The Art of Teaching by Ana Guareschi - Profesor/a de inglés - Barcelona

Ana Guareschi

Profesor/a de inglés

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The Art of Teaching


Becoming an English and Portuguese teacher has been more than rewarding to me. Get to know new cultures,  students of all over the world with different interests and levels, different ways of learning processes and shared experiences are part of this adventure. The opportunity to meet students from different nationalities,willing to master a new language and engage them to take up the challenge, keeps me always on the go. I have always been passionate about languages, since I was a kid. I have studied almost 7 throughout my life, from which I speak 4 fluently and I keep improving my  language skills day by day. This has always been my ongoing goal in life. I started teaching in my early 40s, life always takes you to where we need to be but sometimes you first need to experience other  activities or abilities. Life Experience is gold in our lives, it always enriches your soul and makes you become who you are today. I think it as life needing different colours and each phase represents one colour and then you end up  having  a different perspective of life.

I have lived in Argentina most of my life and had the great opportunity to live in New York and california after graduating from university and later on I had the chance to live in Brazil, San Pablo for a year on business.Currently facing a new challenge in Barcelona, spain. Being able to live in other countries broadens your mind significantly. Even travelling on vacations to a totally different place,could change your perception on life but living in a country for a while is a quite enriching experience, living day to day in a different country and having the chance to be part of it. 

What makes a good teacher?

Starting a teacher career path has been very challenging and enhancing to me and each phase has  been pretty different but always exciting and motivating. The idea of sharing knowledge and passion with others, definitely pays off. Being a good teacher requires many different attributes, and there is not a single or true rule,because everyone possess its own valid and unique technique  but some are key to it. Being devoted  and passionate to teaching others is  the main one as well as communication skills and knowledge on what you are teaching. Other could be listed as  patience, understanding, enthusiasm and engagement,  observing your students needs, weaknesses and strengths and boost their skills.  Teachers are a guide for students, we need to show them the way,motivate them, and engage them on what they do . It's a day to day objective and you can observe the results. Also students need to enjoy the process of learning a language. To me it's about fun and enthusiastic lesson , always creating  a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere when teaching and students respond positively to it. 

When you get to teach in company, students usually take lesson at lunch time , so being this the only moment to be out of the duties and responsibilities during working hours ,  having a tedious or structured class will probably end up being more than a dull activity.Consequently, nothing good will turn out of it. Students will start to miss class or completely drop the class. 

Effects of technology on Education

Technology has significantly changed our habits and the way we communicate throughout time . Today, technology enables incredible forms of communication and interaction. The internet opens a door to information that suits everybody's need. Technology has also been changing the roles of teachers and learners. In the past, teacher were the primary source of information, and the learners were only receivers. 

Now teachers has become more a guide to students and a source of information as well.But now students have become more active and are asked to participate, create, propose and question the information.Technology is a powerful tool that can support and transform education in many ways, facilitating teachers to create materials to help the process of learning as well as  Students that can access information on whatever topic or information they desire.

 

Online teaching is taking over 

Distante e- learning has been in place for a long time now. This is where a student sits down and learns through a self-paced system on their own. Content is delivered through video, but it’s a one-way interaction. 

Face to face teaching has always been the common choice for learning, sharing a space, communicating live, sharing ideas, roleplays, etc.

As technology has been expanding and becoming a more stable and secure tool, online teaching has become even more popular. Employees working from home or from other countries, proved to be as efficient as working from the office. This trend started to grow and costs are reduced for employers or companies. Even some offices only work remotely and in other cases, employes have one day of homeoffice as a benefit. 

With regards to teaching online, teachers had to become familiar with this tool and start using it as part of their work, if they wanted to be up- to-date  with technology and worldwide trends. 

Now, facing the Covid-19 , online teaching is now a  MUST. Otherwise we are out of the market .

When I was teaching and I came across the need to do online lessons, I was kind of reluctant to it at first. It was a huge change to go from face to face to online lessons. After some time I got used to it and now it’s part of my day to day duty. At first it could take some extra time to get you up to speed with ready to use material, platforms,etc,  but once you are all set you are good to go and life becomes even easier. Time is maximized and there is no commuting expenses at all.

You have to keep in mind that offering online classes requires a lot of energy from the teacher , gestures and nonverbal language communication becomes even more important. You have to keep your students focused and engaged.Life changes and we have to adapt to it. Life is always about change!

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