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Who is a great teacher in this era of distance learning? Is he who can use a lot of learning applications? Or a teacher who knows a lot of digital games? The answer is No. A great teacher, most importantly, is influenced by his perspective and how he interacts with students and parents. The following are four characteristics of a great teacher in this era of online learning.
In difficult and uncertain times like today, great teachers are flexible. Flexibility is one of the critical aspects to be applied in online learning. Without flexibility, learning will be difficult or not run well.
A teacher can be flexible in many ways, such as at the time of collecting assignments, the form of assignments, and the devices used by students to take part in learning from home. As online teaching using phone is common for teachers, similarly students also use mobile phones for learning.
For example, in the case of assignment collection time, it is better not to set a specific day, but within a time range. This is because if students are at home, there are some students who will experience problems, either because of material or device constraints, such as cell phones or laptops that parents still use for work.
2. Give clear instructions
Instruction is one of the most important aspects of online teaching. Clear instructions will help students understand the task description, objectives, and how to complete it. No wonder if the teacher is not clear in giving instructions, the results of the student’s work will not be in accordance with the teacher’s expectations that has been set. Instructions can include various things, such as what to do, how long the duration is given, what media or application to use, what examples or expectations the final product will be, and where the student should collect it when it is finished.
Notice the difference between the following two examples of instructions; which one is clearer?
Example 1: ask questions about addition and subtraction.
Example 2: makeup 1 question each about addition and subtraction in 10 minutes. Each question can have more than one arithmetic operation, and the numbers used are not greater than 100. Please write it in a book, take a photo, and upload it in my private chat.
Clear instructions are found in the second example. Students will tend to ask more questions if given the first instruction.
3. Don’t bother parents
Distance learning adds to a lot of parenting hassles. There are at least two things that all parents must experience. First, they must provide devices and internet for their children to follow the learning from home. There are some who buy new, and there are also those who borrow from their parents or brothers or sisters. Second, there is a possibility that children will become unfocused when unaccompanied at the time of online study from home.
Apart from the two examples above, many other examples can also confuse parents. For instance, apart from taking care of their children’s education, parents also have to work and take care of their children’s growth and development. Therefore, the teacher should not add to the parents’ difficulties in the activities or learning activities that are arranged.
Furthermore, the purpose of not bothering parents, in this case, is to design activities or learning activities that can be done from home and do not have to go here and there. For example, is it reasonable to ask students to swim during this online learning period? Certainly not. Another example is, will parents find it difficult if they are asked to prepare all the materials for a simple electrical experiment practice? Of course, yes. So, it’s good that the school prepares all the materials.
Reflective attitude (or practice of reflection) is an attitude that is rarely discussed in the context of education, especially in public schools. However, this is quite familiar in some private schools that are oriented towards western education. This may be because eastern education is heavily influenced by eastern philosophy, which emphasizes ethics. In contrast, western education is heavily influenced by western philosophy, which highlights aspects of epistemology and metaphysics.
Furthermore, a reflective attitude is an attitude of contemplating what has happened thinking about what could be improved in the future. The practice of reflection is included in meta-cognition, namely, understanding what is understood. This is a higher-order way of thinking, and if it is applied in schools, it will bring changes in the way of teaching and the mindset of a teacher for the better every day.
For example, when does a teacher think about what to teach children? Has he used the best method? Is what he taught true? Are there aspects of teaching that could be improved? Are students actively involved in learning activities?
The teacher can ask these questions at the end of the day after all teaching and learning activities are completed to improve their teaching tomorrow or next week. It is better if the reflection on teaching on a particular day is also carried out from that day because humans tend to be forgetful.
So, in conclusion, if we want to be great teachers in this era of online learning, don’t forget to adapt these four traits into our daily lives. Good luck!
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