Course: Professionalism in Teaching (8612)
Semester: Spring, 2022
ASSIGNMENT No. 1
Q.1 What makes teaching effective? Discuss teaching as a profession.
“Teaching is the noblest profession in the world,” stated President David O. McKay. But teaching is a profession that only appeals to a special type of person—a person who is concerned about others, one who has a desire to touch the lives of his students and somehow leave them better than they were. The richest rewards of teaching come when a teacher can observe growth and development in his students. One of the largest of all professions, teaching employs more than 2 1/2 million people annually. Nevertheless, jobs are sometimes difficult to find because of the large number of people currently prepared to enter the profession. In the field of social sciences, for example, there are almost no opportunities. On the other hand, elementary placement is still quite high. Special education and physical sciences (chemistry, math, and physics) have many opportunities, too. Naturally there are more opportunities in some geographical areas than in others and especially in schools where teaching conditions are poor. Eight out of ten recent BYU graduates found teaching jobs last year. Salaries vary and are dependent on the teacher’s experience and education, and on where he teaches. For most positions the hours are long. Not only does the teacher spend about eight and one-half hours per day in the classroom, but two to three hours are spent at home grading papers and preparing for the next day. Since teaching can be very difficult and nerve taxing, one should carefully look at his interests, abilities, and goals before deciding upon a career in education. If he finds himself to be stable, interested in continued study and learning, and capable of seeing beneath the surface to the basic needs of other people, he can discover in teaching extraordinary satisfaction and the nobility President McKay referred to.
Keep your students engaged with a positive attitude. Teaching is most effective when students are motivated by the desire to learn, rather than by grades or degree requirements. Many first-time TAs are confused by the new authority of being a teaching assistant, and mistake intimidation for respect. Think of your students as teammates, not adversaries. Learning and teaching are challenging, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun in the classroom. Stay focused, but don’t be afraid to be creative and innovative. Allow yourself to be enthusiastic and find ways to let students see what is interesting about your subject.
You should know the course material. If students are required to attend lectures and read assignments, then it seems reasonable that you would do the same. Most faculty expect graduate TAs to attend lectures, especially if they have never taken or taught the course. Review key concepts and ideas if you are unclear about them, particularly if it has been a while since you have worked with the topics you will be teaching. Think about how the material can be most effectively demonstrated and design a strategy. Write an outline or take notes to follow during a lecture, and prepare your overheads, diagrams, handouts and other aids well in advance. Don’t wait until the morning of the class!
Have a plan for what you want to teach. Your job is to illustrate key points and essential context, to help students integrate all of their work (reading, labs, exams, papers, lectures, etc.) for the course. Given that there is never time to teach everything, choose the most important concepts and show how they are related. Explain ideas so students are able to build on material they have already mastered, whether from your course or previous classes. Don’t just focus on what you happen to be teaching today. Show students how what they are learning now is connected to material covered later in the course. Keep your long term goals in mind, pace yourself so that you don’t run out of time at the end, and try to end every class with a conclusion.
Effective teachers can explain complex ideas in simple ways. As you develop expertise in an academic field, it is easy to forget that students may have no prior knowledge of fundamental concepts that you take for granted. Help students understand and use new terminology, so they can become fluent in the language of your discipline. Many concepts can be more effectively demonstrated with visual aids such as diagrams, drawings, charts, slides, etc. Make sure that they are large enough to see, neat enough to read, and don’t stand in the way! Think about the role body language can play. Having your teaching observed by someone else (or even better, having it videotaped) can reveal habits that you would never notice on your own.
Keep your students thinking? Unless they are actively using the concepts you are teaching, most students will remember only a small fraction of what you teach. A lecture is an efficient way to deliver information to large numbers of people, but it is an inefficient way to provide students with lasting knowledge and skills. Consider using at least some classroom time for activities other than traditional lectures, discussions or question and answer sessions. Problem solving exercises in small groups can take no more than a few minutes, yet allow students to engage with the material being covered.
