Monday, 11 April 2016

Students-Teachers..Roles reversed!

Dear Diary,

During my teaching practises this term,as always, students have taught me a new lesson.Of course one tends to learn new things about one 's self and students.

However the lesson my students taught me this term was sent to me through different messages at different times.The message/lesson is "WE ,students, understand a great deal about your teaching practises and approaches , more than you ,our teacher, could ever imagine.

Now let me share with you some of these situations that made me realise that we,teachers, need to consider the way we address and perhaps teach our students.

Situation 1: I missed 2 classes and my stand-by teacher covered for me a lesson where he taught passive but with No handout or PPT.The following conversation took place between myself and Abdulrahman, a 19 -year -old pre-intermediate English student.

Abdulrahaman: Miss,where is the PPT for the passive lesson?
Me: What PPT ,I did not teach that lesson. The standby teacher did
Abdulrahman:yes, but we want the PPT for the passive to study on our own.You do have a PPT                                   miss,don't you?
Me: Yes(with a look of you caught me on my face).

He seems to understand my astonishment and so he says " The PPT is the lesson.It is the part we learn"

Well, with these simple words my students simply summarised an article that I happen to read days before that conversation.The main idea presented is that
 " The part we provide explanation of the lesson ,our TTT, is the main reason why our students come to our classes in the first place.".

Situation 2: A students was complementing one of his teachers about the marvellous job she has done with them.But the teacher did not want to take all the credit ,so she mentioned another teacher.The conversation went like that (as narrated by the teacher herself)

Student: Thank you miss for you efforts.You are the best
Teacher: You are welcome.But Miss X is also a good teacher.
Student: Yes,she knows how to make people do most of the work.

That is a case where a student is able to identify the teacher who knows how to raise learner autonomy with a student-centred classroom; that is he meant a Miss X.

Situation 3A teacher was having a formal observation,but of course she did not mention that to her students.After the observer left,the following conversation took place:

Students: See Miss, we were nice to you in front of him (the observer)
Teacher: But you are supposed to be polite all the time.
Students: Yes, but we could have refused to answer you in front of him.

This is definitely a case when students feel they have the upper hand and know a great deal about classroom management and misusing that knowledge.

Situation 4This one happened to me today.After a pair work of a first draft writing a review of a film one of the students who usually does not seem interested in participating.He keeps harassing his partner and then crumbed the draft and wants to throw it away ;even though I specifically asked them to keep it to re-write it again as homework.I call him after the class and have this little talk with him

Me:Why do you always seem distracted and not exerting enough effort to learn.Won't you need                 English someday for a better job opportunity.
Student: yes,but I plan to go to the AUC/BC to take course.Teachers here do not understand my problems in pronunciation and listening.
Me: Maybe that happened because you never talked to them about your needs

Is not that a classic scenario of a student who understands his needs but does not bother with communicating.He may have tried once but perhaps a teacher never communicated back.

In any case,the above mentioned examples indicates an awareness of the teaching practises that can be directed into a better and a mutual understanding of a better educational environment.We could perhaps start

  • Share our teaching goals and agenda with our students for their review and comments
  • Ask our students for guidance for what they need and expect.
  • Be honest and open about our need to communicate more openly with our students
  • Share reasons of why are we using certain approach and explain a bit about its concept.
  • watch for the signals: The boredom,The keenness , the group interactions.
  • Set classroom expected behaviour and the necessary functional language.

1 comment:

  1. Really it’s an interesting for crazy teacher like me
    Because I mostly prefer English as a fun.