In a week, the first stretch of my formal learning in education through UPOU would come to its conclusion. Soon, I would be testing how I would be applying what I learned in a teaching demo I plan to conduct next week. Once I finish the course, the definite plan is to continue the program to get the certification. On the other hand, how much effort I’d exert more to be a “scholar” of teaching and learning, I’d have to see.
I knew that a lot of educators pursue further learning through masteral and doctorate courses, but I honestly have not thought of its deeper importance. I initially had an impression that the added credential is for a better opportunity in their work, here in the Philippines or abroad. In fact, I might not be wrong. For one, I took the UPOU course to establish myself as a certified teacher since I’ve not had formal training in the field after being years of being called “teacher”. If I am to aim for an independent life in another country, then this program would be a boost to my confidence as a teacher. Moreover, a part of me has a need and desire to understand what being an teacher, an educator is about. Why do teachers stay in this field for such a long time despite the low salaries and heavy workload? How do students learn from teachers? What is the magic behind effective classroom management and student learning? I wanted to learn all about that. Reading about being a Scholar of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) gave me a broader idea behind these blooming questions.
Educators have defined being a scholar in teaching and learning (SoTL) as being a teacher who pursues lifelong learning. Through research or inquiry, a SoTL establishes interesting questions about his/her student’s learning, struggles in classroom management and methodology and tries to find answers from scholarly articles in education, peers, and self-reflection.
As a teacher, it is very important that we enrich ourselves within our years of profession. As students are the central focus of our teaching and their manner of learning changes through time, it is also integral that we constantly inquire regarding our methods and beliefs in teaching and always make it a goal to seek for answers and learn from them through application and reflections.
In this regard, it is important that teachers be given a strong support system to encourage them to pursue higher learning. Sometimes, financial reasons is the problem, thus, some teachers chose to think that it’s fine to stay where they are. I’m glad that I’ve shaken that idea! After years of being depressed and wondering why I couldn’t find satisfaction in my job, it’s because I didn’t realize that I was being stagnant at where I was as a teacher. The beginning was totally exciting, but without growth, I grew weary and frustrated of my abilities.
Thus, I’m thankful that even though it has been a three toxic months of being a full-time teacher, part-timer and a student, but it has been a productive three months of learning.