One of the reasons why the quality and standard of local education is not yet where it is supposed to be, is the fact that our teachers are missing certain tools in their teaching-tool kits.
These tools are not taught at any teacher training institution in Namibia. They can only be acquired through experience, intuition and common sense. Dear teacher, these exercises will shift your paradigm of teaching, because they will help you connect with your learners on a deeper level, prompting them to engage more actively in the learning process. This is no theory; it is a practical advice, borne out of real classroom experience. It is wise to go back to my previous articles to appreciate the picture which I am trying to paint.
In our last exercise, we saw that there are no boring subjects, only boring teachers. After the article was released, I had a very profound conversation with a principal of a senior secondary school. He said “If teachers don’t make their subjects interesting, then I can understand why learners become rowdy”. The most notable thing here is that the principal did not read my previous article, yet he underlined its core message. That clearly demonstrated that these teachers’ exercises are dealing with concrete classroom realities. We do not entertain theories.
We are still on the subject of discipline. Another reason why pupils display undisciplined behaviours is the fact that sometimes we as teachers are afraid of our learners. Do you remember that dreadful feeling of having to face a class which is vibrating with hostility towards you? Doesn’t it feel like the class has declared war on you? Don’t we sometimes enter the classroom with an attitude of “I am going to show you who the boss is?” The lesson in these cases turns out to be a power struggle between the teacher and those extra-smart ones. The rest of the class is watching the show. At the end of the lesson, both the teacher and learners have wasted their time and everybody leaves the room frustrated. Just as you finished thanking God that it is over, you remember that you have to face them again tomorrow.
Find the source of the hostility towards you. Be very earnest with yourself and ask yourself “How did I help create this negative atmosphere?” At this point, most teachers will prefer to blame the learners. Grow up dear teacher, and take responsibility for the learning habit of your class. After you have accepted your part of the wrong, identify those learners who lead others in the war against you. Have a meeting with them alone and straighten out your differences. It is wise to do more listening than talking during that meeting. Understand: those leaders have more influence over the class than you do.
* Shapumba ya Shapumba is the founder of Natural Learning Education Consultancy. He teaches HOW TO OBTAIN A+ IN ANY SUBJECT (students) and THE SECRET TO EXTRAORDINARY TEACHING (teachers) for booking: firstname.lastname@example.org or 0812786925