Creative Pathways is having a meeting in Potenza, Italy at the moment. Introduction and first presentations are done and now we are discussing the evaluation sheet.
Teaching in many ways can be compared to selling of goods on a marketplace.
Of course it is important that the things you sell have an excellent quality. A thorough understanding of the knowledge you teach is the basic introduction to teaching. Still , this is not enough. Being on the marketplace learns us that people are attracted by some sellers although they sell merely rubbish. But they know how to sell –how to convince people they need these goods.
They use methods as old as the market itself. They can easily be introduced in the teaching process. Looking for the actions needed, there were two double actions, that kept coming back in the process.
the learners should get interested in the lesson.
Involvement could be the key here but how to get them involved?
– Tell a joke : the atmosphere is more relaxed, it opens up dialogue
– Get the actualities into the lessons. The learners will start to look at these items as well, to outsmart you. This brings interest in social, economical and political facts, mostly it brings learners together, they start being one group, studying together.
– Have a break together : in the adult teaching we should not have a break the way we do it in secondary schools : everybody apart. It is quite important for adult learners to be together. Unlike their secondary colleagues they can only talk about there studies in the short while they are in school. So the time of the break they can talk to their co students and their teacher. It certainly helps to reduce the fall out of students.
Most of the time we use this, the learners become alert and follow very well whatever you teach. They don’t want to miss the next “special” item. All this attracts the attention
In the meanwhile, this also distracts your group. It is quite impossible to keep a tight attention on a subject for more than 30’. It’s better to cut the lessons in smaller pieces , introducing these “breaks”. Afterwards the focusing on the subjects in the lesson will be better.
it is important for a teacher to know what the learners understand and retain from his teaching.
Our experience says that good teachers make good exams, thanks to their students. So we need to control the level of understanding. Let’s do it.
– And distraction too. Go out and have a dinner, a drink or a BBQ in an informal way. It will not be the first time that we learnt a lot here about our own teaching, how to improve it, how to explain better the programmes. Learners told us as well what we did right or even very well. So we were told what to keep and what to leave out of our lessons. For learners it is a real boost for their self-esteem and their involvement in the school to see that their comments are taken seriously or at least taken into consideration
– Have small jobs done in class. In languages people should speak or write using the newly obtained knowledge. In informatics small exercises can proof their greater skills.
During these little works, control in person the job done. Encourage , point out
positive exploits. This controls and makes learners work faster and get more
focused.“The eye of the master makes the horse shine”.
– Make the learners accomplish bigger tasks at home, these will be presented in class. During the making process, the teacher will help the learner find solutions for problems, and correct his follow up in the working process.