It was my first time to take the TPI and I could say it was really interesting. Below is the result.
Based on the results, my dominant perspectives are Transmission and Nurturing. My back-up perspective is Apprenticeship and my recessive perspectives are Developmental and Social Reform.
Before I discuss my analysis of the results, it is important to know the learners, content material and learning setting that I focused on while I was answering the questions in the TPI survey.
I am an online English teacher. I teach English to Koreans, Japanese and Chinese students using Skype. The online classes can be either a video class or an audio class. I teacher students of different ages and levels. I teach English in different skills of learning – reading, speaking, writing and listening.
Mastery of the English language is expected from me in my job as an online English teacher. Students expect me to know the correct usage of grammar and correct pronunciation. My classes have clear objectives based on the needs of the students. Some students want to improve their conversational skills while some prepare for English tests. A class only lasts for 25 minutes so no time is wasted. The whole class time should be used to teach the content, correct errors, clarify misunderstandings and provide feedback. Also, since the class is online, showing enthusiasm and energy in class are very important to keep the students interested in studying.
As an online English teacher, I am not only after the content. I honestly care for my students. I think my sincerity is one of the reasons why my students like me. I believe online classes are challenging because I don’t get to see my student’s reactions (most of them do not use webcams) I have to rely on the tone of their voice to know how they feel towards the class. So, as an online teacher, I do my best to get the trust of my students. I want them to feel that I am here to help them learn English. I always encourage them that they will be achieve their goals in speaking English if they practice every day. I do my best to lift their hopes up when they are facing difficulties or when they are overwhelmed with the lessons.
I do not practice “spoon feeding.” As an online English teacher, I don’t like feeding all information to my students. When I teach English to my students, I make sure that they try their best to speak on their own. Even if they cannot make long sentences yet, I encourage my students to express themselves. I correct their mistakes afterwards and ask them to try again. Sometimes, they find it hard but I want them to be challenged and to learn on their own. I want them to learn from their mistakes and to build confidence. I believe that confidence and self-esteem are very important in learning a language.
This is one of the perspectives that I should develop and focus on as an online English teacher. I can help my students develop knowledge and skills in comprehending content. I realized that this is actually one of my goals as an English teacher. I should go beyond making the students learn the content or beyond being conversational. In the long run, I should help my students develop more analytical thinking and comprehension of the English language. I think Developmental is one of my recessive perspectives because I am usually more focused on teaching what the students and the parents are expecting out of the lesson and out of the curriculum. As one of my boss always tells me, they are not just our students but also our clients. Some of them just quit studying when they feel that they are having a hard time in class. Because of this, my boss would always remind us (teachers) not to be too hard on the students.
As an online English teacher, my students and clients expect to learn how to be conversational and fluent in English. With the limited time of class every day, the students and most of the time the parents expect the teachers to follow the lesson based on the course or the program they enrolled in. Therefore, it is not my goal to encourage my students to think about how to make a change in the society. Also, there are some topics and issues that are taboo or they are not comfortable discussing about because of the differences in culture. Basically, social issues are not included in the curriculum I am teaching. That’s the reason why Social Reform is one of my recessive perspectives.
I learned a lot from my TPI results. They are actually correct based on my analysis of the content, learners my set up in teaching. Now, I know what to focus more when I am teaching. I believe that one size does not fit all. In different aspects of teaching, we can incorporate the five perspectives. But for now, in my online classes, I think it will be difficult to focus on social reform. Maybe for my young students, I can incorporate lessons like how to be a good citizen or how to take care of the environment. I think simple lessons like these are good ways of teaching the students how to make change in the society but not veering away from the objectives of the English class.
When I have become a classroom teacher, I will do my best to incorporate the five perspectives of teaching in my practices. It will be challenging at times but I believe that as a teacher, it is our responsibility to guide our students to become equipped and able to make a change in the society. With the support of the family and the community, it is the teachers’ responsibility to raise responsible citizens.
To end my reflection, I would like to quote the 2016 National teacher of the Year, Jahana Hayes. May her words inspire and guide not only me but all the other teachers as well.
“As a teacher, I strive to facilitate learning in a way that engages students by connecting on a personal level and stimulating academic growth, while simultaneously producing contentious and productive members of society.”