Overcoming Obstacles as a Teacher

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Overcoming Obstacles as a Teacher in the Modern Day
The teaching profession has always been a highly esteemed and revered occupation due to the fact that educators impart knowledge into the minds of every single individual throughout the population, whether the student decides to be a doctor, engineer, mechanic, politician or artist in adulthood, the foundation of their learning has came from a highly dedicated and resourceful educator. However, when examining this occupation in greater detail it can be observed that there are countless obstacles that effective teachers face every day. It is common knowledge that children have a short attention span and their teacher has the role of planning lessons, which engage the learner and guarantee that the lesson is one that interacts with the student and encourages them to be involved. They also must be aware of different methods to implement that will see the child remembering the material and retaining the information that the teacher is presenting for the future lessons. When teaching in the classroom, educators must be prepared when confronted with children showing ill desired and disruptive behaviours. It is the method in which the teacher reacts to these behaviours that will pave the way for the remainder of the year, if the teacher reacts in the correct manner and demonstrates to the child the expectations within the classroom then it can be anticipated that the student will understand what is and isn’t acceptable, a certain challenge. Attention is where learning begins and therefore attracting and upholding student attention is paramount (Curtindale, Laurie-Rose, Bennett Murphy, 2007). Attention capacity and duration is limited for every individual, this needs to be acknowledged in the classroom and strategies need to be formed to prevent students from neglecting important information in class. Learners find it particularly difficult and their attention easily shifts from one stimulus to another, caused by not only distractions from other students but also from outside the classroom. When students find it difficult to concentrate this can negatively impact not only their own learning but also the learning of others. Therefore, teachers must control and provide an environment that engages and holds students attention whilst teaching imperative material. Eggen (2010) states that effective teachers plan their lessons so students attend to what is being taught and ignore irrelevant stimuli. They must ensure that their lesson will be one that learners can actively be involved in and interact with, not just submissively require students to listen to what is needing to be taught, but experience it. Teachers may employ a variety of strategies to do this, from demonstrations to discrepant events and thought provoking questions. Another fundamental approach that creates an environment of achieving ones attention is calling on students by name. This guarantees that learners are aware that the teacher will not only call on the class as a whole but may call on them individually, by name, resulting in a need to be attentive. Chapin, O’Connor and Anderson (2009) make an interesting point however that as teachers we need to be mindful when calling on students to participate and remind them of their right to pass or ask for more time before answering in the classroom. “The obligation to participate in a classroom does not equate to an obligation to give answers on demand” (Chapin et al., 2009). When teachers practice these strategies for holding their learners attention and ensure that they are apart of the teaching not just observing it, the likelihood of the student’s memory retaining the material is also greatly increased.

Another obstacle faced by teachers in the classroom is that of their learners retaining the material taught throughout the term, from one lesson to another. If any student in the class is having difficulty remembering the previous lesson, they have a high risk of...
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