Thursday, October 28, 2010

Life of a Teacher, by Katie J.

This guest blog to "SmartGirls Get Real" was submitted by a SmartGirl! If you would like to guest blog for SmartGirl, please contact us at Thank you!

Many of us don’t realize how important teachers are, but I’m a trainee teaching assistant and have been training for a whole year. I think I may have insight into what important work teachers do!

As a trainee teaching assistant, I have been helping the teacher make sure the class runs smoothly as possible. I work with certain groups of children, run errands, photocopy, and sometimes I even get to take over the classroom for her. But there is so much more I am still training for.

With all this experience, I thought I would write an article for those of you who are curious why a teacher behaves in different ways.

When someone studies to be a teacher, they have to pick a specific age they want to work with. Different age groups need different teaching methods. For example, if you are working with students between 4 and 7 years old, you should avoid shouting unless as a last resort.

A teacher’s tone of voice is very powerful in a classroom. They might use their tone to indicate that they aren’t happy and you think, “Oh, I’ve done something wrong! Her tone of voice has changed!” Another technique they use is to talk really quietly. Children will have to listen more closely, and it reduces the noise level in the classroom. If your teacher is talking quietly, she might actually be trying to get your attention! So listen carefully.

When students are older than age 7, shouting becomes more common. Usually it’s because the teacher can’t be heard. She will shout to those who are being rude and talking over her, or if some members of your class are doing something they shouldn’t be doing!

Sometimes it can be annoying how bossy our teachers seem to be, but trust me, they have a good reason! If you’re teacher says, “tuck in your char” or “stop swinging on your chair,” it’s actually part of health and safety to keep you out of danger. Chairs that are left out can get tripped over and cause serious injury, or you might fall backward and hurt your head.

In my studies, the the safety precautions that are most common are:

Chairs tucked in at all times
No swinging on chairs
All equipment be put away
No jewellery worn to school
No open toe shoes
No running in the corridors
All doors be shut
No rough play

They may seem silly, but these rules are made up to keep you safe! Think about it: running in the corridors, you could collide with someone. I’ve actually seen this happen, and two students were seriously injured!

No open toes in case a chair or someone steps on your toes!

No rough play... well, quite often it turns to real fighting, which can get out of hand.

All doors be shut for the health and safety of children.

All equipment should be put away. For example, if you had a pair of scissors lying down on a chair and you sat down without looking, you could get injured.
So next time your teacher prompts you, remember why!

Most of all, every teacher has a different teaching style. All teachers are different. Some may be more strict than others, but it all depends on the teacher. But every teachers two most important questions are: are you learning new things, and are kept safe? So if she seems more strict, she is just doing her job.

Teachers are very wise people and often can teach you things your parents can’t. So we should praise them!

However, no teacher for whatever reason is allowed to man-handle a child. This is not right!

There’s so much to learn as a teacher, isn’t there? It’s not just about teaching subjects, but taking care of a lot of students.

From being a TA I have learnt all the above. If you have any more questions I would be happy to answer them!

So happy learning everyone, and remember: respect your teacher like I am sure she respects you!