Sunday, June 30, 2013

Afternoon people

Papa and his tumbuna sitting under a tree watching people going home

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Twenty lessons learned

 Below are some lessons I have learnt over the past years while being here at DWU.

1.       Always prepare yourself for each class. Students expect you to be prepared to deliver the lesson so go through the actual lesson plan before you teach

2.       Don’t patronize the students – they are far too intelligent for you

3.       Be kind always – yes always. This might be the very first time a student approaches you or asks a question in class. Your answer will determine their response to you for the whole semester

4.       Be punctual. Always be there in front of the class ready to go. Your early presence tells them you have something important to teach today

5.       Praise students publically – it lifts their spirits and encourages enthusiasm

6.       Never use a permanent marker on the whiteboard – it just makes you look like a fool

7.       Never turn your back to the class and read off the slides – it makes you look like you are talking to the whiteboard rather than to the students.

8.       Don’t forget your flash drive after teaching or powerpoint presentation – this is a major no no.

9.       Alot doesn’t mean great. A really good lecture doesn’t necessarily mean a PowerPoint presentation of 30 slides or more – even two slides can last an hour if you really break it down through questions, discussion and case scenarios and then the student will understand the content better.

10.   If you are late for class, apologise to the students

11.   Bad breath is a killer!

12.   Sarcasm is a great tool – only if you use it at the right time.

13.   The only way students can really learn about a topic is for them to talk about it in class. For them to do that, they need to do research first…and this means reading!

14.   Bloom’s taxonomy is the ideal reference point for student learning and teacher teaching

15.   Class attendance can mean class attitude – a full class shows there is expectation to learn.

16.   Semester marks, sometimes, isn’t a true reflection of a student’s academic ability.

17.    Even if you’ve tried your very best, you can NEVER please all the students in the class. Some will love your class while others are there for the marks only!

18.    Some students just don’t want to be here. They are so lazy and take for granted the opportunity to study in a university.

19.   Facebook is seriously a bad distraction for students in the classroom and outside.

20.   Some students come from tough, violent backgrounds, poor families and lonely homes but they attack school work like busy bees scoring high marks each semester. Some students come from privileged homes and well off families and score low marks at the bottom of the class...

So that's it. There are many more things that I have observed, experienced and dealt with as a teacher and I may write about them later on.