Thousands of teachers across the globe teach in very humble classrooms that have nothing except blackboards, chalks, and tables, sometimes nothing at all. Obviously it is, difficult to teach with enthusiasm in such classrooms in this modern age; however, there are teachers who know how to cope with this situation as they have no other option but to devise their own ways and methods to adapt to the situation. Today there are various skills and techniques that can help teachers work effectively without all those materials that “modern classrooms” are equipped with. In this article, we are going to explore some useful tips and ideas that teachers can follow in order to teach well in very traditional settings.
Have friendly rapport with your students
When the teacher is liked and admired by his students’ chances are, his overall teaching practices will effectively work. in a friendly atmosphere, students will surely try their best to interact actively with their teacher and will compete between each other to respond and show their talents; the teacher in this atmosphere is required to give chance to every student to participate without forgetting to respond to their answers with positive feedbacks to encourage them. This will certainly smooth the process of teaching and learning and it can all be done through simple activities like mini-talks and discussions that will enable students to improve their communicative skills.
Among other things that can help teachers create this friendly rapport, we can cite:
- Warm greetings at the beginning of every session.
- Eye contact with a smile makes students feel more relaxed and comfortable.
- An audible clear voice that captures the attention of all the attendants.
- Addressing pupils by their names and never ever call someone by a name that he/she dislikes.
- Reward students who excel in tasks, projects, and tests with prizes or extra marks.
These above tips should all be adopted by teachers regardless of what type of classrooms they teach in, but are strongly needed in teachers who lack basic school materials in order to shift the focus of all the class to the teacher’s talk and explanations and to each student’s contributions.
Exploit what’s available in your classroom, maybe just blackboard and chalk!
The truth is that there are students who love to go to the blackboard and write, I have witnessed this type of students myself, whenever I enter the classroom I find them there standing in front of the board writing whatever pops up into their minds, words, sentences, their favorite team clubs…etc. this clearly shows that students are still deeply connected with chalk and the board, teachers should exploit this by integrating “writing in the blackboard by students” in all activities; by doing so, students will become more confident and less stressed and will definitely improve their handwriting. It is also advisable for teachers to use colors to help students differentiate between new vocabulary, structures, quotes and so on.
Conducting contests in the classroom
Teachers can organize small contests of public speaking, writing, and reading in the classroom, these activities do not require any materials and are easy to conduct, they help break the routine of lessons and are much enjoyed by students especially if the winner is rewarded at the end. If time doesn’t allow for extra activities these contests can be integrated within the lessons. When planning these contests teachers should prepare the activities, questions with the same degree of difficulty or simplicity to provide equal opportunity for all the participants and not to be seen as favoring one group or one student over the other.
Many schools today lack photocopiers especially in the so-called “third world”; therefore teachers are required to look for other ways to solve this problem, and the best thing to do is to prepare large flip charts and tape them on the blackboard for the whole class to see, students then can copy the exercises or whatever is in the flipchart in their notebooks, It’s like having a worksheet in one’s table and copying from it.
This technique can help students interact well with each other with common school materials. But when doing activities with group work teachers should make sure that each individual has an exact role to play in order to prevent the excellent students from doing or dominating all the work and to make it more effective each Group shouldn’t exceed more than five or six students.
To sum up, when facing new environment and tough situations most teachers find ways out to adapt and excel, the reality always defines what approaches and techniques we should follow. The fact is that it’s not all about having internet, library, projectors … in the class, most of all it’s about being willing and determined to work and help students discover and reach new horizons with whatever you have in your hands.