During my elementary days, there were teachers that became my inspiration because of the good behavior that they have shown. One was Miss Zenaida Echon. She was only a substitute teacher when our adviser delivered a child. Since we were in the highest section of Grade V, she saw to it that no other students in other sections got ahead of us in periodical or achievement tests. Because I was considered the cream of our section, she gave me all the help and assistance in my study. Since textbooks were scarce during the 1960s, she lent me the only book that the class was using. She also gave us practice tests and reviewer before the tests.
Another teacher to remember was Mr. Famisan. He was my Math teacher in Grade VI. Many of the students were afraid of him because he was very strict. However, I viewed him as authoritative and not authoritarian. He knew his materials well. He explained the lessons very clearly with lots of examples. I admired his mastery of the subject that I became very much interested in Mathematics.
Miss Mercedes Yandoc was my favorite teacher in high school. She was my Math teacher in 3 of my 4 years in the secondary. Like Mr. Famisan, she was been labeled as authoritarian. However, the label was wrong because she was more disciplinarian and authoritative. She possessed the mastery of her major subject. She did not bring any lesson plans in the classroom, just index cards. She had poised and inner charm that captivated me to study more under her realm.
The above teachers became my role models because they possessed competence that can be emulated. They exhibited attitudes that can be looked up to. But most of all, in spite of their perceived authorities, they still possessed the human touch that many of my classmates who feared them missed.
My Nanang Ores
My perseverance and hard work can be traced to my liking of my aunt’s way of life. My Nanang Ores, who was the only girl in a brood of five and still young, became the mother and father of her 4 brothers when they became orphans at an early age. She saw to it that they were being taken cared of. She did a lot of menial works just to stay alive. Even when she already got married, she continued to help her brothers who already have families of their own. She sent to school some of my cousins, although she was never been to one herself. Her perseverance and hard work were rewarded when all of her 7 children became successful and living overseas. In spite of this, my aunt who is now in her late 80s is still thrifty.
Having mentioned all my role models and mentors who somewhat shaped my self, my ultimate mentors are my parents who gave me and all my siblings all the supports, understanding, love, and care in spite of their humble beginnings. Our family is not very religious and yet the goodness of humans is within us. We are not very vocal of our love to one another but we can feel it even from far apart. We seldom say “I love you!” to each other but our hearts are one. We learned more from our parents although they taught us less knowledge but much of values. And now, it is our turn to teach them to our children.
The Type of Role Model I Want to Be for My Students
My teachers, aunt and parents inspired me to be what I am today. I copied the good characteristics that they have shown me throughout my life. If I were a teacher someday, I want my students to imitate some of my characteristics and behaviors I considered important.
1. Self-efficacy – As described by Albert Bandura, it is the belief that an individual is capable of overcoming problems or successfully performing given tasks in any situation. If my students believe that they are capable of doing any task, they will have the confidence and the motivation to act upon any activity that is presented to them.
2. Self-Regulation – Aside from positive belief about one’s capabilities, to be self-regulated learners are what I wish for my students. I want them to take control of their learning – setting realistic goals, planning and monitoring their strategies, gaining feedbacks and modifying what strategies need improvements.
3. Perseverance and Hard work – These are the two traits that my students should emulate from me. Success and failure come hand in hand but if they persevere and work hand, they can eventually diminish frustrations and enhance triumphs. They should be aware that poverty is not a hindrance to success as long as you are not afraid to roll up your sleeves and acquire knowledge and skills for the betterment of your self and that of other members of the community.
4. Empathy – With this attitude, my students will refrain or do something that is hurtful to their colleagues and other people in the community, especially those who have special needs and those who belong to the poorest of the poor.
5. Honesty – If they are honest with themselves and other people, my students can be expected to engage only in legal activities and undertakings.
