When teachers turned students

When teachers turned students

Equip students to survive and thrive in society, says expert

Education expert Dr Paul F Meekin at the Teachers’ Seminar in Bangalore on Saturday. DH PhotoIt was a virtual role reversal for hundreds of teachers who attended the Teachers’ Seminar organised by Deccan Herald in Education (DHiE) in the City on Saturday. Like obedient children in a classroom, they sat through the event patiently, listening to the inspiring talks and took down a few tips.

England-born education expert Dr Paul F Meekin, the first speaker of the day, gave a vibrant lecture on ‘Classroom management and how the environment develops positive learning’.

He punctuated his talk with real-life examples and powerpoint visuals to make the topic lively. Dr Paul, with an experience of over 20 years in the global education scenario, came to appreciate the issue of classroom management even more, after conducting a survey on 300 teachers. What a majority of the teachers wanted was guidance in this regard.

A well-managed classroom invites students to learn, increases positive student behaviour and prepares students to survive and thrive in society, observes Dr Paul Meekin. “A great teacher in such a classroom would use sincere verbal comments.” 
He or she disciplines the student with polite comments like ‘How can I help you…’ and not with impolite words, he said.

Be empathetic

In order to develop positive behaviour among children, he asked the teachers to address them by name, show them empathy, use kind words and have a pleasant demeanour, for, looks speak a thousand words.

“Don’t say don’t to students... for instance if you want to tell them don’t run say ‘walk please’. Dr Paul also feels that a colourful and home-like environment is vital for classrooms.

When the topic shifted to technology in classrooms, a teacher recalled how much computer-savvy children these days hate writing. To this, he quipped “It is a matter of how much is too much. Kids accept changes easily and it is the teachers’ duty to promote reading and writing habits in them." 

The afternoon's lecture by Dr Sudha Bhogle, Professor of Psychology and head of Educafe, a learning-through-fun education initiative, was more of a practical learning and interactive session for teachers.

Caring matters

"Students don’t care how much you know, until they first know how much you care for them," she reminded the teachers.“Accept them for what they are and treat every child as unique,” is what she suggested the teachers.

To demonstrate the power of communication skills, she got her team members and teachers to enact skits, which turned out to be the highpoint of the session.

Prior to the Teachers' Seminar, Dr Paul Meekin awarded certificates and trophies to students who had won prizes in the various events conducted by Deccan Herald as part of its year-long DHiE programmes.

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