The unity of one’s professional and personal life is always reflective of the congruence and/or alignment of one’s professional goals with one’s personal goals and sense of direction. This is one of my major realizations after completing the Human Development Program. I now understand why teachers and other educational professions, in general, need to be skillful about human development and life. We really have to learn the inside story of teaching and learning and we can only do so when we hold a grasp of who we are. In this connection, this course has helped me enough in this aspect.
The milestone in my professional growth is quite evident. I know that whatever subject matter I teach, I am equipped with the required materials and the supplementary learning activities and how they are effectively taught to students. This entails a professional groundwork and contextualization in the culture of learning and how people learn. This is also based on the foundations of one’s human growth and development. This is where the experiences found in our course helped me a lot. The course has taught me to expand my experience and my creativity beyond the classrooms and into the very lives of my students. I was given the chance to generate special understanding of the specific topics and contents advantageous to my own professional growth.
I was also able to appreciate English more than any other subjects. I have realized that the language and reading aspects of English is neither very hard nor easy to teach. However, a teacher must be verse with not just the workings of the grammar and the love for literature. More importantly, he/she must be knowledgeable with Harold Syntax grammar program. This has become an indispensable tool for me not only during but more after this course. (Huddleston & Pullum, 2005)
I really did not have specific professional goals when I entered this course. However, along the way, I began to discover which areas of my professional career I would focus on. This helped me a lot to concentrate on the aspects of teaching and subject content I wish to master. I spend my days wanting to learn more about language and how I will master each aspects of it – writing, reading and speaking. It has given me enough confidence to pursue and break the barriers of my ignorance. I was reinforced even more when I discovered some basic rules and principles in grammar and language which would help me in my teaching. My personal goals, I discovered, is that this course will give me ample experiences to hone my skills in English and in other subjects, which will, in turn, make me a better teacher and a more confident professional. All these things were met by the course, my expectations and my realizations and completion.
At present, my professional goal is to continue to hone my writing skills and then pursue another course in Writing. I also want to expose myself to more experimental classes wherein the teaching of language is not very traditional. I wish to introduce to my students new ways of developing their reading and writing skills. I want them to appreciate reading and I want to make my classes more entertaining and informative with the use of recent and contemporary literatures.
I want to reflect on the understanding of one’s self as a major theme in teaching in reading. By this, my students will not only learn about phonetics and grammar but they will also understand the context of human relationships and the dynamics of getting along or having disagreements. In retrospect, I want to eradicate the barriers of culture and prejudice with my reading classes. I wish to professionally mediate among cultures and people through the study and the love for reading and the appreciation of literature around the world.
My personal goal, as mentioned earlier, is to develop my writing skills further. Specifically, I want to be able to express myself eloquently and fully. I have not found greater interest in writing than now. This is because the human development course provided a strong impetus to focus on the self inside out. More so, it has developed my instant retrospection to analyzing and understanding one’s thoughts and actions before judging myself and others. Hence, I want to internalize these all through my writing skills.
I also want to widen my horizon in pursuing an academic role more than teaching. To explain, I want to remain a teacher, first and foremost. However, I also want to develop my academic management skills because I realized this will have better and effective means for me to effect changes within the learning community. Specifically, I want to center on the changes in the curriculum and its development. I guess this will be permissible when I am also part of the administration.
The rich discussions we had in class and the plenty materials on human development will, I am certain, make me a better teacher because what I learn from myself and empowered me can also be taught to my students with the goal of making them a better person and a useful member of the society. Before, I used to think that I only want to become a good teacher because this is what I am called for. I have not truly realized my personal commitment and my fulfillment.
It is just after completing the course in human development that I discovered that we only enjoy the things we love to do and we do it passion precisely because its detailed purposes and motives are ingrained in to why we like and who we are. Now, I am very excited to my future students with the fervor that I might be instrumental in making them realize who they truly are what they want to do professionally will make them happy and fulfilled. I now see myself aiming for my students to honestly face themselves and reflect on their fears and strengths. This will really uncover specific misconceptions we often have about ourselves.
My academic strengths are my mastery of the subject or content I am inclined to teach and the basic virtues I am going to impart to my students. I guess every teacher has his/her own value system and after this course, I realized that I am more inclined to subscribe to the moral philosophy in teaching. As what Erikson’s psychosocial theory has explained, there are positive and negative values and attitudes which a human being develop through time. (Stevens, 1983)
Meanwhile, I think I need to be more balanced when it comes to my teaching principles and methods. This is my sole academic weakness. I need to approach each teaching problem more creatively than just rely on the standard reading materials and sources presecribed by the institution I will work with in the future. I am a follower, basically. I think this will be disadvantage and I must overcome this by applying more creativity in my teaching methods.
