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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Being Alive in the Classroom

As a student I never thought how my body language, my facial expression and my participation in the classroom would dictate my teacher's enthusiasm in teaching me and my friends. May be it was because the teaching then was only about the teacher. The students had to simply listen.

I sometimes wonder how I would have been if my teachers had involved me in the learning. I was always a quiet boy in the class. Even when I knew the answer I would muffle my desire to speak out.

But as a teacher I cannot stand zombies in my classroom; there are few in every class. Their dreamy eyes droop like rich poppies, heads are supported in their cupped palms, loosely sit in their stiff wooden chairs and I can always tell who smells dead in my class.

It is sometimes interesting to have zombies in the class because they give you the excuse to stop for a while and talk about things other than the textbook. Everything is interesting but the text. But the teaching must go on.

So:

1. Attention on the particular student (primary)
2. Call them by their names (by their full names)
3. Ask questions (textbook help)
4. Questions that are not from the textbook can be more efficient sometimes; are you ok?/sick?hungry?/sleepy?/tired?...
5. Ask them to do something for you (makes them feel useful) and thank them
6. Crack a joke (always a good involver) if you can't ask a student to volunteer
7. Involve them: group task/whole class
8. Take a break



11 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. One dangerous way is to be a strict teacher...it keeps everyone attentive out of fear...lol

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    1. It's good to see you again. I read your post but couldn't figure how to comment.

      About fear I totally agree with you, I am very poor in Dzongkha and I partially blame my Dzongkha teachers for that.
      Thank you for reading.

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  3. All good points norbu sir!
    I had silently wanted to be a teacher yet the fate has taken me and i know i can never be one now. But i do appreciate teaching and applaud our wonderful teachers!

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    1. Thank you Tshewang, thank you for the appreciation and the label. It motivates.

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  4. sir,
    Sometimes it's good to engage students with cheap talks, news, sports news and gossips in between lectures. I was always of a opinion same to sogyel, involvement of dangerous and strict teacher, but then, it only brings fear. i have come through as a student and many a times zombie in me reduced or got lesser when teacher indulges us with sports and football news...it actually helped me in refreshing..try it with your zombies as well..lol

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    1. I definitely agree with you. I will do my best.
      Thank you Pema.

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  5. Nice points, Nobu sir. Yeah, trying to figure out something that interests an idle student in your class and talking about it for some minutes will make him active, as Pema Wangyel said. Nice to see your update. I think there is a typo. Quiet* Please look into it. Have a nice day!

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    1. Thank you Langa. You are always there to comment and it keeps me going.
      Thanks for pointing out the typo, spelling and I have never been good friends. Hahaha

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  6. Interesting Tips for future teachers eh and I am totally into it.
    Something that I am really bad is---cracking jokes. Really really bad at it.

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    1. hahaha no problem one can become a good teacher even without cracking jokes Yeesi.
      Thanks for stopping by.

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