Wadley

WADLEY:
Then that kind of a, uh, uh, construct and---and a---and a teacher is much more effective if they are perceived not only as a---a dispenser of knowledge, but if they’re perceived as a real person, a caring person and a---and a kind person.  And a person with values and a person who, uh, is a role model and is able to, uh, demonstrate, uh---uh, some, um, some application of values in their own life.  Uh, if---if you---if you and I look back upon the teachers who most influenced us through our lives those were teachers who were in that mode.  They were people that---that we did not see only as, um, as highly intelligent or well versed within their subject matter, but we also perceived them as good people.  Caring people and people who cared about us individually and who made us feel important and made us feel, uh, like we could be successful.  And I think that the---that the construct of---of the moral dimensions creates that kind of an atmosphere in which a---a teacher can be, uh, successful.  Uh, and at the same time I think that---that most of the time, in my experience in working with teachers, teachers who get in trouble it’s not because they don’t know their subject matter.  And it’s also not, uh---of---many time it’s not because they don’t have good teaching skill, it’s because they---they cannot relate well to students.  They can’t treat students well, they can’t, uh---uh, create within students a desire to be better than they are and to, uh, learn and to grow and to, uh, emulate this, uh, person who is a---is a role model as well as a teacher to them.  And people who don’t have that, uh, that moral foundation to their lives I think, uh, often struggle as being---in---in terms of being an effective teacher.

Um, I think---I think that there is a definite role for the, uh, education department, separate and apart from the arts and sciences, uh, in preparing teaches---teachers.  And I think that for a couple of reasons; one is I think that teachers need to understand, in order to be effective, they need to understand some of the history of education, some of the, uh, uh, past as well as the current and future, uh, trends and---and foundations upon which the educational system in our country is based.  They need to have that understanding.  They also need to have a certain number of, uh, teaching skills that are---that can be applied in any, uh, discipline, in any, uh, any of the arts or sciences or any, uh, subject matter discipline, they need those teaching skills.  They also need, uh, some---some background in understanding, uh, kids, students and how they learn and how they are different and how, uh---what some of the challenges that students have related to background and the especial education students and then---the, uh, English language learners and the students with, uh, a whole variety of challenges.  And some of those teaching skills and some of the pedagogy skills, uh, that are learned and mastered by a teacher can then be applied in any of the, uh---uh, s---curriculum areas in which the teacher has sufficient expertise.  And---and many times a---a good teacher, uh, who has some of those great teaching skills and great interaction skills and great ability to understand students and to---to know where they’re coming from, uh, can teach---can teach multiple subjects reasonably well with, uh, with---with little preparation.  A---uh---particularly at a---at the, uh---middle school or junior high level where the technical expertise is not the---not as significant as it is at the high school level.  And that’s not to downgrade the importance of teacher certification and licensing, but what I’m saying is that there are some basic skills to teaching that the best teachers are able to master.  And I think that there is a---a definite role in the department of teacher education in---in helping students to master and develop those skills and also to help them to understand the---the huge diversity of wh---what they’re going to encounter in the, uh, student population.  Most of---most students in---including probably myself and---and others, begin their teaching career thinking that it’s just---it’s gonna be just like their student career was.  Uh, and---and they find that that is not the case, uh, most of the time and---and some insight into what else is out there in the world, besides their own realm of experience, is very helpful, I think, to teachers.