On the surface, the job of a school teacher may seem quite simple. Teach the subjects as per the syllabus set by the board, set questions for exams, and allot marks based on the students’ performances. That’s it. Repeat this process year after year and you are a teacher. However, these tasks are only the tip of the entire iceberg. The teachers of the top 5 CBSE Schools in Pune carry the potential of shaping and changing lives. They become mentors to their students, guardians away from home. The job of a teacher is to teach a class of 30 odd students, each with a specific learning pattern and behavioural trait, and make sure that all the needs of all the students are accommodated in those few hours.
The way good teachers design their classroom strategies is an intricate web of interlinked parameters. Each teacher employs his/her own unique methods to plan a class that will truly benefit the students in achieving their educational goals. The process runs deeper than what it appears as the teachers continue to refine, adapt, and redefine their strategies based on specific requirements of the classroom.
1. Getting to know the students closely
The teachers of the top preschools in Pune indulge in frequent parent-teacher meetings and spend time in observations and discussions as the very foundation of personalising learning is getting to know the students closely. When in contact with a new student, educators view the child through their expert academic lens to identify the educational strengths and weaknesses of the student. Then comes behaviours that may either boost or dampen academic growth and that is where parents come in to provide their views. In the first few months and years, teachers read their students to understand them. They gather the necessary information when the curriculum pressure is not that significant.
2. Promoting engagement in every possible way
Modern teachers identify the need for engagement. They refrain from delivering mechanical lectures where the students’ levels of understanding hardly receive any prominence. Thus, in parallel to knowing their students, teachers also implement engaging activities into their teaching practices so that the children willingly come to school with high motivation to learn. Technology has really elevated the game here where top schools are including smart infrastructure to enable their teachers to educate through visual and interactive learning. Teachers also focus on activity-based teaching, wherever possible, by either bringing the models to class or taking the students out for educational excursions.
3. Accommodating multiple intelligences
This might seem like a challenge to many but expert teachers in the Best Schools in Pune execute the strategy flawlessly. Every student comes with all the standard human intelligence but according to Howard Gardner, one trait is dominant in every child. In other words, a student may be capable of learning through the visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and linguistic mode of instruction but he/she may have the auditory as the dominant intelligence. Similarly, others will have other dominant intelligence and it thus becomes the task of the teachers to accommodate all. As time progresses, teachers identify the multiple intelligences that exist in their classrooms and start designing lessons to attend to all. No student is left behind in an inclusive classroom.
4. Assessing on personal grounds
Assessment is also a vital part of lessons. It gives teachers the necessary feedback that enables them to evaluate their students and plan future lessons. The effectivity of assessment has long been questioned as the general belief is that one exam paper cannot truly identify the potential of all students. And this is another area where teachers are tested where the challenge is to design an assessment pattern than judge students based on their unique abilities and learning techniques. Expert teachers assess their students with the primary goal of testing their knowledge. The reflected grades show the students’ developments. The present assessment forms the stepping stone for the next classes and thus the designing starts again.
As evident, even these do not penetrate the true depths that teachers go to craft their classroom strategies. For example, in The SNBP International School Pune, along with the above techniques, the teachers also undergo regular training to be privy with the modern learning demands, indulge in collaborative discussions where the teachers exchange notes on students and classes and develop under the able mentorship of Dr. D.K. Bhosale whose valuable expertise flow through the very veins of SNBPIS. The end result is naturally a school where the classrooms are meaningful, education is rich, and the teachers teach with purpose. Classroom strategy design is now an art that schools need to master. No longer can instructions be one-directional where the onus to perform is just on the students.