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К содержанию номера журнала: Вестник КАСУ №1 - 2012

Автор: Осколкова А. А.

One thing that impacted me the most from the principles course was a topic for discussion about the purpose, especially one’s vocation or mission. It is very important when you know what you want and you do your best to get it. It is absolutely terrific when your work and your mission coincide. It will not be surprising, if I say that today many people do the thing they do not like and coming home they start doing something else that brings them a lot of pleasure. For example, a well-paid job does not mean a favorite one and vice versa. Once I was told about the choice of profession: there are two types of teachers – the first one works for mission, the latter one works for money. As for me, I love my work and work for my vocation.

I am a curious learner and a thoughtful industrious teacher. I have chosen such a profession that always inspires me to self-develop and improve both personally and professionally. It is a person (with all their outside and inside worlds) that is more important for you than material matters. Of course, work brings us self-realization and improves our self-esteem, but, as the doctor’s daughter, I believe and I am sure that health, then family, is more significant in our life.

To mention my teaching experience, I started my teaching practice when I was a four-year student. By chance, my own teacher asked me to hold a class of English in my own group. I did it with pleasure. Then during the break (the same day) our dean’s secretary wondered if I wanted to work. I agreed and my work started. I worked at the technical economic college from the morning till the afternoon and studied at the university from the midday till the evening. Actually, I had some problems with deadlines at the university but I managed with it. It happened at the beginning of the semester. Then our students’ course applied for school practice (internship). I did all my best during this period. I think I proved my professional and linguistic level. Among fifteen students, as I remember, I was invited to work as an English teacher at the school where I practiced. It was such an honor for me. Both I and my parents were proud of me. As a result, I quitted the college and went to school (still studying at the university). I have worked at school for two terms. Unfortunately, not all the school teachers accepted me as their colleague (for most of them I remained a student). After it I left that place with no regrets.

After summer break I tried my luck on a teacher’s interview at KAFU in 2007. My former fellow student had phoned me and informed me of the interview (I started to believe that people had a good influence on my life. I believe in destiny. I try to see only good points in one’s character).

Since then I have been working at KAFU. Practical aspect of English (grammar, speaking, and phonetics), English literature, theory and practice of translation, methods of teaching English as a second language are not the only disciplines that I teach. The first two years were devoted also to studying at the master school. Teacher at day, student – at night =). I am also an adviser and a supervisor of certain groups that belong to me. At our foreign languages department I plan and organize extracurricular activities for the teachers. Recently, I, together with my colleagues, arranged and kept a New Year party for the workers and teachers of our university.

When the semester started I wanted to participate in leadership courses as fast as possible. After finishing my dance class and tutoring English in the summer, I had only work and home matters. Leadership courses, first of all, were a kind of variety in routine work, like a gulp of fresh air. My enthusiasm was visible, I think. The Principles course actualized and pointed out or, it would be better to say, reminded me of the matters I could have missed or forgotten or just never thought thoroughly about. There were such matters as mission, values, forgiveness, etc. The course made me renew and, in some way, change my view of the specific topic. It helped me act the feeling and bring it to life. The very program encouraged me to think over my attitude to the topics of the course and come up to the conclusion. My aspiration is in knowledge. The program gave me new knowledge and gave me a good push for an action in the future.

There is a good proverb: “The worth of a thing is best known by the want of it.” It is an English equivalent of a Russian proverb, literally saying – we don’t value the thing we have got at the moment till the day we lose it. And when we lose it we cry.

The values can be common and private. Both of them can be different. Common values can be independence, peace, wellbeing, etc. Private values are family, children, somebody’s love, material wellbeing, etc. I have chosen five values. They are family, honor, knowledge, respect and experience.

The value of family is on the first place for me because I love my family very much and dear every moment I spend with them. A person is a social creature who lives for and with somebody in the family. There are also lonely people who cannot be envied by family guys. A lonely person should beware of simple existence. Family is above work, because work is something temporary, but the family is the only people who need you and who are always willing to help you in any case. Family love is worthy cause you are loved by them no matter whether you are a bad or a good person.