Remember what it is like to learn something for the first time. Give students time to process information and answer questions. Know that it is fine for students to make mistakes if they can learn from them. Realize that learning can be hard work, even for the most motivated students. Rather than blaming students when things don’t go right, consider ways you could change your approach to reach them more effectively. Concepts, background information or conclusions that seem obvious to you may not be so clear to someone who is new to the subject. Be patient with yourself, too. Teaching can be difficult and frustrating at times. Give yourself the same opportunity to make mistakes and learn from them.
Consider what it would be like to be one of your students. Chances are you would want an instructor who set clear expectations, applied them consistently and could admit when they were wrong. Whether you mark off points on an exam question, give a low grade on a paper, or penalize someone for a late assignment, you should be able to explain why you did it. Of course it helps if you have already outlined clear policies, both for the entire course and for each assignment. Once you have set standards, it is very important to apply them equally and consistently, otherwise you will lose credibility. On the other hand, if you make a mistake or don’t know the answer to a question, it is much better to acknowledge rather than ignore it.
Since it is often hard to remember what it is like to encounter your discipline’s material at an early stage, peer instruction offers an alternative to the “sage on stage” model. Peer instruction, which usually happens in small group activities or paper response assignments, allows students to get feedback at their own level of discourse and understanding. This provides a helpful complement (not replacement) to instructor feedback. Technology such as the discussion tool in Blackboard helps peer groups stay in contact over long distances and over different periods of time.
WHAT’S YOUR LEARNING STYLE?
CNDLS has several ways of helping you discover the learning styles you tend to favor. Being more aware of your own tendencies will help you recognize similar or different preferences in your students and react accordingly. Besides the more well-known Myers-Briggs test and visual, auditory, and tactile differences, there are also documented differences in how people problem solve.
E-mail is an excellent and perfectly acceptable way to give feedback to your students. In fact, several professors ask their students to turn in assignments over e-mail. By having a digital copy of students’ work, faculty can make comments using the editing tools in Word, have access to the papers wherever there is an internet connection, and keep up with less paper-work, not to mention having a date and time record of when the student turned in the work.
Q.2 What are professional ethics? Describe role of a teaching in promoting professional ethics.
All teaching is founded on ethics – whether it be the teacher-student relationship, pluralism or a teacher’s relationship with their work.
Dignity means respect for humanity. Teachers must respect every person, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, gender diversity, appearance, age, religion, social standing, origin, opinions, abilities and achievements.
Truthfulness is one of the core values in teachers’ basic task, which involves steering learners in navigating life and their environment. Honesty with oneself and others and mutual respect in all communication is a basic aspect of teachers’ work.
Fairness is important both when encountering individual learners and groups but also in the work community. Fairness involves in particular promoting equality and non-discrimination and avoiding favouritism.
Teachers are entitled to their own values, but in their work, teachers’ responsibility is tied to their basic task and its standards such as legislation and the curriculum.
Teacher’s ethical principles
The aim of teachers’ ethical principles is to draw attention to the ethics involved in teaching.
Good professional ethics are among a teacher’s most important resources.
Teachers commit to the standards and ethics of their work. Teachers manage their duties responsibly. Teachers develop their work and expertise and assess their own actions.
Teachers teach in a manner that reflects their personality, so developing and caring for their individuality is their right and obligation.
Teachers are entitled to be treated fairly in their work.
Teachers accept and treat learners as unique human beings. Teachers respect the rights of learners and react to them humanely and fairly.
Q.3 Explain professional standards of teaching profession.
A nation depends on the activities of the teachers. Identically, they are working to grow the basement of the students. No matter it is school, college or university, a qualified teacher is the builder of a student. Even a teacher on the special skills or technical courses is keeping role responsibilities on the societies. For this reason, the leader of tomorrow is created by a teacher. At the same time, if a teacher fails to discover the eternal power of a student, the student fails in his whole life. That means a teacher is the best mentor for a life of the student.
