Me and My Reflective Practices
“Education should not be regarded as a molded body of perfectly plastic substances, as a filling of empty heads or as a creation of forces, but as a possibility for a healthy physical and mental life.”
Thinking about my teaching always offers us many dimensions of learning. It helps me to improve and overcome my weaknesses. When I entered the apprenticeship, I was an amateur. I had many questions in my head: Will the students accept me? Am I really creative enough to change the teaching profession? For a few months I was in denial – I did not accept criticism and considered myself a best teacher! But I was not. Gradually, I learned that it would not have been possible to improve without thinking about teaching practices. Over time, I began to think about my teaching. This was actually a transformation process and taught me how to be a reflective teacher.
During eight years of secular and religious teaching, I encountered many challenges. I have accepted them and they have served as a real assessment tool for the analysis of my classroom growth.
Here I share two examples of students whose lives have changed due to my little effort.
On the first day of my class at the Grade 1 Religious Center, I came across a child who was slowly learning. As I taught, he distracted the attention of others. He started tapping a book about others. When I asked questions, he was empty. For several days I avoided him. The more I avoided, the more he misbehaved. I talked to incharge to call his parents. When his parents told me he was learning slowly, I was ashamed to ignore him for his behavior. This event has changed my life. At that time, I decided to continue learning about his problem. I read books and developed various activities and designed simple lessons. I also gave him extra time. I used activity-based teaching methods. At the end of a year, he learned a few things. The head decided to abandon him. As a responsible teacher, I decided that we should rather value him to learn something than to de-motivate him. He was placed in second grade. After several years of rehearsals, he was promoted to third grade, where fortunately I got the chance to be his teacher again. His mother was instructed by the headmaster to send him to the special school. As a responsible teacher, I denied his “adaptive behavior skill” exam, which I learned during my master’s training in special education, and identified him as a slow learner, not a disabled child.
During the third grade I included him more in class activities. He was allowed to sit wherever he wanted to sit in class. I also taught him basic skills. His parents were satisfied with my efforts. At the end of the year he learned little. But here, too, his gradual learning and behavioral improvement was an achievement.
When I taught him, I noticed his interest in graphics and told his parents about it. Wherever possible, I raised my voice to keep it in the middle and continue to study. I think it’s important to look after such children. Because there will be many more like him who need the attention of the teacher and the center. We as a team can make a difference in their lives. Hopefully this will be understood in the coming years, when children with special needs are given more consideration.
The tool of appreciation and extra attention brought changes in his life. Today I am glad that he learns little by little, but also works with his father as a graphics helper.
I believe that every child can learn regardless of their abilities / disabilities. To accept challenges and to show self-confidence, to bring about change, is the sign of a reflective practitioner.
A child can be aggressive towards their teacher or classmates. Such behavior may be due to a lack of attention at home. When he finds a free life at school, he behaves like an animal freed from a chain.
I also worked with an aggressive student. He had an arrogant attitude. Once I gave him a piece of paper to draw a picture; He tore open the newspaper and said that he was not a child. Often I discouraged him; Even he wanted to share something. Once I taught the students that no one can master everything. He told me that he is a master. I quietly denied his sayings. The next day he brought a chair from an old wooden box. I was sure he had not made it. But when he told me the steps, I was astonished. It was my mistake to demotivate him. I would have encouraged him rather than discouraged. I realized that if we want to criticize, we should act constructively. We should welcome children sharing rather than sticking their lips.
“Children are like a pot of flowers, and if you give them the necessary attention, they will grow up properly, but if you remove the necessary attention and care, they will be destroyed.”
As a reflective teacher, I decided to know the true cause of his aggressiveness. I met his parents and learned that they did not have much time to work. I advised and explained the reason for the aggressiveness of his child. They recognized it.
This time I tried an instrument of encouragement. I asked for friendship. He taught all students to do different things. Whenever he brought something, I appreciated him. Gradually I got to know his talents for music, painting and so on. He is currently in seventh grade. His vision is to become a scientist. Only a little appreciation and parenting brought change in him. Today he has proven to be a brilliant gem.
Today I am happy to call myself a reflective teacher whose goal is to make children ethical. to look after her; to explore their creativity and to meet the needs of children with special needs.
It is an invitation to all teachers to reflect on their teaching practices in order to change and improve their students’ lives.
Munir Moosa Sewani has been one of the best known and most recognizable names in education for 8 years. He is a master trainer in
Special education, doctoral student, teacher and teacher. He is a freelance author, career counselor and photographer. He is the author of the famous self-published children’s book “The MORAL STORIES FOR CHILDREN” and has also written a biology textbook for secondary school
Classes. He has authored nearly 40 articles on social, health, educational and cultural topics that are internationally recognized and published on most of the world-renowned websites, magazines and newspapers.