Then I put honor, and I think it is the hardest value to practice. Honor is an inside quality. It can be invisible but provides you with humility and moral strength. Person should remain a person, anyway. Honor is not virginity or masculinity (as some people might think). Honor is an original human nature, it is inborn and hard to nurture and change.

There must be a constant desire to get new knowledge or information. According to Aristophanes, ignorance can be educated, but stupidity lasts forever. Knowledge is a power that energizes our minds into action, practice that makes perfect, as you know.

Respect includes two main types: self-respect and public respect. Self-respect is more important, I suppose. If you don’t respect yourself, how can you expect it from others? The most important thing is what you think of yourself. Still, as social creatures we always keep the common thinking and appreciation in our minds.

And the last but not the least, experience takes the fifth place in my value rating. Only past experience is unchangeable. People invest money (for example in education) for their future experience. Both work and life experience is achievable, but it is a person who is responsible to make it worth remembering and sharing.

I would like to say that I would prefer to feel myself into an action, because I need some time to turn a specific action into a habitual activity. I need the time to sort out my thoughts and work over my psychological condition and only then I try to make the first step. Values, I think, are a kind of limits or boundaries that enclose the things one would like to get and have for a long time.

One day I read such a note on the information board at the hospital where my mother works: “While burning and dying I give light to others”. Near the note, there was a picture of a burning candle. The statement referred to the doctor’s profession, but, I think, it can also imply teacher’s one, one of the leaders activity – to show the way and lead to the goal.

If you don’t mind I’d like to give examples of my very work. As for safety and security, I work in a building that protects me and my students from nasty weather and keeps warmth inside. Well – lighted rooms with big windows and comfortable chairs promote decent education.

I have already mentioned I have got two groups where I am an adviser. I usually keep in mind where my students are, what classes they attend, where they go if they warn of their absence.

While they are on my class, I am responsible for them, especially their safe healthy condition. Before the class start on the 1st of September I put down or renew their telephone numbers and other contact information.

I remember one case when one of my students was threatened and bullied by other two senior students. I heard their conversation in the corridor. I went out of the room and they went away at once. I asked my student what they had told her. She had no idea what they wanted from her. The next day I spoke with the whole group and explained them my wish to help or consult in any of such cases. Personally, I dislike those people who offend others when the stronger can tease, hit or threaten the weaker.

At that moment I thought that such “bullying” incidents may happen only at schools. It is very important for a person to know that some people really care about him and prove it with actions.

I love people and when I pray before going to sleep I ask the God to help and keep my family, relatives and close friends healthy and happy. In class my sense of humor, attention to student’s health condition and mood, our common discussions, my Christmas gifts for them – all this expresses my attitude and love for them. Of course, not all people are ideal. I have had already problems, conflicts with the students who disliked me as a person and my methods of teaching. It was quite challenging for me, but I coped with it.

Group work, gatherings, taking pictures promotes the sense of belonging. One example, of belonging can be a students’ register. When a teacher remembers the names in the group or when a teacher checks the project properly instead of putting a check next to the student’s name.

Experiencing love and belonging begins from the 1st day at the university.

The issue of student’s self-esteem is rather controversial. For example, student’s self-esteem cannot be equal to their progress in class. They expect to get more than they deserve, so it takes time to explain to them the reason of giving them an unexpected grade and to give comments about their low level of knowledge. There are also students who can even jump happily if they are given satisfactory grades.

Expectations are different, but they must be realistic. Everything is learned in comparison.

In my opinion, praise for good work, answering the students’ questions, listening to their complaints and suggestions, giving them stimulus, motivating them with bonus tasks or creative projects raises the level of their self-esteem. Self-esteem is closely connected with self-confidence. Vulnerable students are easily hurt and, therefore, their self-esteem declines faster. A good teacher won’t offend a student, her/his personal interests, tastes and religious beliefs.

If a person is safe and sound, if he works and studies in a secure premise, is loved and knows where and why he belongs to the community, the members of which promote the raise of his self-esteem and self-confidence, the final destination can be the matter of self-actualization.

