“So long as we learn it doesn’t matter who teaches us, does it?” ~ E.R. Braithwaite, To Sir, With Love
To Sir, With Love should be a must read for all teachers! The reason is not because it attempts to teach you something new; but it shows you how the skills you have been trained for can be put to use.
When you enter your class, do you find your kids looking forward to meet you? If the answer is yes, you are probably doing it right! But, if the answer is no, then you need to find out why?
A teacher is like a bank with unlimited resources in terms of knowledge and skills. If you put them to use, you might get ultimate positive results.
When you enter your classroom, is teaching kids and going back home just a duty or a way of living. When you ask yourself this question, you may know if your approach is correct or not. For a teacher, every student is supposed to be important. If there is a single unmotivated student, who is sleeping peacefully in the classroom, instead of getting angry on that student, you should find out why they are unmotivated or do not want to attend your classes.
Like in a corporate, your skills or training don’t get you anywhere. It is how you approach the problem and tackle it that makes you a good teacher.
What did Ricky Braithwaite of To Sir with Love do different that you can adapt in your teaching career to motivate kids? He involved the students, and took teaching beyond the confined surroundings of a classroom.
Your classroom is where you need to hit nails with trial and error approaches. Being strict with students may not work all the while. You will need to figure out ways to include them in the learning process. You will need to find out ways in which they can be motivated to learn a dull and boring subject. The teacher is the author of their own classroom, and he gets to maneuver the direction of learning within or outside the classroom.
I wasn’t the best student in the class neither did I ever wanted to be the best student in the class, I would fall asleep sitting on the last bench of the classroom more often then i recall being awake in few of my classes. But on the contrary I would not want to miss few of my classes ever. For example my communications class when out teacher would randomly pick students and ask them to give a speech on a random topic. We all made fools out of our self standing there giving the most random speech which would seem like a horrible experiences to most, but she involved us and students would never miss her class, she was hilarious. One of my advance math’s course, teacher would sit with us on the floor of the classroom in a circle and do Q&A about the upcoming exams. Who takes such good care in what their students do in exams after all, most parents fail to do this with this kids, teachers would be a long shot. The difference was the teaching techniques. Most teachers fail to evolve students in classroom activities.
I visit numerous Colleges across Developing countries and the major difference or the barrier i see in skilled teaching is the process to involve students in classroom activities. A teacher having same tone and monotonous teaching attitude in classroom is more than likely to boar students to sleep. Ever trying putting your feet in their shoes?
If your kids are sleeping, instead of taking strict action against the student, try finding a way to indulge them in different activities. Bring inclusive nature of studying to your classroom such that students feel motivated and engaged.