1. Analyse and define in your own words what kind of expertise you have.
To be a teacher, the expertise I have reflects two aspect: pedagogical content knowledge and flexibility in problem solving. I will define them in two circumstances.
When I prepare my lesson, I separate the knowledge that I will teach in the classroom into many patterns. Each pattern I use “what, how, why” to ask and answer according to textbook and other materials, and then use “when, where, why” to make sure in which situation will use these knowledge. At that time, there is a mindmap about teaching content in my brain. In the classroom, I ask some questions about the patterns they will learn which makes them retrieve and image related knowledge from their owned information. On the basis of their answers, I present the knowledge they will learn today. I use 5W1H (who, where, what, when, why, how) to draw a map or chart which helps them understand the knowledge deeply. At this period, the knowledge is only put into their brain, they do not know the application of them. So I make a brainstorming with “how, where, why” to let them recognize clearly to use those information.
During teaching process, I also meet problems about children’s learning. For example, they do not like to read English text, for it is very long and has many new words. They feel it is difficult and boring for them. So I tell them only to read two pages per day, but should read fluently. This is the task I give to them, they need complete it well. When children receive this message, they know reading is their task, they must accept, and read two pages per day is easier than the whole text, they agree happily. What I did is only to help them to cut difficulty(English text) into small parts, so it is easy for them to destroy one by one. In fact, after reading many days in that way, they do not regard reading as a trouble. With the increasing of confidence, they like it.
2. How have you learned that expertise?
First, I learn that expertise from the study life in my master’s degree programme. I get Master’s Degree of Philosophy in 2009. During studying and researching philosophy theory, I have got philosophizing, logicality and speculation which help me have habit to think and critical thinking when meeting problems.
Then, I learn that expertise from other teachers. I am a teacher assistant before teaching, because I do not have teaching experience. When a teacher has class in the classroom, I am also stay in and my duty is to remind students when they do not listen to the teacher carefully, meanwhile, solve problems it happened in the classroom and help teacher to do something else. During that time, I learn many pedagogical methods from other teachers. From warm up, lesson introduction, content teaching, practical session, games to conclusion, I really harvest more knowledge. Some methods I always use now, some methods I improve to be appropriate in different condition.
At last, I learn that expertise from my real teaching experience. During the practical teaching, there are some issues I must to handle, no matter in class, students and their parents. I always think and analyze the problem independently, if I get an idea, I will share it with other teachers and my family to hear about their thought; if I do not get good ways, I will ask them for advice and get suggestion. After that, I like to think deeply to obtain a better method which can solve the problems very well.
3. How can you still improve it?
I think it is difficult for me to improve my expertise only from teaching experience. I need to learn more theoretical knowledge and professional knowledge to rich and arm my brain, after all, I have not studied educational knowledge before. So I choose to go on my learning in this field. I hope I will learn advanced and practical knowledge and information about learning, education and technology in LET programme which can improve my expertise and get more expertise.
In addition, I will read many books, materials and documents related to the learning and educational field, which makes me understand the knowledge and apply it in a high level.
4. How do you manage/act as an expert in problem-solving situations?
As a teacher in the training school, I also confront students’ parents. They have some difficulty about children’ learning and hope teacher help them to deal with. For example, Tony’s Mum said Tony does not like to finish his homework. Each day he spends several hours on homework, but usually cannot finish it. He always plays while he writes. At first, I am patient to hear her talking about event. Then I ask her some problems, such as what are parents doing when Tony writes his homework? What is her attitude when seeing Tony plays while writing? How many members in her family? How many hours does Tony spend on homework per day? What does Tony do when he does not finish homework on next day? And so on. From her answers, I get a few facts. I analyze the situation with her together, meanwhile, point out why the problem occurs. In the end, I give her some advice－only give Tony one and half an hours to finish his homework, if he does not finish it, no longer permit him go on writing, no matter how he cries or scream. He must undertake consequence by himself. When he writes homework, parents or grandparents do not speak to him. No one pays attention to him. From that method, Tony changes his bad habit, because he does not want teacher’s punishment and classmates’ derision.
So, in problem-solving situations, I am no hurry to solve them. I always make the situations clear, that is to say, understand problems; then I analyze why and how it happened, at last I give some advice to solve that problem.
5. How do you work in group? How do you act as an expert in group situations?
When I work in a group, I like to hear other members’ opinions and thoughts firstly, then I talk about my points. If there are arguments, we discuss and analyze them together, I would accept different opinions, but I also insist my points sometimes.
As an expert in a group, I still listen to every member’s ideas. Then I could guide them to understand the problem deeply and retrieve their relevant knowledge which is useful to solve the problem. At the same time, I would help them to organize their knowledge to a meaningful pattern based on the problem. So when they meet the familiar questions in the future, they can solve it effectively. Certainly, I do not act myself as an expert. I still realize that there is much more to learn for me.