One Russian proverb says that a man should fulfill three things in his life: 1) to plant a tree; 2) to build a house; and 3) to bring a son up.

Apparently, we don’t require these points from our students. First of all, a student’s self-actualization concerns his\her private and academic life. The mission of our university sets a goal for the students and teachers themselves – to develop leaders capable of renewing their nation.

According to work experience there are two types of students: the first study for knowledge, the second study for diploma only. The first rely only on themselves, their skills and abilities, the latter think that their “poor” parents and good connections may help them find a profitable work place and succeed in life. Both have got and follow their goals, but only one is worth the candles. Need and work for knowledge is the most difficult but the most rewarding. Implied efforts make the fruits sweeter and tastier.

The result depends on the goal, the most vital thing here is to know exactly what you want to achieve. As I compared the teacher’s work with a burning candle, so I would like to conclude that my students’ feedback and work full of effort make my candle burn for a good purpose.

Any change, especially change in behavior, needs the time to develop, in my opinion. Since taking the Principles course my attitude to other people hasn’t changed completely. As I have always valued other people, maybe in some cases more than I value myself. How do we call it? Selflessness? Usually I show my appreciation of people in the following ways:

- Listening to a person in a dialogue;

- Reminding them of an important meeting at our department;

- Sending messages on special occasions and holidays;

- Consulting them on different academic, work and life matters;

- Buying and giving small presents to them (without expecting to receive something back, for example: pens, postcards, small notebooks, etc.);

To tell the truth, I seldom start telling myself not to think about others so much, but I cannot order myself as it is all about my upbringing and education. My parents and grandparents brought me up in this way. The Principles course helped me to notice such a thing: even if the person is not your friend or he/she is your enemy it doesn’t mean that I should hate or dislike him or her. Still I should respect this person just because he/she lives and plays his/her part.

There was one person that I didn’t really care about or notice before, but I have chosen her to respect and value now. We have studied together and now we work at one department. When we were students we were not close friends, she was a kind of nuisance for me: always asking questions, telling jokes I didn’t understand, etc. I didn’t really like her. She is a good hard-working girl, but I didn’t pay too much attention to it. After two years of study she got a scholarship to study abroad. Before the autumn of 2007 we hadn’t kept in touch.

Then we started to work together, and then she initiated the idea of our gatherings (together with other two girls) – a book club. We gather, discuss the book we read together and cook some simple meal or watch the video. She does find it really important. Our common work and meetings helped me to understand and accept her in the way she is. However, when she wants to crack a joke or to say something funny about me, I usually know how to respond.

People are born with good and bad features/traits of character. Due to many factors (e.g. family, background, surroundings, school, etc.) bad or good features may prevail in one’s personality. There are qualities I don’t like in people: very high self-esteem, pride, feeling of superiority, indifference to others and selfishness. These qualities are proved and shown in their attitude and behavior. Among my surroundings I have got the people with such qualities: former fellow students, colleagues, neighbors and so on.

Of course, it is impossible to be liked by everyone. We are all different and unique. At school I had some fellow students who disliked me (they even tried to fight with me one day, but nothing happened); at work there are people who don’t say “Hello!” and look at me as if I don’t exist; I had only good relationships only with the neighbors on my floor in a 9-storey building.

All these people live their lives; have got their own likes and dislikes, good and bad qualities. Respect is a feeling that is formed by the work of two people: one respects and another is respected, and the people one dislikes are not guilty in it. There is one funny research that concluded: “attitude” combines 100 % (if every letter of the alphabet is given a number – A= 1%, B= 2%, etc.). Maybe, one of the simplest things, first of all, is to change your attitude, change your angle of vision and see something new.

One day I read such a note on the information board at the hospital where my mother works: “While burning and dying I give light to others”. Near the note, there was a picture of a burning candle. The statement referred to the doctor’s profession, but, I think, it can also imply teacher’s one, one of the leaders activity – to show the way and lead to the goal.

