We often get astonished when we remember some moments from the past so alive that we could see them as a sequence of movie scenes in our mind screen. We know that this occurs only for a few incidents in our life. Very often, we are unable to categorise such anecdotes and we find it difficult to attribute specific reasons for those memories to be sustained immortally. When I discussed this phenomenon with apsychologist friend, he defined them as ‘peak moments’. Few examples are: wedding, academic achievements, participation in some stage events, moments of recognition in a group etc. But I can list a lot many other moments which have no such significance in my life but still remain in my mind minutely detailed and afresh. So, it is evident that it is not the importance of the events that matters, but the way we perceive themmakes all the difference.
When we try to recall such memories from our school life, there could be many to list – excursion trips, youth festival, quiz competitions, specific moments with friends etc.Strangely, all those memorable moments happened outside the classroom, probability theory does not agree with this though. If at all some are there from classroom, it could be some sweet or sour experience due to some comments from teachers.
How can we elevate the classroom learning situations to evergreen memories? Teachers’ own enjoyment and enthusiasm are the primary requirements for this. Going to the same class with the same type of lectures can make students boring or disengaged. We cannot expect a heap of superficial information to be stacked into the student’s brain in an hour and anticipate him or her to use them for ever. On the other hand, involve the students in the process and evoke their emotions. Make conducive learning atmosphere so that the students perceive every topic taught by their senses rather than by external compulsion. Emotional engagement is very crucial in making students remember what they study.
It is up to the teacher whether his or her class should be enjoyed like a popular movie or every second of it is tolerated by the students as a liability. Basically, the teacher who has a passion for his or her profession only can attract the minds of the students. He has to love the students and try to create a ‘wow’ feeling in each and every moment of his class. The teacherwho is keenly mingling with the students, down to earth, and willing to have spontaneous communications with them is often opted by them. So, my appeal to every teacher is to come out of thecomfort zone to make the sessionslively and content rich to ensureperpetual learning experiences for the students.
A classroom is not a place to show the knowledge level of a teacher. The traditional way of lecturing throughout is not workable anymore. It should be a two-way bridge. Learning occurs only through back and forth dialogues, and not by monotonic speeches. Keep on asking questions around the topic and let them reach the conclusion by critical thinking and debates. The teacher should keep in mind that the brains in front of him or her are constantly bombarded with knowledge bundles of various topics in which they may or may not be interested.
Students benefit from being given directions in various formats – verbal, visual, activities - for the same topic. They may be asked to repeat such directions so that their understanding can be checked and further explanations can be provided to reinforce the learning. A learning point can be connected with a visual image and it can work as a cue for recalling the point. Live examples, stories and a touch of humour can help to make the concepts firm in their brains. Over learning is another way to solidify the concept in their minds. Revising a topic periodically and taking tests for ithelp sustainingand retrieving the topics.
Teachers shouldnot miss a chance to make students experience the topic concepts using mediasuch as skit, as suited for the topic. They can act the roles and take the learning bits to their heart. Another way is to allow some studentsto teach and let the others ask doubts. All of them would prepare well in advance to shine among the peers. These tools will keep the class moments emotionally engaged thereby inscribing the learning points evergreen in the students’ brain.
Every session is special for a teacher and the students have to enjoy it till the last second. Five minutes lost by a teacher in a 30 students’ class actually cost 150 minutes of the future generation. So, the teachers have to be cautious of their responsibilities towards students and committed to provide themwith memorable moments in every class.
GEC group of Institutions, Middle East.