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On Teaching Foreign Students

25 June 2021

Teaching is a noble profession that I think cannot be replaced with any machine or any kind of contraption that humans can discover even in the future. I say this because teaching-learning activities are done electronically, that is, students learn through the Internet or what we call online teaching-learning. This is an alternative learning experience for students which is practiced today due to the pandemic.

I have been teaching for several years. Although it is not really my dream, I find teaching as a mutual learning experience with my students especially since my students and I are not of the same culture. I found teaching to be fun as days went by and a way of establishing a rapport that makes it easier for me to know each of the students better and understand their culture as I see them manifest it as we interact in the classroom.

Years before the pandemic, I taught foreign students because I wanted to learn more about them as many come to the country to learn not only the language but the culture as well. They need English as it is internationally used in most of the countries worldwide.

Aside from English, they also learn our culture and try to immerse themselves with it to be able to make them feel that each culture has its own character and traditions that we should understand, respect, and maybe assimilated in the long run.

However, with the pandemic threatening us for more than a year now, students are taught online so everyone, teachers, and students can observe the health protocols to avoid contracting the covid-19 virus which is seriously fatal.

I am not teaching anymore so I am now not fully aware and have not much knowledge about the learning experiences of students learning online. As for me, as long as the teacher is present, students can learn as long as they also do their part in the -teaching-learning activities such as doing their homework and attending classes for each module that they have to learn from.

However, some students, I am not taking it in general, that they do not learn much and understand much about the lessons especially some modules that for them needs more explanation and discussion.

I am not sure if the time has to do something with it or maybe the use of the Internet affects the learning experience of the students. There are times that the Internet stops and does not work in some areas especially when there are weather disturbances during classes that the Internet connection is affected.

There are also some noises around that the students are distracted during classes. These distractions can be present at the student’s home or the teacher’s home. I am not sure about it. One student neighbor told me that it was really much better studying inside the classroom where the teacher personally attended to each student when they had problems with their lesson or they could not understand parts of a lesson.  

The student also told me that a face-to-face teaching-learning experience made them learn more because the teacher discussed the lesson in detail and step by step without any disruptions such as Internet issues and noises. She also emphasized that learning was better with her classmates around as they made each other happy and friendly to each other. You know, students learn also by a motivation not only from the teacher but from their classmates as well.

In my case, I think teaching in the classroom where you mix and interact with the students is a better way to learn about their character, behavior, idiosyncrasies, learning styles, and almost all things about them because a teacher becomes a parent the moment the students step inside the classroom.

Knowing them better will make the teacher make lessons fit to their learning styles and intelligence that makes the teaching more effective for the students. Individual differences can also give the teacher a cue on how to approach or teach the lessons to the students. Knowing their individual differences would also allow the teacher to personally guide a student when they have some personal issues or they are not motivated to learn their lessons or do their homework.

By and large, I think classroom teaching is a better way to have the teaching-learning process as students need a lot more than knowing the lesson at hand. They must be motivated and inspired to learn more to be able to perform their tasks, especially doing their homework that can help them recall their lessons in preparation for the tests or examination.

The friendly and personal care that teachers share with the students gives them much confidence to tackle their tasks and understand more about their lessons and subjects. Sometimes students follow their teacher’s advice more than their parents because they see their teachers as role models. This is true especially if the teacher is dedicated and passionate about teaching their students.

I hope that things will be fine for all of us, teachers and students, and the classroom setting will be brought to normalcy as soon as possible because the students or the youth are the future of our country.

While we stay at home I would like to advise the teachers to refresh some lessons and make some presentations using the whiteboard at home. I recommend that you have this wonderful whiteboard from FlexiSpot. This product is called the  Height Adjustable Whiteboard Standing Desk which is ideal for practicing presentations, teaching, and other activities that include sharing information. This product is Dry-Erase Whiteboard Desktop (48" x 24") and you can flip the desktop with ease. You can also convert it into a more functional whiteboard using the adjustable handle to select 5 flexible angles (0/60/70/80/90°). Lock the desktop in place once you've found your desired angle for writing, reading, or drawing.

Mounted on 4 easy-rolling caster wheels, this desk is made to move to any location you need. When stationary, each wheel can lock in place to keep the dry-erase board steady while you study, draw, present, and more.