An Open and Connected Course for Faculty Development

What is a Professional Educator? Hartwig Stein – March 2015

--Originally published at hstein98

Jane, a teacher of English Literature, is able to create spaces, environments where people can learn. She is highly committed to her learners and to their success. Learning for her includes growth of intellectual knowledge, development of abilities and a gain in positive attitudes towards oneself and the world around us. Jane´s learning spaces are challenging environments in which her students engage in worthwhile activities. She is aware that all what she does, says, shares or even does not do, say or share has an impact on her students. For this reason she is very careful with statements which include values or judgments. She tries to live the values she wants to educate through her actions. She wants to be treated with respect by her students, so she treats every student with the utmost respect. Self-Esteem is important for her, so she tries to build on the strength of every student and not to “repair” their weaknesses. She prefers to pose questions in class and help students to find answers themselves. She prepares worthwhile material for self-study in and outside the class for her students and is very flexible with the evaluation and grading. Students can show competence in a variety of ways, standardized test are the exception.

John has a long record of teaching math and biology, in almost every school level. Teaching for him is like building a house: as long as you put all the parts in the correct places using the correct procedure, nothing can go wrong. He goes by the book and by the rules. Every class has an assigned topic, methodology and content, he does not fall behind and always delivers what he promises.He treats all his students in the same way and provides special office hours for students who are “slower to learn”. His colleagues have asked to use his exams, as they are well prepared, challenging and cover the whole content of each section. For students who “cause trouble in class” he has “approved treatments”, like extra homework, reports to the school administration or “inviting the parents in”. He is convinced that his job is to teach math and biology, not to engage students in any kind of discussions outside of these topics.

I prefer Jane to teach my kids, whom do you prefer?