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The last observation session I observed started with an ICT lesson. However, the teacher before the lesson had told me that he would have a different class than usual. This particular class was from the same Form as the usual class. The teacher said that this was a way for the class to not lose a lesson because of extracurricular activities or even school holidays.
It seems like the headmaster really concentrates on the students not losing their academic lessons while, at the same time, he encourages other activities. For instance, in the previous observation session some classes went to the aquarium as an outing. In fact, that very same day the headmaster had arranged with the Computer Studies teacher to do his lesson on another day since the students could not have the lesson because of the outing. I think that this method is fruitful for the students since they are able to get their academic learning to the full. At the same time, this may be a bit confusing to get used to both for the students as well as the teachers.
When I arrived at the 4th and 5th double lesson of Computer Studies I noticed that the teacher had changed. In fact, the two Computer Studies teachers this year are currently focusing more on collaborative teaching by assigning particular topics to each other. For example, one teacher had to teach CPU to the Form 3 students this year so that next year the same teacher will continue to teach the same class further topics which continue to build on the CPU chapter. So, what happened exactly for this class was that they started a new topic; Internet. As such, the Computer Studies teachers had changed because the same teachers agreed to do so before-hand.
I think that this collaboration between teachers is really important to develop a better learning and productive environment in schools. Furthermore, when teachers work together they are able to learn each other’s ways and methods of teaching as well as discover and explore new ways of how they can handle some thing or another. Even when I observed the students they seemed like they had adapted to the change of the teacher. On the other hand, I think that the method that these particular teachers used was possible since they are only few teachers of the same subject and share the same staffroom. In my opinion, teachers having different staffrooms are more difficult to build social relationships and even more to collaborate together without at least having, for instance, scheduled meetings. How can they meet to work-on and tackle a specific goal if they do not even meet?
Let us now think of collaboration on a grander scale. What if teachers collaborated with teachers of other subjects as well and not just the subject they teach? I am sure that in some schools this already happens since last year I saw this in the school I had to observe. What they had done was that during the ICT Technology class the students had to build a blog themselves from scratch and they had to post some compositions they had done for the Maltese or English class in their blog or even drawings or anything else they would have created themselves. I think that this is the kind of collaboration we need in schools nowadays because subjects are all interrelated with each other and in the real-world they all go hand-in-hand. We need to prepare students for work and to better achieve this we need to create projects, activities and such that connect two or more subjects together. Like this students would be able to connect what they are learning at school with what is actually happening in the rest of the world.
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Christopher Felix Bezzina
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