terms in between the lessons, student would then feel those words as normally spoken works.
I would regard professional code of conduct apart from what has been stated above, of carrying even more points to be well known and adopted by every teacher.
 ·         From making sure teachers interact with students just in the class and avoids interacting with students after the class would deliver a clear cut  message to students that is learning starts in the class and end in the class , hence it is important for every student to ask whatever he/she has in the class.
·         Followed by this I would also suggest teachers in being more like a closed book when marking students, where releasing results in front of the class rather than telling it individually.
·         Mentoring students in the class whereby doing so while every other student is also present. This way making the extra effort over one student being transparent enough to be known by other students. Hence no personal grudges of students among themselves for being treated unfairly.
It is this strict role I believe that makes teachers more captivated towards adopting a professional attitude that itself does justice and where slight leniency would result in affecting 100 of students to think in a different way.
In this regard Mr. Creighton’s professional code of conduct was seen as being taken as example where when in class he made the lectures sound as much as easy they could, whereby not entertaining students, to personally contact him for mentoring or guiding them further after class.
His way of presenting lectures by using humor in between, showed how professionally well aware he was of what to do and what not to, where when using humor he was quite sure of what boundaries he is not supposed to cross.
Other teachers in this regard, being randomly observed my me were seen of not being carrying that strong body language, what was required to be maintained in a school/ institution. Where this being, the way they walked to the way they moved hands when giving lectures. However many would agree that for teachers it is nearly impossible to act as a perfectionist, but from my perspective this is not the way. As what’s required is understanding the basic professional code of conduct and then trying further to improvise over it by aiming to achieve that perfectionist role what everyone dreams off.

Conclusion
This study that involved interaction with students, as falling under the different age groups, that were seen of being 100 in number helped me to learn a lot, of how well various forms of teaching style can be used, to further manage the students and maintain an active learning environment.
From first day till the last day of this study, I can regard myself of having progressed a lot. Where real life examples and observing things in a yet practical way, has for sure made it clear to me the importance of creating an active learning environment. Followed by this an understanding of how it is important to maintain a professional code of conduct to manage all and control the class in yet a productive way.
As the saying goes ‘action speaks louder than words’ this experience has given me more of what the saying has to offer to others. Where with interaction with faculty members followed by students on an ongoing basis helped me to learn new ways of how to further enhance active learning environment and what should and what should not be done when playing a role of a teacher.
All this experience that as shared by lecturers was taken by me as a valuable tacit knowledge which I would apply in my life and change it to more what an explicit one so that is can also be learned by others who prefer to choose teaching as their main profession.




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