How to Incorporate Models and Mentors in My Classroom
If I become a Math (or Filipino) teacher someday, it is very likely that at least one of my students might enlist me as a role model and/or a mentor. Aware of this possibility, I will make sure that I provide each one of them the opportunity to know me better as a person and their teacher as I know them as my students and human beings with different motivations, learning styles, intelligences, needs and goals. To achieve these ends, I shall execute the following strategies:
A. At the first day of class
1. After I introduce my self and the subject that I will teach, I will request my students to arrange their seats in a semi-circle facing me.
2. From my left side, I will ask each student to know the name of the person on his/her left.
3. A name game will follow.
4. After the game, I will tell them the purpose of the game, which is to familiarize themselves with everybody and to eliminate any anxiety/fear in the future especially during board work and recitation.
5. When the class is already at ease, I will ask several students what are their expectations from the subject and from me as a teacher.
6. After their expectations, I will ask another group of students why this subject is important and how it will be applied in their future specialization or work.
7. After the students’ insights on the subject matter, I will discuss to them the contents of the subject, its importance and applications.
8. Then, I will tell my students the aims of the subject and my expectations from them as a teacher.
9. I will also tell them my consultation hours.
10. Before the bell rings, I will tell them that there is a diagnostic test in the next meeting.
B. On the second day of class
1. I shall announce the purpose of the diagnostic test which is to know their level of understanding of their previous study, to correct any misconception and to align my instruction materials and methods with the outcome of the test.
2. I shall give the test paper to my students and collect them before the bell rings.
C. On the third day of class
1. I shall tell the students the results of the diagnostic test without giving them their paper and announcing who got the highest or the lowest.
2. I shall then group them according to the outcome of the test; each group comprises at least one student who got better and lower in the test. This is for their group work or collaborative learning.
3. I shall answer on the board the question/s in the test which nobody got it/them right (if any) or the item which was answered correctly by very few students.
D. On the next succeeding sessions
1. I shall announce the aims of the new lesson, its importance and applications.
2. I shall describes the steps involve in solving the problem.
3. I shall demonstrate orally and visually the steps or strategies in solving the problem.
4. I shall ask the student (who got the highest score in the diagnostic test) to demonstrate the steps and/or provide other strategies in solving the given problem.
5. Several students shall be called to the board to display the skills and strategies they learned.
6. I shall continue to guide the students until they got the correct steps and skills and understand the concepts behind each step.
7. A discussion shall follow between me and my students on the concepts and the steps and strategies in solving the problem to understand them better and to erase any misconception.
8. I will call the most popular and the brightest student to discuss further the lesson and how he/she tackle the problem.
9. I shall discuss the immediate application of the concepts and how they can be used in their other subjects or in other situations outside of school.
10. A quiz or an assignment shall be given before the bell rings to assess whether the concepts are learned or not.
11. Students who still did not understand the concepts shall be referred to the brightest of their group for tutoring/mentoring or to me for assistance.
12. I will frequently advise my students to focus on their study, make the necessary efforts and to remind them to believe in their capabilities.
My Education Mentor
I do not have a specific education mentor in mind right now but it is sufficient to say that this person possesses the hearts of my parents – supportive, undying love, and caring – and the minds of my Math teachers – competent, intelligent, and yet passionate for teaching.
My Ideal Education Mentor
Aside from my attributes as a mentor and role model and those of my education mentor above, my ideal education mentor should also possess the following characteristics:
1. Creative – innovative in instructional design and approach
2. Critical Thinker – aware and discuss issues of great importance
3. Expert – can transfer knowledge effectively and efficiently
4. Humane – can relate to others and sensible to their needs
5. Open-minded – listen to others and accept criticism
http://www.tcnj.edu/~gevertz/algebra-cartoon.gif (teacher 1)
How to Effectively Observe Best Practices in the Classroom. In Benchmark Education Company. Retrieved on 25 June 2013, from http://benchmarkeducation.com/educational-leader/literacy-coaches-and-mentors/how-to-effectively-observe-best-practices-in-the-classroom.html