Thursday, November 17, 2011

Teaching takes more than just an hour in front of a class

The controversy surrounding  adult education in Bigastro continues. The issue now seems to be about the cost per teacher and the number of hours for which they are employed. 

Understandably, the Councillor for Education is looking at the total cost of running adult education classes which includes heating and lighting the room in which teaching takes place. However, this confuses matters because it gives the impression that each teacher is being paid more than they actually are. There is also controversy about the number of hours that each teacher works because the figure includes time in the classroom along with time for preparation, tutoring and marking.

The Councillor for Education wonders why experienced teachers require 5-6 hours per week to prepare for their lessons when, in his opinion, they should know their material by heart.

There may have been a time when teachers taught the same thing in the same way to their classes year after year but that is no longer the case. Every class you take is different and therefore requires a change in approach added to which the curriculum that you teach changes from year to year as you introduce new ideas and discard old ones. What worked well with one class last year may not work at all well with another one this year so you have to adapt and change and that takes time. Even with over thirty years experience in the classroom, I still had to prepare each lesson I taught carefully.

The difference between a teacher who has prepared well and one who hasn’t is the difference between success and failure in their lessons.Teaching ‘off the cuff’ is a recipe for disaster – trust me I have tried it!

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