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Change the Way You Teach… Change the Way You Learn…

Most of us, maybe we all are products of traditional teaching. The chance of us having met a teacher who teaches his or her students to imagine, build and realize no matter what the subject is very less. When this question is asked from most of the teachers, they give various reasons for not doing so. Some of those excuses include, “no time to create mental pictures within the short time given”, “students do not expect such a thing”, “that is impossible” and so on. But, the immense value in doing so can only be seen once you try it whole heatedly.

Some time back I had the opportunity of meeting a peer, an undergraduate of the Engineering Faculty who teaches to a group of Sunday school students as well. It would not be wrong if I say this article is mostly inspired by his story. In order to introduce him, the best words I could use are an ‘explorer’ and an ‘experimenter’ who has made use of several techniques time to time in his teaching. From so called teacher based traditional teaching to mental illustrations of facts, he has tried. Out of all the methods, he has noticed a major turnaround in the latter. Yes, he punishes his students as every teacher does for their unacceptable behavior but at the end of the day the transformation he sees in that student is quite exceptional. The aim of writing this article is that at least one person who reads and gets inspired would experiment by him or herself, continue to pass this message and eventually add up to an educational evolution.

How does this change happen? How does that teacher be able to win that student?

The answer for this lies solely on the method he uses to teach. It is quite easy, quite fun and quite creative. Treat each and every word you release from your mouth as another opportunity to draw a colorful picture in students’ mind. Do not give out all the details of your picture but keep some space for them to contribute as well. Do not miss even a single component but include even the smallest element. And yes, this takes time, but guaranteed it is not wasted. Because the student does not stop thinking and building the graphics inside his head with the end of the subject but even after that. He starts to live in it. He makes it his own world, own colors and own subject. He builds up the confidence; he starts to think no one else has the colorful world as he built. And after all, it is strong enough to overcome the grudge he has on his punishment. He embraces the subject, makes it his favorite and continues.

Most importantly this does not stop there. Every work he or she does, whatever the job they will need to perform in their lives, they learn to lead, be the best, innovate everyday and inspire despite of their position or the title. This is because they make it their self painted world with high standards and it is above what competition could do.

However, why do you need to care on this? Why do you have to embrace this strange technique above all? Cause the answer lies on the fact that teachers and only teachers can impact one’s future after the same person himself. Cause teachers save the tomorrow of their students. Because student expects each and every teacher they meet will learn something new, something to cling and something that will change their lives.

It is high time to stop making students walk on each other, make them rivals and force them. It is time to let them be independent but coordinative, imaginative but open, memorable not memorize able. You only have to repeat this already experimented technique, experience the change by yourself, spread the word if it works and most importantly, remember every single student sitting in front of you has his or her own colorful world, own capacities and own interests so do the learning process and speed.

Authored by: Indeewari Chandrasekara
Inspired by: Vidura Withanapathirana and Prince Ea

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