The Importance Of Professional Associations Essay

2164 words - 9 pages

I have never been a part of a professional teaching organization. I was a member of the South Western Psychological Association (SWPA) when I was a student in university, but since then I have never found the need to join another organization. As part of the requirements of my masters degree program, I looked into quite a few of the professional teaching organizations that apply to me in the broader, teaching as an educator, sense as well as the closer to home, my chosen field of teaching, sense. Currently, I have joined two professional teaching organizations that relate to my field. I have found that the support structure and information they provide can be highly helpful as well as enlightening. I have already learned new methodologies I can apply to my current employment and I plan to encourage my co-workers to join as well. I also have thought long and hard about where I am on the scale from a novice teacher to an expert teacher. I do not consider myself as an expert teacher but I am confident that I am not a novice. Having read the information on the Kappa Delta Pi website, as well as other professional teaching societies, I have had the opportunity to do some soul searching and know where my strengths and weaknesses are in both being a professional teacher as well as my path toward hopefully becoming an expert educator.
If I were to try to put myself in Berliner's 5 stages of teacher development (1986), I would like to say that I could firmly plant myself into the "Proficient Level". While learning more about what makes a great teacher, I have begun the process of looking inward and assessing my strengths and weaknesses as an educator. I have not always liked what I found, but I see in myself, the potential to be an expert teacher. Garmston (1998) wrote about six knowledge areas that expert teachers are superior in as compared to novices. I find myself being able to "see" myself in all of these areas but in different amounts in each. According to the Garmston (1998) an expert teacher should have a vast repository of knowledge in their respective fields. A teacher with this deep level of familiarity with their subject, could provide both flexible and student oriented classes. In this area, I find myself somewhat lacking and feel this would be my weakest area as a teacher. I am a native speaker of English and, upon coming to Japan, I felt that I would be able to teach English with only this under my belt. I was lucky to have a week of good training where I learned about the communicative style of teaching my original company employed in their classes. Since then, I realized I lacked basic to advance grammar knowledge sufficient enough to teach with ease. I found myself having to look many questions up in grammar books or pawning the questions off to a non-native English teacher. I have always endeavored to increase my skill, knowledge, and intimacy with the English language since that time. Having learned so much over the last eight...

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