Reflection on Teaching and Teacher Education
Education is crucial for each individual as well as the society in general. Both the educators and students are obviously inseparable subjects of this process. However, the role of the educator is more difficult than the one of the student. While the duties of a student mostly include attentiveness and ability to learn as effectively as possible, the teacher has to find the most efficient approaches to present different material and information with regard to the age as well as mental and other peculiarities of the students. Moreover, the educators have to follow the curriculum and manage to emphasize the most important aspects of this or that topic. Consequently, a teacher has to be an intellectual, well-organized, and stress-resistant person with the basic knowledge in psychology, fluent in his/her subject and aware of the social and economic situation in the country. The book by Wilson pays attention to the issues how the epistemological stances and universal truths known to the teachers shape their decisions and lets them form the most effective pedagogical practices and choices with regard to the circumstances and students’ peculiarities.
Paying attention to Wilson’s reflections, teaching literacy in preschool classroom has a number of specific features and needs to be developmentally appropriate for children. Children of preschool age are especially sensitive to the educators’ influences as they get the basic knowledge about the world around them mainly from school and family. The author shows the examples of work, where not only age, but also the unique environment makes many practices inappropriate. As a result, one should define the teachers’ epistemological stances and pedagogical choices a highly dependent on different aspects such as the district, poverty level, culture, privileges and race. In her book, Wilson deals with Head Start as an essential strand of the compensatory education. Therefore, the low economic status of the 4 and 5-year old African American students was considered as one of the influential factors for the positional educational peculiarities of Sara and Jorene’s lessons. The teachers’ thoughts and doubts about the appropriateness of the practices and procedures are obviously based on their deep knowledge of the social and economic influence on students and their families. Hence, the author shows the reader the emergent literacy practices and the impacts that can alter them. For example, reading allows one perceive several perspectives of the things or get new information about the unknown world, broaden the horizons is an effective practice for the urban pre-school class. The exposure to the narrative conventions of the texts, the dialogues and even jokes can be in teacher’s use to attract the student attention and compensate the deficit they may have in their lives. At the same time, the choice of the readings plays great role in formation of children’s basic view on a number of phenomena including the role of a teacher in the class. The atmosphere the teacher manages to create is crucial for the further work and concernment. The uncertainties and tensions are always the inseparable part of the young educators’ practice. The change of the environment, audience, atmosphere and even physical space are among a great amount of factors that can confuse both teachers and students. Nevertheless, the further investigation of the group and context make the educators establish the contact and find the focal point for the efficient work.
In such a way, the teachers appear to be responsible not only for the knowledge they give to their students but also for the proper literacy practices that can encourage or discourage the comprehension, perception, and memorization of the information. Moreover, they affect the psychological development of children, their motivation, and social position. A variety of procedures and choices that are better in different social and economic contexts are the essentials that can make teachers struggle and doubt daily until their experience would show the necessary daily practices.