Teach English in Changqing Zhen - Baoji Shi

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Teaching engages more the heart, less the books. If there is a mnemonics to embody the essence of a teacher, it would be: STUN. It is the role of every teacher to Stimulate fun learning through creative, interactive activities that make learning easier, more enjoyable, and worth espousing. Though books remain to be indispensable learning materials, these should serve as supplemental only. The primary tool of a teacher should be his/her heart. The mind is a wellspring of ideas. These ideas often challenge the veracity of truth, but what truth the mind cannot establish can always be compensated by the innate purity of the heart. Always, our heart recognizes what is right. Almost always what is right is what is true! Example, it is a feather to a teacher's cap to be able to mold intellectuals among his/her students but that these students first be stimulated properly. Students are supposedly not to attach themselves completely to the idea of "doctrine alone." Too much of the canons and dogmas leads to personal pitfall, and thereby stunted interpersonal growth. There should always be that "qualified guidance" from teachers to make good use of that power which comes from "being of the intellectual crowd." Next, it is the role of a teacher to Transmit valuable learning through no-holds-barred discussions. Books may otherwise tell us there certainly are parameters to what students can imbibe from teachers and what teachers can share to students. However, exchanges that encourage an inter-faith atmosphere accept arguments as normal rather than provoke. The dynamics of "free zone interaction" in classes lessen the chances of students clamming up, afraid that their ideas might compromise their grades or perhaps spark friction at the slightest mention of religious and cultural sensibilities. An example would be the use of hands or fingers in eating as against the use of utensils or implements. Another is bowing before a person of age or authority as against handshaking or high-fives. Again, as a mentor, it is essential to facilitate discussion freely but to instruct properly that students are to speak at the right forum and with gentleness. At the core of discussion ethics is speaking up about the goal, not about what is not. It is underscored that teachers know better about speaking with a mind full of love rather than a mind full of ill will. Books may discuss how our cultural and spiritual diversity can either unite or divide us, but only the heart can teach students to be more sensible to racial or ethnic diversity. This way humanity continues to gravitate toward unification, never division. Should certain global political systems and processes make conflict inevitable, diplomacy and peaceful resolution serve to be the sole choice. It is the role of a teacher to act as a Unifying force across a convergence of platforms of discussion in our largely digital world. Lately, classrooms have become only one of seemingly infinite spaces to discuss and share concepts. Now, almost everyone with a smartphone incorporates social media as a tool to create virtual classrooms. Books may direct us to use social media wisely, but only the heart can teach tolerance, responsibility, accountability, benevolence, diligence, and empathy. Moreover, it is the role of a teacher to Nurture. The word "nurture" is derived from the Old French word "estoner" which means "astonish." Estoner could mean "a powerful blow that triggers a very strong emotion like astonishment." Or it could mean "astounding" or "stupefying." Nurturing is more than providing for the basic needs of students on their growing learning independence. Nurturing means making sure students live up to the core values of tolerance, responsibility, accountability, benevolence, diligence, humility, and empathy. Suffice it to say that once these core values are embed into both the mental and spiritual core of the student --- they shall not depart from it! Or that in moments of mental torment or spiritual distress, the students will always look for ways to realign to what they have been rightfully and beautifully trained for. Books say a lot about the relationship of nourishment and growth. But only the heart knows what nourishment means to one about to face a lifetime of struggles and triumphs. It is important that teachers teach their students not only to live --- but how to live well. Now, back to "stun," it is a strong verb as well. It may indicate an electric shock or a gaping reaction to a stimulus. To stun may indicate petrifying, but it is not about the deadening of a body or the rigidness of a response. It is more on the attention and fascination that the students feel the moment the teacher puts a lesson across. The best teachers are those who can arrest and own the interest and attention of their students. To enjoin active listening from students means better chances of students enjoying learning. They will be more eager to share in the passing-on of knowledge and acquisition of skills. They will take part in the joy of academic growth. They will talk about the influence and impact of their teachers on their respective lives even off-campus and beyond. Further, teachers must acknowledge that though they are ahead of their students, by years or by experience, but they are not to act as if they are above them. Teachers are to learn from their students in the very same manner that students learn from their teachers. Symbiosis is a very potent process in the natural world as it allows everyone to grow and develop as an individual and as a team. Nobody should be left behind. Overall, the quality of education that molds the students is itself the quality of their teachers. Teachers who teach from the heart not only from the confines of books stimulate learners to embrace the core values more than academic methods and principles.