At the Peak of Egoism

I have always believed that teaching is learning. With this in mind, I have always seen every challenge as a new opportunity to revise myself and build upon what I already have.

There have been and still are those doing their best to discourage me or degrade the value of that I have tried to achieve; however, I have not given up-at least so far, and I hope I will not get off the track.

As a display of my love for discoveries, I volunteered for the idea of recording a lesson. I knew I would be the one to help myself to provide feedback on my own teaching, so I was not sure if I could be honest to myself. Yet, I am more honest than I even imagined I could be.

Then how was I?

Honestly speaking-maybe I should say “writing”, I was more concerned with my teaching than my students’ learning. Yes, I was teaching, and the students were participating, but something was missing.

When I saw the lesson I had recorded on the camera, I realized that I was no more different than a showman playing to the camera trying to keep the audience happy. Did I manage that? Certainly I did.

Although students made mistakes, I did not correct them directly-this led to the same mistake made by several other students; I helped them too much with the tasks that they felt too comfortable, so they did not feel the need to reveal their full potential to achieve what was expected of them.

Moreover, my students never made full sentences. I should have encouraged them to do so, yet I was not courageous enough to provide them with such an opportunity. I was so focused on my own self that I ignored their needs. They needed to produce, but I helped them to take it all more easily instead of pushing them forward.

Asking myself about the reason for this, I can tell that I did not want anything to be ruined. I was on camera and Tony Gurr was there; I simply wished to prove my talent. I understand better at this very moment that a talented teacher is the one who leads learners to discovering their talents and using them to attain goals.

I must confess that I was more like a salesperson in an effort to sell any one product to potential buyers. Strangely I was good at that and I saw I managed to sell the product. Nevertheless, the buyers were not sure about what they had bought.

Seeing all that I felt uncomfortable-a feeling of dismay engulfed me. I began to question my approach to teaching, and even asks myself how I considered teaching to be. My first impression was not really good, so I felt rather depressed, and happened to assume that I was not improving-I was only drifting in abyss.

Despite all the negativity going through my mind, my wake-up call came from Tony. He asked me what I could do to bring into my teaching that my students were deprived of for the lesson recorded. When I came up with solutions, he led me to realize that I was aware of both the problem and solution, and that I was not a hopeless case.

Then what was the solution? I am not going to write about it in this post. Instead, I am going to put into practice my new plan, and reflect upon it after the lesson. This way I will have a better chance to observe a change in my own progress and be a teacher to myself.

All in all, I witnessed a different me as a result of my recorded session, and that “me” was too selfish. Now, I am aware of what I can do to change myself for better so that I could allow my students to discover themselves as I do through reflecting and sharing. I would also like to thank Tony for not giving up on me and guiding me in this journey of self-realization.


15 responses to “At the Peak of Egoism

    • Thank you again for sparing time for my reflections Gözde 🙂 Now I’m on Twitter and Linked-in as well. If you wish, you can follow me (Guven Cagdas)on twitter and (Guven Cagdas Gundogdu)on Linked-in, too. And why don’t you get a blog yourself and I read your reflections at the same time? 🙂

      I wish you the very best.

  1. Çağdaş,

    You are my “hero” of the day – probably the week! This reflective write-up really “moved” me – I know we talked about your feelings after you had viewed the recording but seeing it in black and white really brought it home.

    I wish others could “deconstruct” their lessons and their “role” in this manner – and “construct” the kind of improved lesson you came up with. The world of education would be a far better place if we all did this more often 😉 I kid you not…

    Thank you for sharing this very personal story – and for showing how much we can LEARN by taking our (very, very critical) “job” more seriously (as well as not giving up – even when things get tough) 😉

    Can’t wait to hear how the next stage goes…we want more like this 😉

    Take care,


    • Tony,
      You are one of the few people who understand me even when I feel gloomy-I must say I find the encouragement I seek in your invaluable guidance.
      Thank you for everything,

  2. Thanks for sharing your feelings openly Çağdaş 🙂
    I’m sure many teachers are really “selfish” in the class, but are not ware of that. Or they are aware of it but does nothing, or just don’t know how to “change”.
    I admire your effort in trying to reflect on whatever you do “to learn” and will be supporting you any time you you wish..
    Looking forward to the reading follow up plans and reflections..

    “together for better” 🙂

  3. That was really astonishing. Actually, I did the same and it was the first time I watch myself teaching and I found my self doing things that were not in my plan. So, It was really helpful since I knew my mistakes and I could find other ways to solve them. Yet, you have to be humble and to admit that you commit mistakes because once we accept we make mistakes, ww can go beyond them.

    Thanks my friend for

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