Question: How can a person know that he is ready to be a teacher, and are there classes for this?
Answer: First of all, a person must have a disposition to teach, meaning not to lecture (every person can do this egoistically), but to explain, to observe how the student works and whether he accepts the teacher’s opinion. A teacher also needs to possess the ability to learn from the students, adapt and explain according to the changes.
I do not think that every person is capable of doing this; however, there are many areas in education. Some people do not like to speak and explain things, but suddenly prove themselves as good practical leaders. They play with the children, organize groups, and take them on field trips.
Our education is different in the way that we, primarily, want to teach the children about life. We show them museums, factories, and hospitals, although this, of course, depends on their age. They become acquainted with the operations of an airport, railway station, and bank. We make plans with the managers of a facility ahead of time, and when the children arrive, they are explained the production process.
We explain to them where they are going to ahead of time. Once the children return, they sit together in a circle and discuss the things they understood, how a certain mechanism operates and its purpose, and so on. We want them to know everything about life: how restaurants, hospitals, factories, and zoos operate. They take notes during the field trip, and then they write an essay and discuss it together with their teachers. This expands their world view.
We do many things within the framework of mutual agreement. When someone gets in a fight, argues, or has a misunderstanding, this is discussed among everyone. Sometimes we even have a mock trial: We assign children to be the judge, the attorney, the jury, the witnesses, and the audience. Roles change next time around.
This way every child learns to see himself or herself through the eyes of others: how a judge, the prosecutor, the audience, and others see him or her. A child begins to develop and see a wider world than his narrow view.
There are other examples, but the key element is to have a discussion in a circle. There is no such thing that children sit in class and look at the teacher: Everyone is equal in a circle, including the teachers.
The teacher lowers himself to the common level and remains among the children, without standing out. He manages them in such an unnoticeable way that they do not perceive it. And we teach them to be responsible: judge, defend, accuse. Children have an enormous ability to absorb, and we must use it.
Any person able to teach or manage a group, prepare material, or develop the method can be a teacher. We need different professionals to work with children, both boys and girls. Usually, they study separately, but sometimes we combine them.
From Lesson 6, WE! Convention 4/3/2011