If you don’t mind I’d like to give examples of my very work. As for safety and security, I work in a building that protects me and my students from nasty weather and keeps warmth inside. Well – lighted rooms with big windows and comfortable chairs promote decent education. I have already mentioned I have got two groups where I am an adviser. I usually keep in mind where my students are, what classes they attend, where they go if they warn of their absence. While they are on my class, I am responsible for them, especially their safe healthy condition. Before the class start on the 1st of September I put down or renew their telephone numbers and other contact information.

I remember one case when one of my students was threatened and bullied by other two senior students. I heard their conversation in the corridor. I went out of the room and they went away at once. I asked my student what they had told her. She had no idea what they wanted from her. The next day I spoke with the whole group and explained them my wish to help or consult in any of such cases. Personally, I dislike those people who offend others when the stronger can tease, hit or threaten the weaker. At that moment I thought that such “bullying” incidents may happen only at schools. It is very important for a person to know that some people really care about him and prove it with actions. I love people and when I pray before going to sleep I ask the God to help and keep my family, relatives and close friends healthy and happy. In class my sense of humor, attention to student’s health condition and mood, our common discussions, my Christmas gifts for them – all this expresses my attitude and love for them. Of course, not all people are ideal. I have had already problems, conflicts with the students who disliked me as a person and my methods of teaching. It was quite challenging for me, but I coped with it.

Group work, gatherings, taking pictures promotes the sense of belonging. One example, of belonging can be a students’ register. When a teacher remembers the names in the group or when a teacher checks the project properly instead of putting a check next to the student’s name.

Experiencing love and belonging begins from the 1st day at the university.

The issue of student’s self-esteem is rather controversial. For example, student’s self-esteem cannot be equal to their progress in class. They expect to get more than they deserve, so it takes time to explain to them the reason of giving them an unexpected grade and to give comments about their low level of knowledge. There are also students who can even jump happily if they are given satisfactory grades.

Expectations are different, but they must be realistic. Everything is learned in comparison. In my opinion, praise for good work, answering the students’ questions, listening to their complaints and suggestions, giving them stimulus, motivating them with bonus tasks or creative projects raises the level of their self-esteem. Self-esteem is closely connected with self-confidence. Vulnerable students are easily hurt and, therefore, their self-esteem declines faster. A good teacher won’t offend a student, her/his personal interests, tastes and religious beliefs.

If a person is safe and sound, if he works and studies in a secure premise, is loved and knows where and why he belongs to the community, the members of which promote the raise of his self-esteem and self-confidence, the final destination can be the matter of self-actualization.

One Russian proverb says that a man should fulfill three things in his life: 1) to plant a tree; 2) to build a house; and 3) to bring a son up. Apparently, we don’t require these points from our students. First of all, a student’s self-actualization concerns his\her private and academic life. The mission of our university sets a goal for the students and teachers themselves – to develop leaders capable of renewing their nation.

According to work experience there are two types of students: the first study for knowledge, the second study for diploma only. The first rely only on themselves, their skills and abilities, the latter think that their “poor” parents and good connections may help them find a profitable work place and succeed in life. Both have got and follow their goals, but only one is worth the candles. Need and work for knowledge is the most difficult but the most rewarding. Implied efforts make the fruits sweeter and tastier.

The result depends on the goal, the most vital thing here is to know exactly what you want to achieve. As I compared the teacher’s work with a burning candle, so I would like to conclude that my students’ feedback and work full of effort make my candle burn for a good purpose.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

1. Academic Leader, Magna Publications, Madison, Wisc. Phone (800) 433-0499.

2. Conway, John B. On Being a Department Head: A Personal View, American Mathematical Society, 1996.

3. Eble, Kenneth E. The Art of Administration, Jossey-Bass, 1978.

4. Hecht, Irene W. D., Higgerson, Mary Lou, Gmelch, Walter H., and Tucker, Allan. The Department Chair As Academic Leader, Oryx Press, 1999.

5. Higgerson, Mary Lou. Communication Skills for Department Chairs, Anker Publishing, 1996.



К содержанию номера журнала: Вестник КАСУ №1 - 2012


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