• February 20th, 2020

Teachers exercise: Why Exams?

There are many factors that need to be taken into consideration when one tries to answer the question: how can we raise the standard of our local education? The main factors however, remain the teacher and the student. The student must understand the subject and the teacher must teach in such a way that the content reaches the student’s heart. These exercises are meant for those teachers, who can humbly admit that there is always room for improvement. This is an attempt to provide additional teaching skills. These skills are not taught at teacher training institutions but they form the basis of my course: THE SECRET TO EXTRA-ORDINARY TEACHING. This is not just a mere theory. A theory can prove itself to be useless, if put into practice. This is a feedback, born out of real classroom experience and any teacher willing to try will begin to notice changes in the lessons and the overall classroom results. For new readers, I propose that you Google the previous articles.

The previous exercise was all about gentleness. It is important that we, as teachers, remain patient and gentle during this stressful time of exams. Learner/students are very nervous right now and what they need is a teacher who listens to their questions with a gentle ear. Gentleness conveys warmth and that will calm down the student.  

The nation is right in the middle of exams, right now and it is only right that we spent a moment to reflect on the purpose of examinations. Why exams? Are they necessary? Let us briefly consult the etymologists; what does an examination mean? It is derived from the Latin examinare which means to test, to weigh or to ponder. An old French lady would say examinacion is testing one’s conscience by a standard or a test of knowledge. 

May I ask again: are examinations needed? Absolutely! It is only through the process of testing our knowledge that we realise what we know and what we haven’t yet grasped. Alright, so an examination is there to test our knowledge. Fine. But the question is: who is testing? Is it the institution (the school) or is it the individual her/himself? What is the difference? The difference is that if somebody is testing you, you will be nervous and you will be afraid of failing. Here is an example that I use with my learners/students. I would ask them to give me the timetable of thirteen (13, 26, 39, etc.) That usually puts a lot of pressure on them and most of them will not go further than 39. I would then proceed and ask them to practice the row of thirteen and when they feel ready, to test themselves. The chances are that they will be able to recite the rows without a mistake. What has happened? The learner/student was testing him/herself. The trick here is that when we test ourselves, we don’t experience as much pressure as when someone else is testing us. 

Dear teacher, advise your learners/students to repeat the following words over and over: I write exams to test myself. I have studied throughout the year and now, I want to know how much I have learned about the world. This simple switch of perspective has helped many of my learners/students to score better results. 

*Shapumba Ya Shapumba is the founder of Natural Learning Education Consultancy. He teaches how to obtain a+ in any subject (students) and the secret to extraordinary teaching (teachers). For booking: shapumbashapumba@yahoo.com or 0812786925 

New Era Reporter
2018-09-19 10:19:09 | 1 years ago

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