What should a teacher keep in mind while choosing a method of teaching? Should one continue with
the same method they once chose at the beginning of career or evolve with change in the level of classes and number of years in the profession? There are teachers whose methodology changes with change in level of students and their own experience? There are others who prefer sticking to the same old gun.
The whole debate and discussion today is: To teach or not to teach a class from textbooks?
I am not totally against use of textbooks by a teacher in a class. Nor do I mean to undermine their importance in class. But the question is——–up to what level?
At primary level the textbooks are indispensable. You will have my views on how to use them but not today. Reading habit cannot be developed among students at their initial stage in the absence of textbooks. At upper primary level too role of textbooks cannot be neglected. Even a layman too knows it.
But at intermediate and senior secondary levels teachers should minimise the use of textbooks and keep students focused at what comes out of teachers mouth, face and hands directly. And when teaching minus book is over the students should be asked to open their textbooks, learn the topic and ask relevant questions, if any. No questions, no understanding. But whole focus of a passionate teacher should be to guide students from teaching from book to teaching without books.
This method is not as simple as slipping into your pyjamas. Teachers cannot apply this approach if they face their classes without any preparation beforehand. They will have to do the work that is supposed to done by students in the class. Thorough revision of the topic, preparation of notes and rehearsals well in advance are the prerequisites for the method. It is like putting the entire text into your heart and mind.
In the beginning it may be a onerous task for teachers. But if they persist in their efforts the method will be very fruitful. The students will be delighted at the new approach. The teacher too will leave his class quite satisfied and head held high.
It should be understood that teaching from book is always easy. It does not require much efforts. Anybody can do it. Students too, leave alone teachers. But teaching without book requires huge efforts on the part of teachers.
The technique is mostly avoided at at the mediate and upper mediate levels. So teachers and taught find it convenient with the conventional method though burdensome and unproductive. Why should teachers be reluctant to try a method that is easy, interesting and highly productive?
Be it a student or a teacher they can concentrate more if their attention in the class is restricted to one activity at a time. Less efforts should be made by teachers to scatter their students’ mind. But it is not possible if they are forced to concentrate textbooks, blackboard and teachers’ expressions at the same time.
It is not easy for students to keep their mind focussed on textbooks. They don’t like to if they can afford it. Despite their best efforts their mind is carried away out of their textbooks several times . The poor students get panicky the moment their teachers ask them to locate the exact line in the textbook.
Keeping their gaze at textbooks is boring for students. It is burden for them. Only those teachers at higher levels will prefer it who are lazy and don’t want to change. Such teachers are fatal to the cause of education and it is very imperative that they change themselves.
A passionate teachers changes his method of teaching automatically. You cannot expect such teachers to adopt an obsolete method at every point of their career.