Joy of Sharing Classroom Experiences
"You know what I delivered a fantastic lecture today!" Bouncing with joy and a sense of satisfaction a colleague announced and added, "and students set 10 minutes extra".
After listening to his experiences that he narrated for some fifteen minutes, I too started experience his joy. Then we talked about the pedagogical implications of the activity. Later on we discussed technicalities of the activity. From an informal sharing, we were led to discover formal methodologies of teaching.
In next lecture, I used customized version of the same activity that I had learnt during that discussion. It worked, well. (Not to suggest duplication works, always. Its the creative adaptation that works, always!)
I feel that sharing classroom practices is profoundly better exercise than reading about classroom activity. Learning from one another is strikingly natural to us provided we multiply it. We love growing-developing as teachers, we also love putting our best in the classroom. In short, we want to see the sense of satisfaction in students eyes every day. There are various ways in which we can attain this, one of them is sharing classroom experiences with one another.
The other day I shared an activity that failed miserably in my classroom. Instantly, other colleagues suggested possible modifications in the same activity. With more sharing and listening to what other do, I feel I am getting better as a teacher. It is quite an educating process.
Mostly such sharing takes place in an informal settings which is the beautiful part but not enough and ideal. We open up better informally but we need to materialize these informal experiences into some kind of formal and academic form of expression. For instance, many times I see many colleagues sharing sound understanding of language, literature, ELT, CPD etc. but they are not writing a paper on it. Why not? Isn't API an important component of career? Doesn't it matter to grow horizontally with publications? It is because our teachers (did not share) shared their experiences both in oral and written forms, they are what they are today!
I would like to share one of my classroom activities and would like to have your inputs on the same.
We have sessions like SHARING OPINIONS and PUBLIC SPEAKING in PE. We have PPts on the same too. In order to teach it differently, I downloaded cartoons based on the topics given in the PPTs. In a pair, students were asked to interpret the cartoons and find out the relevant topics which were given to other pairs for sharing opinions and public speaking. For example, here is the cartoon I used for the topic "Does education provide skills?"
It was a good experience. Students found understanding cartoons interesting and challenging. They struggled with the apt vocabulary. They came out with very creative interpretations. Some of them literally cooked and narrated storied based in cartoons. So we laughed, learned and tried to develop
1. Cognitive Skills
2. Creative Skills
3. Public Speaking Skills
4. Communication Skills etc.
Aurobindo's epic Savitri documents a beautiful line, "Imperfect is the joy which is not shared". Keep sharing your classroom experiences.