Monday, August 29, 2011

The Creativity in the ‘Classroom’

How do you inspire your children to be creative when you teach?

Our schools often restrict or hamper creativity among the children, we want them to sit down, be quiet and work! 

When do we allow them to learn through play and exploration? What is your classroom like, do the children want to come into your teaching space?
How do we ‘get through the syllabus’ but still allow the child to remain an individual, able to express his or her own views!

Do we allow children to make mistakes, and say it is okay!? Do we tell our children that they learn from their mistakes?

How do you structure your activities to make the learning experience for each and every child inspiring, allowing for individuality and creativity?
Are the children in your class given the freedom to decide how work will be submitted or presented? Perhaps a word document, a hand written document, a slide presentation, a speech or an audio recording. If yes, how do you assess them fairly? What criteria do you use?

As teachers we should be encouraging education departments to allow us to explore different media, ideas and methods of interacting and engaging with the children, so that children are encouraged to “be themselves”.

Share your ideas and thoughts! Allow yourself to be a creative teacher, allow the children you teach to be creative and imaginative in all subjects, including Mathematics. :)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Teachers set the scene!

To be asked to present at two different conferences on the same day doesn’t happen often – well today was a day like that for me. Something I have never done before. Both Conferences related to education, the ICT in the Classroom Conference and Africa Education Week had inspiring presentations from a variety of people. The ICT Conference closed today and a relatively large group of people were tweeting about the various presentations, which was informative. Education Week continues tomorrow.

Listening and observing at both these events demonstrated the great divide we still have to cross in South Africa in terms of education and educational resources. We, educators, need to focus on sharing our knowledge with others and improving the way we teach. If each teacher takes the responsibility within his / her own school, and classroom to do the teaching to the best of his / her ability, to be prepared and to want to learn, a large part of our education problem I think would begin to resolve itself.

Making sure we get to class as soon as possible! Ensuring that we know the content knowledge of what we are teaching, even if it means having to go out and do research and learning for ourselves. See the Thutong website link. Being very well prepared for every lesson with the focus on teaching our lessons in a stimulating and enticing matter. If we do this and keep in mind that the children we teach should want to feel excited about learning when they come into my / your classroom! The children should not be bored, afraid nor feel that they are not learning anything!

Ask yourself: “As a teacher, am I trying my best for the children I teach?”

As an individual teacher I also think we should always be wanting to learn and find out. From a resource point of view we can start small and acquire resources bit by bit. We could buy our own home computer and slowly start teaching ourselves. We could use our cellphones to search the interent, we could join social media websites and see what they are like. We should not be waiting for others to spoon-feed us or give us the answers, the drive should come from within us!

Yes there are differences, but as individual teachers we should each go out there and set the example in how we behave and develop our own desire to learn, so that our learners will want to learn and develop their own skills and knowledge!

Come on teachers, it starts with us! Each one of us! It starts with me!

Enjoy teaching – it is a journey! Enjoy the ride!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Excitement in the classroom - we create it!

As teachers we create the environment in our classrooms! How do we do this?
We set the tone and manner in which a lesson progresses and the atmosphere within the space!
We should create opportunities for the children to feel comfortable expressing their ideas and views!
We should expose the children to interesting people they may not have though of investigating - whether it is through a book, a blog, a website or other media - allow them to find out about others!
Create activities and lessons which allow the children to grow and explore their own strengths and even their weaknesses within a safe learning space - can I climb a tree? how fast can I read with understanding? am I able to solve the problem within the given time frame? can I build a successful model bridge which can hold the given load?
Do we allow children to use new technologies, which they find interesting and even important, within our teaching spaces?
Lessons should encourage children to want to learn, explore and find out - do we offer the children in our care that space?
We should LISTEN to the children we teach, learning from them!
We should create the excitement within the classroom - so that the children want to be there, so they want to learn!
We, each and every teacher, we hold the key to making learning exciting!