We got new “part-time” teachers this week. They are Ms. Richa and Ms. Ester. Actually they are our friends but in this week meeting, they will have full authority to manage the class of MMSEL.
The topic for this week is class structure, self-regulated learner, and teacher characteristics. Quite challenging since I am not familiar with some topics. I wondered how Richa and Ester guided the class learning. I did not think they will lecture us about the topic.
Fortunately, they divided the class into four groups. Each group will get one sub-topic of the topic above. Randomly, my group and I got a topic about teacher characteristic especially caring and modeling. We were given enough time to discuss the material and prepare the presentation. What motivates me most was that they allowed us to search via Google to enrich our resources.
They were acting like a real teacher (although with some twists they cannot avoid) and I really appreciate how they tried hard to find the reading material for us. They managed to walk and monitor the group work and although they seemed flexible, they were stuck with their plan and timing so the lesson was completed.
After having discussion, we had a presentation of each group. The setting of the presentation is slightly different compared to usual presentation. In usual presentation, the presenter would stand in front of audiences and other group of presenter would present their work in turn on the same spot. In this week meeting, the presentation would take each group’s poster (flipchart paper) as the spot. So, it was like I moved from one spot to another consecutively. I like this setting of presentation because it was relaxing and fun, turning my eye from one sight to another.
Regarding the topic, I found some interesting points. First one is about classroom focus. There are actually two types of classroom. The first one is mastery/learning-focused and the second is performance-focused. From the explanation, I inferred that mastery-focused classroom will concern more on students’ understanding while performance-focused classroom on comparison among students’ grade. Firstly, I thought that the performance-focused classroom is a bad classroom. However, after I got the explanation from my friend, performance-focused classroom may also be applied to increase students’ motivation because grade/score can be considered as extrinsic motivation, right?
Actually I had ever experienced the best example of performance-focused classroom. When I was junior high school, the parallel classes were arranged by grade. A-class consisted of students who got highest grades, after that B-class, and so forth. The environment of performance-focused classroom was strengthened by this system. Teacher often compared one student’s grade to another and one class’ achievement to another. The real understanding of the students is rarely considered and it influenced students to got good mark whatever it takes. Too much performance-focused classroom lead to students’ performance goal, right?
The second one is about teacher’s characteristics. There are teacher’s efficacy, teacher’s expectancy, caring, and modeling. Teacher’s efficacy and expectancy are more on teacher’s belief on their own teaching; while caring and modeling are more on teacher’s personal emotion towards students. These four characters cannot be separated. Sometimes teacher can have strong belief to his/her own teaching, but he/she seems to put gap or distance for his/her students. Or other case, teacher who really cares about students, but actually has low efficacy.