As I progress towards my goals of becoming an educator, I have started to realize that there are so many ways of teaching and that It would be hard to fall into just one category. Where some students may need direct teaching in the form of lecture, presentation, demonstration or practice, others may benefit from indirect teaching by facilitation, individualization, questions and thought provocations. I personally fall in line with the dialogic teaching method but would find it hard not to cross over into the modelling teaching method as well. Starting at a young age I have always been a very creative person and enjoy working with my hands. I can see the benefit of practice, but when it comes to technological trades, I am a strong believer that it’s very important to be able to understand what it is you're trying to accomplish and you must be able to go over the process in your head.
“What use is knowledge if there is no understanding?”
By using a dialogic teaching method, I would provoke thought by asking questions within my lessons that allow the students to come up with solutions to real world problems on their own through discovery and inquiry. This method would give the students an opportunity to not only find the final answer to their problem but they would also start to thoroughly understand what they are working on. Talking the students through problems with them coming up with the answers, embeds the information in their heads and can create a solid foundation that could also be applied to solving other problems. For example, it would be important to know that the engine can charge your battery. But if you asked the right questions and helped the student understand why or how the engine charges the battery then the student would be able determine any issues that may arise in the future. Once they have a grasp on this foundation, they may be able to find correlations between it and any other systems.
Although I’m a strong believer in an indirect approach to learning, it is also very important to use the modelling method. This direct approach of teaching can be a great way to familiarize the students with the subject being taught before jumping into practice. Taking into effect that some learn better by seeing rather than doing, creating lessons that offer a step-by-step procedure to accomplishing a task can help build one's logical intelligence. It is also a great way to lead into a discussion where questions can be raised not only by the teacher but by the students themselves. It will be likely that if a student asks a question, by being in a group setting it is possible that there will be others wondering the same thing.
Aside from my teaching methods, creating a safe environment for my students is equally or more important. By attending my class, students will know that they are in a place that will be free from discriminations. Students will be encouraged to treat others with respect and help their peers when needed. One way I can accomplish this is by creating group activities where I assign the members based on skills and abilities. For example, pair a student who is more comfortable with practical work with one who benefits from academics. I would also create a physically safe environment by stressing the importance of workplace safety. It is always typical that the first few lessons of a curriculum is spent talking about proper PPE, safety practices and how to properly use tools but one thing that is often overlooked is how important it is to have a neat and organized work area. Students will be reminded not to leave tools lying around and a period of time after each class will be spent cleaning up from the day's work.
Being in the skilled trades industry for over a decade, I feel that there are definitely things that I have picked up on just from experience. I have gone to school and written many tests but when it comes down to it, nothing benefited me more than being thrown into a job. I would love my students to understand that there are always going to be times where you need to demonstrate a knowledge for a subject. The more important thing is to be able to discover their strengths and use them to create solutions to technological problems. I will pay attention to my students strengths and weaknesses by taking notes and modifying lessons to benefit them. Having real world experience, I will be able to take personal lessons I’ve encountered and introduce them into the classroom giving the students a heads up in problem solving or some tools to take with them into post-secondary.