Struggling Teachers: A 3-Way Approach to Education
Have years of teaching the same curriculum made the job of teaching boring and unexciting for you?
Does the daily routine of teaching the same kids in the same chaos filled environment seem like a burden more than a role?
Don’t worry- you’re not alone in this, and we’re here to help you revive the love for teaching again.
People- from Principals to Parents, from media to politicians, are all talking vigorously about the problems faced by the students in their education, but there are none who talk about how tough it is for a teacher to maintain discipline in a batch of about forty students, with the kids resembling a variety of zoo animals (Not Literally) and the teacher attaining the role of a zookeeper. And years of this job as a zookeeper help neither the animals, nor the zookeeper, because both are not inspired by what they’re doing, and instead do it forcefully.
So how does the zookeeper handle the forty animals, not only efficiently, but with his own happiness? How do you find passion in what you’re doing, when it is a job that involves handling a bunch of monstrous, anxiety causing kids?
The answer is simple, and it is easy too. Take this example- Imagine that you have to teach your class what Nazism is. So you ask them to take out their History books. You start off with the century old tradition of taking a chalk, and writing on a Board what Nazism is, who Hitler was, and why he hated the Jews. Halfway through the class, some kids are struggling like they’ve struggled never before to keep their eyes open, while the notorious lot has captured the attention of those few who were trying to listen by making jokes about the way Hitler’s nose looks. You’re somehow managing to still teach, but by the end, what was supposed to be a lesson about Hitler has turned into a screaming lesson on keeping quiet, with silent giggles from the backside.
Teachers use various methods to meet the needs of all students, including those who struggle, so here is a 3 – way approach for struggling teachers to enhance not only the learning outcomes and engagement level of different students but find the enjoyment in the process of teaching themselves:
1) Moving Outdoors . . .
Now, let’s go back to the beginning of this class, and try to do it with innovation. You have to teach your class Nazism. You take them outside. Just observe the effect the word “outside” will bring on their faces. Have you ever wondered why kids run outside at a fast pace when it is the games period, and come back late when it’s over? Well, you’re about to find out. Just the abstract idea of outdoors brings about a different enthusiasm in the face of both elders and youngsters- and you’d agree to it (not when you’ve come home tired after dealing with forty zoo animals, but on a normal day). Once you’ve taken them outside, ask them questions. Even though they are kids, they have known adversity. Some of them belong to families that are poor, and some belong to families that believe in giving more love to a boy than a girl. If you begin Nazism by a discussion on what discrimination means- you have a 99% chance of making it till the end of the class with no kid falling asleep.
2) Doing what you love . . .
The problem with the entire sphere of education today is not rooted in a single problem, but many. Do you ever find yourself reminiscing about a sport or activity you loved in your childhood, and wish you could do it again today? Guess what? You can. You were a child once too, and your job is your way to be a kid again with the kids you teach every day. If you have to teach them about the history of pottery, take them to the art room and let them play with some clay- and you can too. The purpose is not just to develop a more dynamic form of learning, but also to rekindle love for the profession you have chosen for yourself. Not only this, it is a chance for you to be a carefree kid again (Never thought that could be possible, right?). And when you’re initiating this form of interaction with these kids, you’ll be able to deal with their behavioral issues and they’ll truly respect you and sit quietly in your class without you having to chase them with a steel scale around the class (Yes, that can happen!)
3) Applying Things . . .
Another factor essential to this approach is to perform a learning system that is based on application more that of rote learning. If you want to teach to a child what a transformer is, give one in his hand and see a gleam of curiosity reflecting in his eyes. But if you take him to a classroom and force him to learn technical things without a base, you’ll never see that gleam and you’ll also have to assume the role of a zookeeper again.
The motto here is not just to inculcate right brain thinking in these kids, but it is to help both sides of sphere, the educationalist and the student. Adapting this three way approach- making use of outdoors, letting hobbies be a part of work and having an application based approach towards education, will help you love being a teacher and help a student love learning. This way, you can be both an efficient zookeeper, and a happy one.