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Another year has started and with it the end of the Christmas and New Year holidays. In fact, last week the students returned again to school. Where, for me lectures started again as well as the observation sessions. I felt pleasant returning to the school and talking again to the teachers as well as observing the students. Although, of course, I would have preferred if the holidays were a bit longer. But then who doesn’t want that?
This observation session started with the first lesson being a test about Spreadsheets. Since they were at the Computer Lab the teacher gave clear instructions of how to log in to the system and how to use the program at first. Then the students all worked on their test alone for the remaining of the lesson. I think that in this kind of situation it is necessary for the teacher to know how the software of the MOC test works before-hand. Especially since he had to go around each computer to check that it was working correctly. After all, it is known that technical issues easily arise.
In the following double lesson I observed a Computing class about Machine Code theory and the translation of high and low-level programming languages. Personally, I love this topic and it was fun observing this lesson. So, I started to think: if the teacher likes the topic s/he is teaching does that also mean that the students will like it? This is an interesting question and analysing it more closely I think that it is the way the teacher presents a topic that influences how the students see the topic and further on the whole subject.
Well, I do agree that if a teacher likes a certain topic more than another then a better and more focus on the subject liked will be done in the classroom. But, even if this is so, I believe that the teacher needs to encourage the passion of the pupils for the subject. To do this engaging the students by making them think or do something that is fun for them is the best way to do this and here is where the passion of the teacher comes in. The teacher’s passion has its biggest role when a topic is presented to the students. For instance, a gloomy, uninterested teacher surely does not leave a positive perception of the topic.
After this I observed again another double Computing class but this time it was about Scratch and networks. I liked the way that the teacher adapted the lesson in a way to better accommodate the students because half the students were on an outing during the first lesson. However, the remaining students told the teacher that these were to arrive back at school in time for the second part of the lesson. Thus, the teacher changed the sequence of how he was going to do the lessons.
First, he told the students to create a program doing whatever they wanted using Scratch. This was more of a revision lesson and the teacher intended to do it for the sake of the students to remember the concepts of programming that they did just the week before the beginning of the holidays. After this, the teacher started the actual introduction of new concepts of networking. Thus, like this the students that went on the outing did not lose any new topics but only the revision class.
To conclude, let us keep in mind the quote of John F. Podojil:
” Teaching is not a profession; it’s a passion.Without passion for your subject and a desire for your students to learn and be the best in the world, then we have failed as a teacher and failure is not an option.”
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Christopher Felix Bezzina
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