The education system of the 21st century has changed radically with the integration of the technology in every sector. At the same time, the students are more matured than the previous time. Now, in the twenty-first-century education depends on Thinking Skills, Interpersonal Skills, Information Media, Technological Skills as well as Life Skills. Especially, the education of the present time emphasis on life and career skills. Now there has no value for rote learning. In general, it needs to meet the industry need. To clarify, the teaching will be effective when a student can use the lesson outside of the classroom. For changing the globalizing world, the role of the teachers is essential to improve the sustainable education. At the same time, inspiring and guiding the students in increasing employability skills with the digital tools is the prerequisite for a teacher. Thus a teacher in the twenty-first century will be a digital teacher. Teachers are not the facilitator for learning of the students only, and now they are responsible for training the students for increasing employability skills, expanding the mind, growing digital citizenships, critical thinking, and creativity as well as sustainable learning. Thus, the winning of the students is the win of the teachers.
With the passes of time and integration of technology in every sector, the teacher’s role has changed a lot. They need to enrich some skills to develop their students. Otherwise, the students will not get the lesson, and it will increase the of educated unemployed in the digital era. Let’s see the changing role of a teacher in the 21st century.
This is the most competitive world, and there has the diverse option to choose the next career for a student. In this case, a teacher needs to become a big planner to support them according to their psychology. The future of a student will depend on 4C’s (Critical thinking, Communication, Collaboration, and Creativity). It is the duty of a teacher to introduce them the mentioned terms very clearly. The students will need to try several multidisciplinary jobs. So the teachers will define where they will give more importance and which skills are just for adding value or keeping as optional. Besides, if an educator can provide a proper guideline to build the career in the 21st century for the students, he will be the all-rounder in his career and life.
- A Resource Provider
In this digital age, the internet is full of supportive resources. When a teacher teaches the students from a collaborative perspective, the students will learn more deeply if they get the resources. It can be YouTube Video Tutorial, Digital Content, eBooks or even the printing documents. If the student receives the supportive materials on how to enrich Critical thinking, Communication skills, Collaboration, and Creativity, they can lead their own future. A teacher can show the resources according to their interest. Even a teacher can’t be expert on the topics, albeit he can easily point the links of the supportive materials. It will ensure better learning environments and the students will be engaged with the lesson.
Q.4 Describe Islamic Principles of professionalism.
Different careers have codes of conduct aligned to their lines of profession. However Islam has more comprehensive and unifying principles which are adequate enough to create good professionals. I derive this study from the following key aspect of Islamic Shura:1. Ali R.A. once asked the Prophet (PBUH) that if they had a matter in which they didn’t have or find a command or prohibition, what was his advice? He said consult the righteous wise people and don’t depend on individual opinion. (Tarabani) From this we can draw that in Islam, consultation is primarily centralised to ALLAH and decentralised to the Righteous Wise. Our key problem areas are humans not fulfilling the right of Allah’s central role but all that happens by the grace of Allah and we are merely agents to helping others achieve this. So this agency is what we need to build on in the area of decentralised Shura. Righteous Wise has two personalities in description:· · The Righteous. The Wise. An individual can hold one or both of the qualities but in practice today, the professional building system only one quality of The Wise leaving The Righteous not catered for in the building process. The order of preference is clear in the statement making righteousness primary and wisdom secondary to it. This creates two problems one continuing and the other existing that is continuous roll out of the Only Wise professionals and already Practicing professionals. This can only be solved through long and short term strategies:· · Long term strategies can be by building unique and comprehensive Islamic professional study materials for schools of different professions. Short term strategies can be made by building training and certification programs for existing professionals to give proof of necessary Islamic proficiency. This hence forth builds The Righteous Wise. The two stages also cater for placing righteousness and wisdom at the right time, right order and mending the existing order in practitioners in the field. This hence forth builds The Righteous Wise and saves us from the problems got from single sided professionalism. Part of what needs to be taught to all is Islamic economics, Islamic business law and Economics in the Quran and Sunna.
Islam is not just a religion but a complete way of life. May that be our personal life or professional, Islam offers a complete code of conduct for every muslim. Given below are the few Hadith and Quranic verses which define that we should put our trust in Allah to provide us with the resources.
“They believe in God and the Last Day, and enjoin the doing of what is right and forbid the doing of what is wrong, and vie with one another in doing good works and these are among the righteous.”– Quran 3:114
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “If only you relied on Allah a true reliance, He would provide sustenance for you just as He does the birds: They fly out in the morning empty and return in the afternoon with full stomachs. (Ahmad, An-Nasa’I, Ibn Majah, Al-Hakim and At-Tirmidhi)
The professional conduct of a Muslim is defined very clearly in Islam which are discussed below.
