In celebration of Teacher’s Day on 16 May, University of Nottingham Malaysia (UNM) showed its appreciation to all educators through Distanced and Digital: A 21st Century Education Showcase held from 26 to 28 April.
Rustam Babayev, says that in his native Azerbaijan, teaching is considered as an honorable profession with lots of physical and mental effort, but considerably little monetary reward.
This was part of his sharing during the Distanced and Digital: A 21st Century Education Showcase which was organised by the School of Education at UNM.
However, he put aside the monetary aspect of the job and went on ahead to pursue teaching because he believes that the profession creates room for him to constantly improve. Also, he believes that educators can make an impact, however small, in the world and make it a better place.
“Teaching keeps you fresh and updated towards new trends as you are in constant contact with new people,” Babayev added.
Babayev, who graduated with a Master of Arts (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) in 2017, said he chose to pursue his master’s degree in UNM because the selected core and elective taught modules as well as the research-based structure enabled him to gain the necessary skills and knowledge a teacher requires in order to be a professional in teaching and classroom research.
Educators play an important role in enhancing the students’ learning experience and also encourage them to excel in their studies. For Babayev, the teaching profession combines not only theoretical and subject-related knowledge but also a number of cognitive and psychological skills.
And as an educator, Babayev believes he is responsible for his students’ motivation. “I carefully identify their learning moods and try to provide them with mental support.”
As with any profession, being a teacher is not without its challenges. For Babayev the toughest challenge for him is communicating with the parents of his students.
“Many parents tend to think they are knowledgeable enough to judge and make decisions on education-related issues. Therefore, as a teacher, I have to clarify and support my every step with additional and sometimes unnecessary information. This, of course, adds to my daily duties,” he shared.
According to Dr Michael David Hall from UNM School of Education, “In the advent of COVID-19, many teachers struggled heavily with adapting their assessments for an online format, and many more students found it hard to concentrate on classwork with the everyday distractions of home.
“Therefore many teachers approach their lessons online and have enlightened many students to other avenues of education. The teachers and students at UNM School of Education rose above to meet these challenges one by one and even received positive feedback from students,” Dr Hall said.
Babayev concurred that in spite of all the challenges, he constantly received comments from former students on how his advice has had a great impact on their lives. Some of them have even considered it as a turning point of their lives
This has made him realise how precious a teaching career can be and how careful teachers should be in every communication with their students.
These were some of topics that were discussed by the attendees at the Distanced and Digital - A 21st Century Education Showcase.
“One of the ways the School of Education adapted towards the new norm of virtual learning, is by organising our annual Education Showcase online. It is an initiative carried out by the School of Education to unite current and future educators in exploring 21st-century learning and education,” Dr Hall explained.
It was also during the showcase that the school paid tribute to its former Head of School, the late Professor Ganakumaran Subramanian, who passed away on 18 February.
“As educators, we are tasked with shaping society and the leaders of the future and this past few months has been extremely challenging as we jointly weathered the storm of COVID-19 to ensure that students receive the support they needed,” said Professor Sam Kingman, Interim Provost and CEO of UNM.
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage, consistently ranked among the world's top 100. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our 44,000 students - Nottingham was named both Sports and International University of the Year in the 2019 Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, was awarded gold in the TEF 2017 and features in the top 20 of all three major UK rankings. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to REF 2014. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally.
Posted on 11th May 2021