My learning style is that of an independent and self directed individual. I often engage in various cognitive processes which allow me to manage my learning. Often, I personally evaluate the given problem and then closely scrutinize it in terms of its pros and cons. Then, I approach the problem with strategic solutions that will incorporate all that I know in terms of stock knowledge and what the current situation is. My learning style will help me a lot in preparing new creative strategies and techniques in teaching. With the prevalence of Understanding by Design (UBD) teaching methods, students are more exposed to my style of learning. They learn according to their own experiences and their natural cognitive processes. They become effective learners then.
My long term professional goals include implementing a digital interface and online English teaching to my students even when the course is face to face instructions. I wish to have my own online modules and to develop it into something which cannot be copied by other teachers or institutions. With the upsurge of the demand for English skills, it is common that several English courses have flooded the educational markets. However, I professionally want to carve a specific market for the teaching and understanding of English in the most technological savvy manner.
Thus, I aim to be more familiarized with several online communication tools, which is on the level of understanding of the students. I believe that this will better serve the purpose of education and it will have its practical applications in equipping the graduates with good English, which they will actually need in the employment world. I need to learn the following: how the students learn, their intellectual progress and stages, educational research skils, peer teaching, reflections on my own professional growth and development, etc. Another long term goal is to be able to profess my values, philosophies and culture in my teaching profession.
Ten years from now, I will be managing the administration of the College of Mass Communications in a tertiary level of educational institution. I will be critical of the new development and the methods by which the students effectively learn. Hence, I will be focused on curricular changes and further implementation of technological tools to make learning and teaching more creative, effective and cost effective. To reach this position, I need to study harder and work smarter. Thus, upon admission to any teaching position, I will try my best to take up my Master’s degree in Administrative Management as soon as possible. I will also engage in various researches, symposia and conferences to enhance my teaching skills and my experiences as an academic instructor. While taking extra credits for my extra academic and/or administrative works, I will also continue to complete my Ph. D. in the best possible time.
My fundamental worldview is that people are equal and they are all good people. I believe in the justice system and that in its absence, a divine justice will iterfere and will make things right. I will also describe my own moral development as optimum, with stronger inclinations in the Christian doctrines of heaven and hell. With the understanding of the natural development of man’s intellect and his maturity, I was able to contextualize the immaturities and the moral weaknesses of people, including myself. This has strengthened my compassion for human mistakes, in a way. I think this is the best contribution of the course to my moral development as a teacher and as an individual. I learned in this program that there are various developmental stages in the collective life of a person. In my stage of life now, I can now reflect more vividly of my faults and my areas of improvement in the spiritual aspects.
This very fundamental understanding of people’s weaknesses and the added compassion for human failures will make me more effective in my teaching. I will be more forgiving of my students and this compassion and empathy will fuel their motivation to learn and grow in my Other important things which I imbibed in this course include personality types and their development, learning style and effective conflict management. Their main elements are: thinking, feeling, decision making, actions and reactions. The understanding of various types of personality enlightened me because it also relates to the students’ learning patterns and their motivation. When they have different personalities, I will have to adjust my teaching methods and accomodate their learning processes altogether. Through my knowledge of their learning styles and personalities, I will be more effective in my teaching. I will also solicit more support from them because they will see me as a friend and not as an antagonistic instructor. The critical thinking which I developed during the course will support my conflict management skills and classroom management skills as well. The course encouraged my critical thinking and this made me confident about handling conflicts.
The three most important strands which I really learned so much are: the Strand Assessment Form, Humans and Communication, ENGLISH Concentration Assessment Form, and Human and Scientific Inquiry.
I was really inspired by the stages of language development illustrated through the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I realized that each reading material in the schools have specific purposes and they meet the learning objectives of the students. However, it is critical for the teachers to be able to deliver the lessons well. The ENGLISH Concentration Assessment Form also affirms this realization. Hence, the most important skills I gathered from these two strands is the mastery of content in teaching. In the third selected strand, I realized the value of critical thinking and how things work. The tsunami explanation developed my skills for explaining things to students.
Huddleston, R., & Pullum, G. K. (2005). A Student’s Introduction to English Grammar. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Stevens, R. (1983). Erik Erikson: An Introduction. New York: St. Martin's.