If a child’s education is a ship, the teacher is the captain of it. The responsibility to inspire and educate the whole child – mind, body and soul – is important, and it should not be taken for granted.
Let us not confuse joy for fun. For children, fun means hanging out with friends, watching movies, or messing about with the latest iPad. Joy, according to my dictionary, means “The emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something good or satisfying”. However, joy and learning are not mutually exclusive, but we have to admit that many of our greatest joys in life are related to learning. Can that be recreated in our classrooms? It sure can.
You just have to be mindful of how you conduct your classes and how you create a classroom that offers a safe environment. Below are some tips and strategies that teachers, even parents, can use for creating a positive, productive learning space for children.
Find joy in learning. It is true that you learn while you teach. Joyful learning is all about expecting challenges and seeing them as a natural part of the learning process.
Take risks, experiment on teaching methods and make your teaching something to look forward to. If we want children to see the classroom as a happy place, we need to show the kids that our classrooms are more than just a place to take tests.
Give choices to students. Children have fun on the playground because they have choices, they can play baseball, or learn to play the drums, be alone or with friends. Time is under their control. So, give them choices, differentiate your lessons, encourage them to read any book in their independent reading time.
Let the students be creative and show their work. Children love to be creative – they often have a unique point of view that they want to express. Students should be inspired and full of ideas.
Reform assessments. Teachers can use qualitative assessments instead of quantitative assessments. Make use of portfolios, student presentations and performances. Not only will you have fun watching and reading these but the children will enjoy the learning as well.
Teaching is a challenge in itself, and we recognise the importance of it. Here at Cassidy Education, we want you to have a meaningful career. We understand the prospect of teaching in a new school can be daunting, which is why we employ an anti-corporate approach so we can focus on giving you support, empathy and integrity and with that comes loyalty.