Many educators and classroom teachers aren’t aware of the similitude between teaching and other vocations. Teachers are more or less artisans who are also apprenticed to masters at a technical college and vocational centre.
A senior colleague will always hammer ???? on this fact that pedagogic skills are not acquired. “You have to learn them,” he says almost every day.
It is a fact that many people detest. Teachers believe so much in their subject mastery skills, years of experience and certificates. These are prerequisite requirements to succeed as a teacher.
These kills I am hammering on here are things teachers aren’t taught in higher institutions or colleges education. Your master’s degree in education isn’t sufficient enough to take care of these hidden skills.
As a teacher, your occasional regional oscillations will spur you to learn new skills to succeed in every new environment you find yourself. A teacher may be compelled to drop their previous experiential skills and embrace new ones that can perfectly fit into the new environment.
Every teacher is automatically an apprentice. You have got a lot of things to learn. You will learn the way it is done in that new environment.
You will learn their teaching methodologies and how instructions are passed from student to student. The duty care may be different from where you are coming from. It is learnt and executed differently depending on the environment you find yourself.
How to relate with your students is learnt. You have to hobnob with senior colleagues to learn how it is done— the permissible level of closeness, the kind of expressional words. While slang is permitted in some schools, it is a punishable offence in some places.
Even sartorial decency is learnt. I have worked in a work where teachers knot ties and are permitted to wear sanders. Where good appearance matters, you have to learn and conform to the sartorial etiquette.
No teacher has it all. As a teacher, you apprentice yourself to a colleague who will retrain you—in conformity with the environment— in how to mark students’ notes professionally. Not only that, you will learn how students’ activities are graded. Even the way you comment on their notes is learnt.
That you have been teaching for the past two decades might not work. Remember are an apprentice.
Another skill you learn as a teacher is class control. You will learn how it is done in this twenty-first century without the use of cane or humiliating the students.
To succeed in doing all this, you need humility. You are not God. Open your mind to learn from others. Then, you are a successful teacher.
Akeem teaches at Landmark College, Ikorodu