Teaching has never been an easy task to accomplish as it combines theoretical knowledge with personal expertise. It requires teachers to expect less out of their learners yet exhaust all options learnt. It is a mindful practice as well as intuitive. Teaching is an act of guidance, leading rather than correctness and discipline.

Many of us may experience negative teaching experiences, maybe having trouble dealing with learners with disruptive behaviour, or simply, undeliberately, escalate an unworthy situation that could lead to physical confrontation; these experiences result in great frustration on the side of the practitioner. As a consequence, it reduces teachers’ job satisfaction and self-efficacy (Langdon 1996). This kind of stress the teacher suffers invites him/her to reconsider their choice to leave the profession (Friedman 1995; Kokkinos 2007).

This existential anxiety as Heron (1989:33) used to say, describes how students feel inside schools and classrooms and this doesn’t only apply to young learners but to all human beings, including teachers. We need to question our existence inside classrooms, to check out students’ beliefs and perceptions of who the teacher is, and who we are to them.

Both self-perception and reflexive teaching help to path the way into a safe classroom environment in which both teachers and learners are free of stress and anxiety, as well as promoting effective classroom dynamics. Meaning, all that happens inside the classroom and between participants (Hadfield 1992).


Perception (Perceptio, in Latin) is the key word to effective teaching; we need to be clear about the standards we set for how we perceive ourselves as teachers, our relationship with our students, the learner’s behaviour, and more importantly, how children perceive us. These standards are crucial to build a safe line of communication, creating a positive learning environment and an air in which children are valued and noticed not for simply being in the classroom along with the teachers. To understand or at least have a clue about the reasons behind students’ behaviour, think about your own. One way to do so is through visualisation. Visualize how you are thought of and seen as a teacher. Try to see your facial expressions during the session and your posture, and take note of it.

Reflective practice:

Many educators perceive noise inside the classroom as a sign of weak performance, lack of competence and irresponsibility toward students. They think a good teacher is the one who controls his classroom and that the only sound you should hear is the buzz of a fly, a perfectly military system. But what if noise inside the classroom is perceived as positive and healthy? That should reset the standard for what makes a good teaching practice at least in our unprivileged schools. Why don’t we perceive noise as a positive inside classroom? Why not distinguish between “positive noise” and “negative noise”? These questions and other examples push us to rethink our practice and the beliefs that shape it. We master the craft of teaching once we start to notice details of our teaching performance and record it using note-taking techniques. Whether we are inside the classroom or outside, we, as educators, need to have a moment to contemplate our practice and performance.