From everything I have been exposed to this semester I feel that I have a good understanding of what is necessary to achieve excellence in teaching. The teacher must be attentive to the needs of the students, be able to relate to them in some way, be willing to dedicate extra time and energy to assist those who need it, not be afraid of failure, have patience, and never judge a student on their appearance. They must love teaching and be willing to have fun in the classroom.
I saw almost all of these fulfilled when we visited the Lab School. I wish I had gone to school there. The accomplishments of the students reflected the excellence of teaching at the school. Every classroom we walked into looked like the students were going to be enjoying themselves and learn at the same time. The schools I attended looked more like prisons or hospitals with bleak walls and a sense of dread among the students. No one wanted to be there. How can you expect kids to learn when they are there only because of necessity not joy? One of the most important lessons I've learned is the best form of teaching is when the students don't even know they're learning and instead are enjoying the activity the are participating in.
[...] It took another unconventional force- nature- for this method to succeed however. Keller first started to understand that every object had a name after her trip to a well, where she finally associated the cool running water with the symbols being placed on her hand . “That living word awakened my soul, gave it light, hope, joy, sit it free! There were barriers still, it is true, but barriers that could in time be swept away (Keller, 22) The natural world was able to lead Keller to understand Sullivan's methods, which were the first step to Keller's long run integration into the world. [...]
[...] He was able to act out situations with his arms and legs. His ability to finally understand how his body moved in space transferred over to his other school work as well. His teacher noticed an improvement in his writing and mathematics. He was able to use the space on the paper more effectively. The simple ability to move backwards in space helped him have a better grasp of subtraction and the use of the past tense in English (Smith, 130). [...]
[...] Music can assist in memory. Music is something the child doesn't have to pay complete attention to and can tune in and out (NAA). Technology can also help autistic children with their development. In 2007, Helma van Rijn created a toy that is used to help autistic children develop language skills (ScienceDaily, 2007). The toy, LINKX, consists of blocks that the children must place against a specific object, which include a table or window (Science). Each object is equipped with a small electronic device of a certain color. [...]
[...] Communication between the teacher and the student is very key for a deaf child (Keller, 2005). Body language is a good method of communication. In her presentation Tara Downing emphasized the importance of using hands and body to try and explain what you want the child to do. It's important to face the child with hearing impairments when talking to them and not to turn your back. They may be able to read lips, which would make communication easier but requires a conscious effort from the teacher. [...]
[...] On each table I'll have a fact sheet on mold and other fungi. This will be mostly pictures with a few words. For the blind student, I may have the fact sheet be physically appealing and have fur attached to the pictures to stimulate touch. For the experiment, each student will be given a piece of bread, a wet paper towel and a plastic bag. The instructions will be to place the bread in the bag with the paper towel and to seal it shut. [...]
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