Teacher Development

Learning mathematics can be easy if the learner studying mathematics is ready to get his/her mind straight to the subject. There are several things which can make mathematics learning easy and fun for everybody. We list below a few possible tips for enhancing the learning of mathematics, and some of them may lead to different explanations at different learning levels and environments.

Humans are visual creatures and we can easily learn things when we see it. This is why it is important for you as a teacher to innovate your teaching methods using the advantage of technology. In fact, you’ll see a lot of changes in the field of education in current times. Not to mention the use of smart boards, online learning and paperless schools.

What happens within the classroom has the power to change lives - for the better or for the worse. We ourselves know from our own school experiences of transactions which empowered or disabled or left us unmoved, according to the atmosphere in the classroom. This is not quite the same as the relationship between teacher and student, vital as that is.

I had been a school teacher for quite some time. Today I am not talking about those experiences, rather I wish to pen a different kind of teaching experience.

In school teaching-learning culture, it is assumed that a classroom is the learning platform for students only and teacher on the other end has a responsibility of educating them. But it is a mutual process in which both the student and teacher are in the same stream of learning. I experienced this during my classroom practice where I have got a different viewpoint. A classroom is fully meaningful if the teacher and students both are part of learning process so it is not only students but also the teacher.

I, Saud, have been teaching Mathematics to students of Classes 6, 7 and 8 in the Azim Premji School for the last five years. In each class there are three to four students with little interest in Mathematics. Two years back, there were three such - students in Class-6, and their behaviour with classmates and teachers too was not proper. Speaking loudly in class, using bad language and quarrelling was usual.

We had a big hall in our previous school which we used as a book distribution area because there was no library as such in our rented premises. It was different from the usual library as it did not have shelves, chairs and tables and reading corners. However, this didn’t mean we restricted our students from reading. We arranged the necessary resources for reading to them. From the beginning, there was no specific structure in the functioning of our library.

‘Teachers in government institutions do not work, they have a leisurely job, ample holidays, they weave sweaters all day, eat peanuts idly and even if they decide to teach their students once in a week it is more than a boon for them. What after all will the students in these schools end up doing anyway? Not that they have to grow up and take up any prestigious, skill demanding occupations’.

These and many other such perceptions can be found around us even now...

It was very early days in a new school. Also it was a new experience for me to be a facilitator of English in a school where English was the second language. I found that English was a ‘Monster’ in the mind of every child, especially in upper- primary classes because they don’t get any hearing input from outside or from their environment (where listening is the first step to learn any language).

Even though this could be an issue for debate, it can surely not be denied that the teacher definitely has a significant role to play in whatever children learn at school. And a teacher would always like the children to be able to learn various skills and perform well. But another aspect in the process of teaching-learning is how much co-operation the child gets from his or her socio-cultural context, the environment at home, his or her upbringing, the parents’ co-operation and discussions with friends.


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