The first characteristic of a Muslim professional is that he holds himself accountable not just in front of the authorities but also in front of the Allah (SWT). A muslim professional should be honest, committed and should perform his duties in a rightful manner and fulfil his duties with responsibility. We as Muslims should always complete out tasks and deliver on time. Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) has said:
Always keep your word. The Prophet (PBUH) says, Each time you keep a commitment you are rewarded by Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) for obeying Him. If you mix a few drops of wine in a glass full of water, it spoils the whole glass of water and makes it unfit for consumption. Similarly, dishonesty in any sphere of your life permeates and corrupts your entire nature and eeman. When a person’s words carry no weight, it only reveals his/her treacherous nature. [Baihaqi]
A good professional muslim should always treats his subordinates, co-workers, partners, managers and customers with courtesy and should follow the Sunnah of The Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H). Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) said:
Abu Darda (radi Allahu anhu) reported that the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Nothing will be heavier on the Day of Resurrection in the scale of the believer than good manners. Allah hates one who utters foul or coarse language.” [Tirmidhi]
Our way of life and how we behave shows who we are and being a Muslim it is our responsibility to present ourselves as the true believers of Allah. If we act negatively at a workplace, it will not only destroy the overall environment of the company you work for and also portrays a negative image regarding Islam and Muslims to the non-muslims. On the other hand if the conduct of Muslim professional is good, courteous, humbling and respectful towards other so that the non-muslims get inspires and attracted towards Islam.
We as Muslims must give respect to our fellow brothers / sisters at all times. The Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) said:
He Is Not Quality Muslim Who Does Not Show Kindness To The Young Ones And Respect To The Older Ones. [Tirmidhi]
Muslim Professionals should respect each and everyone regardless of the class, creed, religion or designation. In tough professional situations we should stay in control of our ego and suppress our anger. A good Muslim professional must also respect the fact that every situation faced by them both professionally and personally is from Allah and He is in control of everything.
Honesty or being honest is of utmost importance in Islam. Being honest can get you in trouble and it may not look good, but in the eyes of Allah, honesty is obligatory, and the right way. As a professional we must remember Islam teaches us to be honest in our every dealing with our customers, managers, peer and subordinates. Abdullah ibn Mas’ud reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said,
“Verily, truthfulness leads to righteousness and righteousness leads to Paradise. A man may speak the truth until he is recorded with Allah as truthful. Verily, falsehood leads to wickedness and wickedness leads to the Hellfire. A man may tell lies until he is recorded with Allah as a liar.” [Sahih Muslim]
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
“The buyer and the seller have the option of canceling or confirming the bargain unless they separate, and if they spoke the truth and made clear the defects of the goods, then they would be blessed in their bargain, and if they told lies and hid some facts, their bargain would be deprived of Allah’s blessings”.( Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 34, Number 293)
The above mentioned hadith teaches us to be honest in our jobs, careers, businesses and we must not take advantage of others by deceiving them or lying to them. As a Muslim it is out sole duty to follow the teachings of Quran and the Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) and do not do any type of transactions or business practices which are based on lies. Such practices will not bring barakah but instead will be a source of no blessings from Allah and the individual will end up hurting himself more than gaining from it.
Being a Muslim, punctuality and being on time is all about keeping ammanah. The below mentioned Hadith teaches us to perform our duties and prayers on time. So therefore if there are any meetings, events, calls or reaching the office, one has to be punctual and on time.
Narrated Jarir bin ‘Abdullah: I gave the pledge of allegiance to Allah’s Apostle for to offer prayers perfectly, to pay Zakat regularly, and to give good advice to every Muslim.
As a Muslim, we should make a habit of being on time and never be late. Our niat should be to conduct our job or business in a timely manner and be full of blessings of Allah and successful.
Q.5 What do you think about a teacher as a role model? Comment.
The definition of a role model according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary is: A person whose behavior in a particular role is imitated by others. Teachers definitely fit the definition of a role model for their students whether they like it or not. It is something teachers must accept when they choose the profession, and if they do not accept being a role model, it may be time to change professions or retire.