Adding numbers together is a rather simple concept. 1 + 1 = 2. This is an orderly operation yielding a concrete result. The knowledge of this simple formula, however, is not something we are born with. It is something learnt, a little piece of knowledge taught. Teaching and learning equal knowledge, a simple formula yielding the concept of education, whereby schoolhouses were built and knowledge was taught within a community of shared values and concepts. Communities today have gone global, challenging the simple formula of education, leading to the concept of reflective teaching.
Immigration led to an increased cultural mix among the student body, spawning a need for greater community involvement in the classroom, bilingual teaching and the development of reflective teaching. The first step in reflective teaching, beginning with the student teacher, is the constant questioning of whether or not one should teach. Teachers teach for a variety of reasons, including job security and benefits. Why teach is a valid question for a journal and one to answer at least on a weekly basis. A big part of this would include identifying the things you dislike about teaching.
The process of reflective teaching continues through the process of what to teach. Reading, writing and arithmetic are the basic ingredients required for success in education. Subjects taught with passion reflect a labour of love. Passionless teaching is a chore. Success stems from knowledge gained and passions will inspire young minds to soak up such knowledge. Settling on a teaching position does not necessarily make for a good teacher. Constantly question where your passions lie.
Students today bring a background often mixed with different cultures from almost every corner of the world. Learning about the backgrounds of each student can teach you about the ways in which they learn. The internet offers an endless stream of information related to different cultures. Teaching is a rewarding experience stemming from all there is to learn about people and places classrooms of yesteryear could only try to imagine.
Teaching is an art requiring tools, much like painters require easels, brushes and paints. Learning through teaching involves classrooms of cooperation, caring, developing "a spirit of inquiry leading to informed decision-making while applying values to action."
Reflective teaching constantly requires self-analysis on the part of the teacher. Educating for a better tomorrow is an achievable goal. Consistent presentations of challenging questions and problems with viable solutions is preparation for resolving issues and problems without answers. 1 + 1 will always equal 2 as this is, of course, an orderly operation always yielding a concrete answer. Over the span of time, however, life is never so concrete.