Preparing the Highly Qualified Teachers our Children Deserve

In this article the authors hope to improve the quality of teacher preparation programs. They are trying to answer four primary questions: What do the teachers need to know? How can teachers acquire the knowledge they need? What should teacher preparation program include? What policies should be implemented to enhance the quality of teacher education?

Reading this article, I remembered my first years on my job back in 2001. The early years of teaching were very memorable to me throughout my entire career. I have really changed a lot in the following years. However, it was a tiresome experience for me. I was no longer a student teacher in someone's class but a teacher on my own. Everything was new to me and many questions came to my mind: What should I do at the first day? Who are my students? Are the textbooks good for the students? What is the principle and my colleagues like? What are the available aids in my class? In my first year I was thinking a lot of leaving the job. In fact, teaching is not an easy task at all. As a new teacher, I was a newcomer to an exotic school community. I had to know everything about the students, working conditions, curriculum, instructions, school staff and assessment. Furthermore, I had to work with parents and I became really overwhelmed. I knew that everything would influence the quality of my teaching, so that's why I worked hard to reach my full potential. 

After teaching for ten years I am really satisfied with the experience I gained. A lot of things helped me in developing a successful career. Firstly, I had very nice collogues who provided me with emotional support. I learnt a lot of valuable things from my senior teacher and other experienced colleagues. They taught me how to turn my knowledge of teaching into a practical application for my students in class. I also attended many workshops and model lessons in my school and other schools in Kuwait. We discussed many issues about curriculum implementation, teaching technologies, educational regulations and problems of teaching and learning.

I would never forget the big challenge I have once faced. It was based on the idea that a new teacher is fully prepared to teaching right after graduation. Thus the learning needs of the new teachers are generally treated as signs of deficiency. The  new teachers are expected to be ready to teach any classes with any syllabus. In fact the new teachers usually have learning needs that would be recognized in the teaching context. So an important question should be asked: What exactly do new teachers need to learn? What are the things that they couldn't learn in advance? I believe that Education is the essential foundation of a developed society. So the quality of education is very important in terms of society.The recognition of the teaching job should be promoted. Moreover, more teacher training programs at bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate level should be created. The practice of reflection and research by teachers and educators should be encouraged.

One of the best ways to achieve this is improving teacher preparation programs in order to get highly qualified teachers. Teachers are expected to be knowledgeable in the subjects they teach and proficient in pedagogics to be able to help the students to uncover and develop their full potential. Therefore, it's vital important that our teacher preparation programs have the guaranteed high quality. From my point of view, these programs should help teachers in acquiring new teaching skills, which are required due to the changes in education in particular and in society in general. These programs must ensure that learner’s specific needs and interests are fully considered and new technological tools are used. They should also focus on the idea that students eventually become autonomous lifelong learners. To conclude, it's absolutely right that "anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young".

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