The other day I was meeting a good teacher friend of mine, after almost a year to discuss a few points on our new venture eShikshaChaupal a free online community for teachers which got launched in June this year. During discussion we just digressed a bit and she started off with the same old cliched statement,”Today’s students are different! They don’t know how to behave in school. They are rude and disrespectful. Worst is they love to give back answers to whatever you say to them.” Well that’s where I interrupted her and said, “This is the story of every generation, what’s new in this.”
I remember, in my middle school I had these three teachers who were nearing their retirement but left a deep impact on my formative years. Well! They were different not for what they taught but what left a mark on me was how they taught in the class.Their was something different about their teaching styles… I would love to describe it like the fragrance of Musk deer, which with time going by is having more stronger impact on my thinking. Somewhere they subtly ingrained the values of how to lead a positive life with their teaching styles.
Today when I reflect on what was different about them, I realize that they just followed one principle- they did not accuse us of being impatient and aggressive or being snobbish, but they beautifully took the onus on themselves bcoz we were learning from them. They believed that they were under students constant vigil and so they had to behave themselves… They truly believed that ‘values can’t be taught but had to be caught‘… Their objective was to create an environment where we as students could catch them…
My father had got posted to Delhi in mid session and was adamant that we two sisters went to particular convent school only. So he made us sit at home for more than a month before the Principal of that school allowed us to take admission test. Like all families there’s a black sheep & in our family its me. My younger sister scores were brilliant ,so Principal was super happy to have her in, well for everyone the cause of worry was me… even the Principal was a little skeptical in taking me in, but as luck would have it, I did exceptionally well in Maths (well much beyond my own expectations, I would be honest about that, I suppose that was the last time ever I did so well in any Maths paper thereafter). Probably those numbers in Maths blinded the Principal with umpteen happiness as if she had found a Kohinoor heera and she completely ignored the super low marks in the language papers. She just said with a smile,”I suppose languages can be worked upon in the coming years thus I will admit both the girls in the school.”
One month after admission, came the half yearly exams. I did well in all subjects, well thats what I thought!
Then came Hindi paper results, every one was scared bcoz we were told only few kids had passed in Hindi. I was confident that I had failed, and went slowly over with a grim face to take my Hindi Paper from Mrs Kapoor, while handing over my paper, she slowly uttered, “Thank God, you have at least made some progress in one month, there is some hope from you that you will improve in future. Well you have got one more marks than the last month- 27/100. Next time I hope you will cross the 40 mark”. That walk from her desk to my chair was one of the longest moments in my life… It was a weird feeling.. I was feeling sad, bcoz I had flunked in Hindi again within a month, but then I was feeling hopeful because she had motivated me to work towards improving the future. It was definitely an uphill task for me but with her constant guidance in the classroom she made sure I was able to imbibe the beautiful value of not getting disheartened from my failures but pick up the loose ends of life and move on to reach the goal in the mind…
Well that’s the objective of the teacher, to make the students learn these values of life through academics. If a teacher is able to do that, then student will not rebel but will respect all his life.
Wishing you all a very happy teachers day! 🙂
Keeping in mind users requirements we are starting with a series of post on various pedagogic approaches that are in practice around the world.For example: Concept mapping, Mind mapping, Value based learning, Inquiry Based Learning to name a few. The post will be released every Friday in the Chaupal Buzz and we look forward to your participation and feedback on the same.
Structure of the post will be loosely based around:
a) What is the concept all about?
b) Why do we need to follow it in everyday classroom teaching?
c) How can we use it in our lesson planning or teaching methodology to improve the classroom experience of the student?
d) Some exercises or puzzles to solve around the same.
Since its not easy to answer these questions in one post therefore, we intend to focus on one topic a month.We look forward to your active participation and responses. You can type your comments in Hindi and English in the community.
It might not be possible for you to login everyday and the post might get lost in deluge of other posts being posted by users therefore request you to mark the post as ‘favorite’ for your future read and be able to keep a track of the same.
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Look forward to an interesting journey aboard eShikshaChaupal with all of you!
With Best Wishes
Smart classes are a norm now and there is nothing left to boast about them either. They came in the early years of the last decade and are still making inroads into the 1.5 million schools operating in India.
I am glad, I was out of school by then when they struck, as I am not in favor of them invading the blackboards. Reason being simple.
Why are they called smart classes in the first place- just because they are run on computer and have every content on digital media… So how does it make them smart.. Aren’t they the new version of idiot box , this time installed in classroom.
They completely kill the objective of teaching the kid… b’coz its one side interaction… earlier it as just the teacher yapping away all the information she had, now its the so called smart board that does the yapping of the content….
They are worse than the teachers b’coz here the content which is playing does your part of thinking too by placing the questions and then giving the answers…
- If the video which is playing for three to five mins explains the concept then why does the teacher need 40 mins for the class…
- Secondly, if video ends up asking all the questions which the teacher is supposed to ask during that 40 mins class then why is she needed in the class itself…
- Lastly, the answers which are to be given by the students to the questions that are asked by the teacher or in the video, have to be given by the video or the content in the smart class then,
I think then we can completely abolish schools and just keep the exams for the children to come and clear the various levels of learning…
I think then we can completely abolish schools and just keep the exams for the children to come and clear the various levels of learning…(well that too can happen.. and I suppose will eventually happen, with the augment of technology in every sphere of our lives, will write about this idea in another blog ) but until it happens, we need to find a way where we can use smart classes and teachers in a symbiotic role… smart classes should not make us dumb but help the student understand the concept with the visual aid available to them.
- A smart content should provoke questions in the mind of the student and not blurt out information directly.
- It should be an aid to the teacher and not make the teacher student classroom interaction redundant.
If we do not resolve the problem highlighted then I suppose our goal of developing Higher Order Thinking Skills or following any modern pedagogic method which talks about developing HOTS will fail miserably in achieving its goal.
Originally posted in http://explearningvianature.blogspot.in/2017/07/why-i-feel-smart-classes-are-not-that.html by Surekha Waldia