Simile and the rationale for choosing
The role of teachers as described by Don Johnson in the interview can best befit a simile that teachers are like ship captains (Annenberg Learner, 2016). It is a vivid simile that can be created easily by reflecting on the path taken by teachers in guiding students likened to the sailing of a ship in indefinite waters. Teachers tolerate their students in bad and good times. A teacher is even more responsible than the students when things do not work well as the ship captain is concerned than the crew themselves during times in the sea. Furthermore, the rationale for equating ship captains to teachers is in terms of the similarity of the steps taken by teachers to monitor a class of students with those taken by the captain in monitoring the whole vessel to determine its progress in aspects such as water depths, pressure, and speed likened to students ability to read, writes and comprehend the lessons. Similarly, crew members can be likened to the students as the captain will observe and monitor the day-to-day tasks of the crew to ascertain their individual performance. The simile reflects the behaviorist learning theory as both the captains and teachers are in charge of the individuals, crew and students respectively, with the extrinsic motivation to transmit behavioral responses (Mailick & Stumpf, 2011).
How Students Learn
Students play the critical role of absorbing predefined knowledge body, behavior, and conduct induced by the teacher. As defined in the cognitive constructivism theory, active accommodation and assimilation of fresh and first-hand information is one way by which learners discover new concepts which are the building blocks of knowledge (Mailick & Stumpf, 2011). The simile shows that the students learn from their teachers by carrying out instructions in the way that the ship cabin crew would take the instructions from the captain who is their leader, manager and a role model. Seaworthiness and safety of the ship are the roles of the ship crew who seek assistance and follows instruction from the captain hence suggesting that they learn, interpret and understand and comprehend the instructions just like the students acquire knowledge.
When the classroom is treated as a working environment just as the ship captains consider the ship as the workplace, teachers are responsible for setting classroom tones and building a positive environment which can foster the process of nurturing and mentoring students. They have to be well-equipped with psychological strength for listening and detecting the cyphers of troubles that can deter learning as captains would need strength in guiding sea vessels in mysterious waters. Teachers assume a role-model function as their students normally mimic their behavior and actions. It can be confirmed by Fe MacLeans statement in the interview that the ability of a teacher to create a conducive and warm learning environment dictate the happiness and cooperation of the students (Annenberg Learner, 2016). The simile suggests that teachers have the core role of ensuring a positive social behavior within the learning environment as the teachers behavior portray the reflection of their conduct and actions in their students. Managing a cruising vessel is as difficult as classroom management in that when a classroom is not in order, there is a likelihood of increased burnout among the teachers and deprived academic performance by the students. It thus follows that teachers as the classroom controllers and managers have to structure, develop and implement a positive learning environment that promotes effective teacher-student interaction to achieve a team-centric classroom.
In summary, teachers are like the ship captains. Learning environment is equated to the life offshore. Teachers are the primary classroom controllers and managers who must structure, develop and implement a positive learning environment that promotes effective teacher-student interaction to achieve a team-centric classroom.
Annenberg Learner. (2016). How People Learn: Video Program. Retrieved from Annenberg Learner: http://www.learner.org/courses/learningclassroom/session_overviews/intro_home1.html
Mailick, S., & Stumpf, S. A. (2011). Learning theory in the practice of management development : evolution and applications. Westport, Conn: Quorum.
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