The students are learning a large variety of subjects – Math, Science, English, and Health Studies to name a few. Within each subject they are taught the facts and how to of each, then assessed for understanding. However, their teacher always takes things one step further. Not only does she teach them what they need to know to pass the test, she teaches them how it applies to their everyday lives. Math is applied in the concept of space awareness, hands-on activities, and real-life scenarios. It is also combined with English (forming sentences describing the equation) to help improve the children’s understanding by making connections.
In English, they learn how to write paragraphs, read, and other valuable skills. These are applied to their lives by writing paragraphs about things that they did or want to do or keeping a journal of their experiences if they go away on vacation. They can then share these with the class if they feel comfortable, giving them the opportunity to share their experiences while also getting feedback and tips on their writing. It gives them a reason to write what they experienced, rather than just telling them that they have too.
I have also discussed the Tower Garden that they are using to learn about biology. This helps them see how learning about plants can affect their everyday lives. If they want to have a garden when they’re older, this will be a valuable experience. Even if they don’t, it helps them understand and be able to physically see where their food comes from and how it is produced, which gives them a better sense of self-awareness.
Health Studies provides them with real-life scenarios that make them think about how their actions and choices will affect their lives. This not only helps them develop an awareness of what is safe, but it also helps them to develop critical thinking skills, which are essential both now and later in life.
Overall, I can now see just how important the role a teacher plays in the lives of their students is. They don’t simply provide children with facts that they have to memorize, or at least they shouldn’t. They should provide children with valuable experiences that prepare them for later in life and help to show them the relevance of what they are learning. Children generally are more open to learning something if they can see how it applies to them. This challenges the teacher to come up with lesson plans that teaches them what they need to know in a way that shows its relevance, challenging them to be a better teacher. We are living in an age where the teacher is no longer expected to stand and the front of the class and lecture on a topic, hoping that at least half of the students keep up. It is our responsibility to ensure that every child receives education and is able to benefit from it. Because of this, we need to be constantly adapting our techniques to suit the changing generations. Education is not a one-size fits all process, and we cannot continue to treat it as such.