Survey: Teachers & Classrooms

‘Make classrooms lively and engaging’

By Jamil Khan @ The Gulf Today-Sharjah, Dec 28, 2014

Dubai: Teachers are an integral part of life of a student. They enrich their pupil with their experience, time and dedication to achieve what the latter came into the classrooms for.
A good teacher is one who can stimulate hope and ignite imagination. After all, as Albert Einstein stated, it is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.
The students, especially the young ones in primary grades, deserve more attention from the teachers as what is inscribed in a budding, innocent heart stays through the life. teachers
Such young students also need more attention from qualified and experienced teachers so as to create the love of letters in their minds.
At this stage, the primary level, the students are ready to learn whatever they were being taught and the standard of teachers should indisputably be more than ordinary.
Recently, the Oxford University Press (OUP), a part of Oxford University organised an educators’ symposium “Shaping Learning Together” in Dubai.
As part of the event, curriculum books and other reading material like stories printed by the press, were also showcased.
The symposium was attended by a large number of Dubai-based teachers from various community schools, who also participated in a series of lectures delivered by authors and experts.
Nicholas Horsburgh, through his extensively researched presentation, highlighted a range of issues looming in the classrooms and asked teachers to focus on activities more than books, as completing curriculum only helps students to clear their exams, while activity-based learning helps the students their entire lives.
Talking to The Gulf Today, teachers from different schools shared their experience while attending the workshops aimed at horning their teaching skills and highlighting the importance of activity-based learning methodology for their students.
Samina Nasir, Principal of Pakistan Islamia Higher Secondary School, Ajman, pointed out that the workshop was very inspiring for everyone as the problems highlighted and discussed by the renowned author, Nicholas Horsburgh, related to genuine hurdles faced by both the teachers and the students in the classrooms.
“The various ways to overcome the difficulties faced by the teachers in the classrooms were appropriately highlighted. The solutions were up-to-the-mark. Teachers should adopt these methods in their classrooms to get better results,” she said.
She appreciated the display of activity-based books and said that they were using various such books in their schools, especially Social Studies, History, English and activity-based books for the young students. “The wide range of books from the OUP are very attractive and informative for all students.”
Nasir stressed on the adopting of supplementary reading material for the children to horn their reading and learning skills.
Salma Waheed, a teacher of Pakistan Islamia Higher Secondary School, Ajman, said that workshops such as these help teachers improve their skills related to their job as well as get information on the modern methods of teaching.
“The workshop to highlight the problems faced by the teachers in the classrooms are very beneficial. We, as teachers, are also improving our talents. Some of the solutions discussed are already being implemented in our classrooms, but there are some which still need more time to be implemented,” she said.
She pointed that more and more schools should adopt books published by prominent publishers like OUP as they had a wide range of topics to cover various subjects and skills.
“Our school has already adopted various OUP books in different classes as these books are progressive and help students improve their learning skills through their grades. The progressive series of English language books are helping students to be aware of the great names in English Literature as well as improve their language skills, which obviously benefit them in their practical lives,” she elaborated.
She added that most of the time teachers blamed managements for not providing enough resources to improve overall education, but through these kind of workshops, experts highlighted the ways to bring much better results in the current circumstances.
Zaibunisa Arshad, a teacher from Pakistan Islamic School, Al Ain, said that the skills of teachers highlighted in the workshops are like a step ahead and easy to use by all the participating teachers in their respective sections.
“Being a teacher we learned a lot through the presentations made by Nicholas Horsburgh, who has written many books under the banner of Oxford University Press for children of different age groups. The ways to increase the motivation, dynamism and encouragement were the key factors which we were told to improve among the students and we are sure to implement these in our classrooms at every stage,” she added.
She mentioned that the books published by the OUP are not only written by highly qualified educators, but also help children in psychological learning and gradual improvement while participating in the classrooms.
Dr Aruna B. from Emirates Future International Academy, Abu Dhabi was also part of the workshop and highlighted the importance of training for teachers.
“Teachers should increase activity-based learning methods for students, especially for the young ones, which is the need of the day. Students should also be involved in classrooms through activity-based learning. The workshop has highlighted various methods to be used with the expertise of the teachers, besides adopting methods beyond the books,” she added.
Nida Wasim, a senior teacher from another Pakistani school, stressed on the adoption of activity-based learning methods in the classrooms to match the pace of the world as most schools around the world are now shifting to this new trend.
“It will be very helpful to adopt the expert points suggested by Horsburgh to improve the classroom atmosphere by engaging the students. If not 100 per cent, there is surely no obstacle in implementing at least 70 to 80 per cent these methods,” she noted.
“The solutions we discussed through the presentation by the famous authors and educators will be shared with our other teachers and soon we will implement these in our classrooms to achieve higher standards,” she added.
Imran Sajjad, a senior teacher from a Pakistani school in Sharjah, appreciated the organisers for conducting such an informative and interactive workshop for teachers to horn their skills so that they could know the new trends being adopting by the schools around the world.
“At the end of the day, all these wonderful suggestions will benefit enormously the students as well as teachers,” he added.
He pointed out that adopting such a method could help improve the classroom atmosphere by making it more interactive for the children to engage in various educational activities, which will also help improve the overall learning capabilities of the students.
End

~ by jamilkhan on December 29, 2014.

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