Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Selecting the Best

Are you thinking of pursuing the teaching profession? Then you must get some information about 'demonstration teaching'. Demonstration teaching is a buzzword to those related to the 'teaching' field. The people involved in the field of teaching must have come across this term many times in its different forms. Demonstration teaching provides a good opportunity to the fresh students from Faculty of Education when they perform in front of their friends and teachers before going to real classrooms. This helps to make them feel comfortable in the classroom. Sometimes teacher trainers demonstrate the necessary techniques in front of their trainees so that the trainee teachers could learn some teaching skills. However, the skills become rubble in the shoe when a job hunter has to demonstrate the learned skills in an unfamiliar situation to prove their competency and to get into the chosen profession.
These days demonstration teaching is a must before you are offered a teaching job whether it is in a primary school, lower secondary school, secondary school or in a campus. Fine, it must be done! If the people who apply for teaching jobs and cannot perform well inside the classroom, why should they be selected? But what seems impractical is that the possible candidates are called in schools and they are immediately asked to teach this or that lesson (which, most probably, they may not have seen before) without giving them enough time for preparation. This is the weakest part of such demonstration teaching. It may not help to select the right candidate. Not only this, in some institutions the employers are eager to see how nicely and fluently the teachers can deliver their "lectures" on a certain lesson ignoring the teachers' arduous efforts to involve students in teaching learning activities. This is ridiculous, and this reveals their ignorance about the theories of teaching and learning.

One can see many dismayed and tensed faces while waiting for their turn to be called for a demonstration teaching after passing through the first round interview. They wonder which lesson they are going to teach to prove their excellence among the never seen faces. Everything is unknown to them until they are ready to enter the classroom.

The theory of teaching methods says that a teacher must be well-prepared before s/he enters the classroom otherwise his/her teaching will not be effective and successful. The experts also believe that haphazard and unplanned classwork fails to bring out the expected results and causes disappointment to both - teachers and pupils. A successful lesson is well-planned, psychologically organized, bearing the stamp of a teacher's pre-thinking with regard to details of the lesson. Thus, whichever level you are going to teach you must be prepared beforehand. Well preparation means half teaching complete.

And there comes a lesson plan - an essential part of teaching. The lesson can only be planned after a good reading and making necessary notes - the theory says. One can obviously see the paradox between the theory and its practical aspects when s/he comes to the ground of reality. How can one perform his/her best if s/he has not planned a lesson properly? Teaching is said to be an art and a teacher an artist. There is no doubt that the artist should be creative. To use one's creativity s/he must get enough time to think that how his/her creativity can be most effective.

This scenario suggests, all the concerned people who select their teachers on the basis of demonstration teaching, that they must give their teachers enough preparation time and let them know in advance which lesson and at which grade they are teaching. If this happens, there is a high possibility that they can select the best teachers for their institution. 

(Published in an English Daily The Rising Nepal on Monday, February 2, 2004)

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I would appreciate any and all suggestions on making improvements (as long as they are viable).