Swimming in an ocean of thoughts.....

Ask me no questions and i shall tell you no lies :)

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Teaching tips and views ~ Classroom teaching

Teaching.....a profession that deals with successful knowledge transition from a teacher to a student....well, that's how we all know it, isn't it? Teaching has always been a noble profession for years and today it is a profession tinged with aristocracy. And it is transforming itself absolutely into a business oriented profession steadily.

If we take a ride into the past, teaching was a knowledge sharing procedure which commenced with Gurukuls, where the transition was purely oral and practice related and where the students were a limited crowd. The Gurus then, taught Vedas and much more, orally. Then came the system of taking and making notes. To preserve the teachings, some disciples who later became Gurus transformed this procedure into teaching and preserving the knowledge, by cataloging them as pamphlets. With time, as the world progressed, so did it shrink. Today, everything remains the same in the superficial sense. However, in retrospect things have changed, rather have changed a lot.

Those days in school, we used to take down notes during lectures. There was not that much of force to study for marks, but for knowledge. Also teachers taught us, the aim of studying is to learn correctly and retain knowledge to apply it wherever required. However, in higher classes, that knowledge as a term was reduced to a misnomer. Today students no longer study for knowledge, but for marks that could later get them into a good college and later pave their way to a lucrative career or a post graduation degree abroad. Amidst all this, I wonder whatever happened to teaching, to be more precise, classroom teaching? Adding to that, Internet has slowly started taking over the student psychology and is a rising threat to a class room teacher. In years to come, I don’t think there will be any concept of class rooms, let alone the concept of changing curriculum prevail.....

So why is class room teaching important? What is the role of a teacher in the changing curriculum? Where does the actual problem lie? To start with, there is a loophole our education system which is not visible in the present, let alone in future. I would like to voice my opinions on the same.

  • First, the concept of studying for marks should be replaced with the concept of earning by earning. More importance must be given to the concept of "Thirst for knowledge" than "Greed for marks"
  • Classrooms need to be more interactive involving every student, irrespective of where he/she sits. It is not important to know whether a student has done his homework or not. In this world of CUT /COPY/PASTE, completing homework is not a difficult task. It is rather important for the teacher to understand whether the knowledge transition from the teacher’s head to the student’s head has been successful or not. To know better, there need to be sudden revision tests (both written and oral) inside the classroom itself to check the pro activeness of every student.
  • The teacher must be capable of accepting all students in the same stride. It is very important to remember, no child is weak and no child is more intelligent than the other. Remember, every child is unique and covets a hidden talent. The challenge for a teacher is NOT in making a bright student getting a higher rank but in how to get the best out of a not-so-bright student.
  • To avoid students getting attracted to internet, students must be involved more in small time academic projects that demand team work. It is important for every student to realize that only team work can get the best out of him/her, no matter what! Internet as a ruling alternative to teaching, is an undisputed competition of knowledge transitioning, but it deprives the child of his/her friends and later can make him quite insensitive to the world around and also numb to difference of opinions that would arise eventually. It is definitely not a healthy growth for a child. The teacher in the classroom can encourage a group of students to search a topic (each student one topic) on internet and can ask them to share their research and views in the classroom. This can be done on a regular basis (once a week usually on Fridays)
  • Innovation is a very important concept in today’s world and this alone can stop the death of classroom teaching and rising unpopularity of a class teacher. Innovation means what? Novelty, being indigenous, originality! Yes! The fire of novelty should burn within every child. This is the sole responsibility of a teacher to ignite that spark because a teacher alone can do it!
  • Usually a classroom teaching goes on for an hour, of which I would suggest the last 15 mins must be kept aside for conducting a quiz to check the alertness of every student. It is very natural for a student to get bored after 30 mins. So this must be an experience, rather a rewarding experience for him/her with some extra gift or something. The interest must be inculcated in them. And quizes should be periodically awarded with appreciation at the right instant which can do wonders by turning around a dull brain into an amazingly intelligent one!
  • And it is the duty of a class teacher to make sure that every student realizes that no subject is after all hard and every subject is damm interesting. A student must feel attracted to the subject and that is possible only if the teacher delivers the lecture in a lucid manner, illustrating as many examples as possible. Teaching should be such that the student need not open his book at home only to study out of compulsion! Rather a student must study out of impulsion. Isn't it?
  • The most important thumb rule for a classroom teacher is "Drive the knowledge into the student by the force of curiosity and not by the force of marks". Make him ask you questions. The more a student questions, the more the teacher learns and more is the teacher successful in building the student's quest for knowledge. And the more a teacher works hard towards quenching the student’s thirst for knowledge, the more intriguing the subject becomes, thereby adding to the satisfaction of the teacher and the student.
Teaching, especially classroom teaching is a novelty in itself. So to strive towards a better classroom with changing curriculum with a vibrant student crowd, there needs to be a change, a drastic change for the better, so that students emerge as talents waiting to bloom! And when one talks about competition, it is imperative, thought it should not turn a student into a rat! Isn't it? Happy teaching...!!



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