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As a part of my School Experience Visit for my 2nd year in the B.Ed course, I am and will be carrying out my ten week observations and eventually eight week teaching practise in a boys secondary school. On our first visit, we the student teachers` met in the Heads office and waited for him to assign us to different classrooms in accordance with our specialising subject. First, I observed a double Form V Computer lesson and then a double lesson with the Form IVs, this one being the class I will eventually be teaching.
Last year I used to carry out my observation in a church school, boys as well so I had already predicted what expect from them. There is a small amount of students in the school, however, despite its low amount of students, it is still physically a normally sized school. My first impression about this school was that the students were expected to attain high grades in both academic achievement and self-discipline. I came to this conclusion from the boys good behaviour in the assembly and in the corridors, the orderliness in the school and the way the teachers keep their classes.
In the first Computer Studies lesson the students were making their November test. There were only a few students in the class and then the teacher, a one very dedicated one at least in my opinion from what I saw, told me that only a few decide to sit for the O`level exam, and this worried me a little. It made me reflect on what the causes might be? We as future teachers want to overcome this problem and should encourage more students to sit for the exams by making the subject as interesting as possible. Despite this, their behavior was good in the class and the ones, who were not sitting for the exam, did not disrupt the others nor did something else of another subject. In fact, after the test ended and the teacher started the explanation, they tried to involve themselves as much as possible. It could be because the teacher gave practical example to explain something, and kept asking them questions. I even liked the fact how the teacher emphasised that corrections were to be made in red ink, since this would help them to locate more quickly what questions they needed to revise.
The Form IVs were more distracted and noisier then the previous students. This could be because they are younger and maybe because it was the lesson before the break or even because of my presence in class. They talked amongst each other and made it difficult sometimes for the teacher to explain things. Personally, I would have tried to keep them busier and crack a joke or two to reward them when they responded correctly. Some of them smiled at me and being the first time I truly appreciated this gesture since it made feel most welcome in there. Despite being a little noisy they all seemed very polite, manageable and good mannered. Polite children are normally the product of close interaction with exemplary gentlemanly role models, so maybe this is so because of their teacher’s good examples. This would generally help them to adjust to other social systems and groups more easily later on in life.
From what I have observed today and last year, I have been able to see that the difference between state and church schools has actually diminished. Maybe last year church school expected a little more discipline, and students showed more respect towards each other and their teachers. However, the difference is not as much. In both schools, students were willing to learn and their motivation is an intrinsic one, since it comes from inside the individual and not because they are being forced by their parents to work harder and this I concluded from some of their comments. Even the way, the majority of them wore their uniforms, their manners and their general behaviour showed that these young students are self-disciplined and have many good qualities.
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